this is talladega?

Maybe it’s because I watched Scream 4 (there was A LOT of stabbing going on in that movie) over the weekend that the old song by the O’Jays, “Back Stabber,” comes to mind when I think about yesterday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega.

I’m not saying that guys were being back stabbers on purpose, I just think that this whole two-car tandem racing thing puts them in that position. At some point you have to be selfish, or team-ish, or manufacturer-ish, and it’s not that enjoyable to watch. Clearly in racing you have to go for yours, and not worry about anyone else, but because of two-car craziness it puts people in awkward situations that they wouldn’t normally have to think about.

I don’t like what Talladega has become, it’s kind of boring and since we all know the drivers don’t like it, it makes it less fun. It’s just something they have to get through. It’s not really racing, it’s elementary school all over again trying to find someone who likes you enough to play with you. While strategy obviously plays an important role in every NASCAR race, the strategy that comes into play at Talladega becomes an annoyance.

That being said, I was happy for Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress Racing. And it was extra special because RCR scored their 100th win.

Anywhoo, can’t wait for Martinsville!

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Timothy Peters, No. 17 Ideal Doors/Menards Chevrolet, signs autographs for fans today at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Timothy Peters, No. 17 Ideal Doors/Menards Chevrolet, signs autographs for fans today at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton jokes with Michael Waltrip, who qualified 23rd in a tribute car to his brother Darrell's Hall of Fame Induction. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton jokes with Michael Waltrip, who qualified 23rd in a tribute car to his brother Darrell's Hall of Fame Induction. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 The Home Depot Toyota, signs autographs during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 21 in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 The Home Depot Toyota, signs autographs during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 21 in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, signs autographs for fans during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 21 in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, signs autographs for fans during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 21 in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mike Wallace receives the checkered flag after winning the Coca-Cola 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mike Wallace receives the checkered flag after winning the Coca-Cola 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A fan signs the start/finish line prior to the start of the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A fan signs the start/finish line prior to the start of the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer celebrates winning the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, his second straight fall win at the track. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer celebrates winning the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, his second straight fall win at the track. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

2 Comments

  1. Melody
    October 24, 2011 at 9:33 PM ·

    I hear you. I would still rather have seen Jeff Burton get that win…and I would really rather have seen Jimmy and Chad listen to Junior and run up front more so that Junior had an actual chance to win the thing. Even Tony Stewart listened to his teammate and changed his strategy for the good of the duo which, in itself, was a bit shocking. I felt sorry for some of the Ford drivers who had chances to draft with great drivers but because of team and manufacturer preferences, they were effectively cut out of any chance at all to do well….all that being said, it was the usual Talladega heart attack for the last 3 laps and I guess that is what fans want to see. Very happy there was not a Big One that took out half the field, or any one driver who was seriously injured. Thank God for all the safety barriers.

    But you have hit it on the head, some of the strategy was quite an annoyance! Great analysis, Valli!

  2. October 24, 2011 at 10:21 PM ·

    I wouldn’t have minded seeing Jeff Burton get the win, because he’s a class act, but I am positively ECSTATIC that Bowyer won! If Burton had an additional 100 yards he would have gotten back ahead of Bowyer and gotten the checkers. Anybody who would have expected Clint to not try to take the win like he did is insane. That’s not racing.

    Far as the tandem racing goes, this one was the most exciting by far. And kudos to the guys who had the cajones to stay up front all day. Looks like the ‘hanging back’ strategy is really starting to bite some drivers in the ass.