Gatorade Duel Race React: Bring it On!

by Jim on February 11, 2010 · 7 comments

29 & 48 by Jerry Markland Gi 4 NS Gang, I think we’ve got a race to look forward to this Sunday. Besides a killer Bud Shootout, there were two Gatorade Duels that offered fantastic finishes.

So much for Jimmie Johnson being hindered by running in a back-up car. Speaking for myself, I’m watching for the “48” in any race he’s in. You could just see Johnson slicing his way through the field like a knife through hot butter, and then there was the call.

Like Sean Payton calling for the onside kick at the outset of the third quarter of the Super Bowl, Chad Knaus made a calculated gamble by leaving his driver out during the last caution. How would the tires hold up? It’s safe to say with another lap or two, Kevin Harvick and Company catches the champion, but the bottom line is….they didn’t.

More 29 & 48 TW GI Johnson inched by Happy with a .005-second margin of victory. Kyle Busch was in the mix, along with Clint Bowyer and Regan Smith. Michael Mc Dowell and Italian road ace Max Papis got in on speed. Michael Waltrip had to wait out race number two to see if he get in on the Sunday action. Once again, in a microcosm of what has been a challenging week for the two-time “500” winner, he spun out and hit the inner barrier.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. led the parade to green in the second duel. If I’m a Junior fan, I am a little concerned. Nation, I don’t know what to tell you. His cars go well in short spurts then just go away.

You Blue Oval fans have to like what you’re seeing. Matt Kenseth had a solid run, as did Roush teammate Greg Biffle in the first race. A.J. Allmendinger and David Ragan represented well in race one, while Allmendinger’s RPM teammate put up a top ten in the second.

After a good Shootout run Saturday night, Kasey Kahne14 & 9  TW GI edged Tony Stewart at the checkered flag. Smoke give Kahne a heck of a fight, with the Ford winning by another razor-thin margin.

Scott Speed racing in opened a hole for Waltrip. While these two, Mike Bliss and Bobby Labonte get in, the list of go homers includes Casey Mears, David Gilliland, Dave Blaney, Reed Sorenson and rookie Terry Cook among others.

Kahne by GB GI 4 NAS You had to wonder how these races would go. The way the practices have gone, it would be tempting to worry that we’d have a wreckfest on our hands. Far from it. There was a little bit of wall and bumper tag going on, but not very much.

Regardless of what I think NASCAR ought to do, at the end of the day, I’m a race fan. I like to see good racing. We got good racing. Whether it’s the bigger restrictor plates or what, I don’t know. What I do know is good racing is needed and good racing we got. 

PHOTO CREDITS- Top photo by Jerry Markland/ Getty Images for NASCAR, Johnson and Harvick at the finish and Stewart and Kahne at the finish by Todd Warshaw/ Getty Images. Kasey Kahne celebration by Geoff Burke/ Getty Images for NASCAR.

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1 Kingsford47 February 11, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Both races were great. The second Duel was my favorite though…The only race this year that Jimmie Johnson could not win.

2 jimmccoy22 February 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm

@Kingsford. My son loves Jimmie, but I caught myself thinking the same thing.

3 dawg February 12, 2010 at 6:06 am

Probably the guy that impressed me the most was Regan Smith.
Was really happy to see Mike Bliss get in.
Mikey, two races, two wrecks. He’s in because of 1 lap, & some luck, not of his own making. Somethings wrong with this picture.
By only taking the top 2 unqualified cars from each race, they devalue the twins.
I would much rather see them take the top 3, then the top 2 on speed. Then Shelberdine’s car would be in. The “Onion” gave it a good run.
Running a race should count more than running a lap.

Should be a good race. Very glad to see the Fords, & RCR, running well. Nice to see Kasey Racy.

4 The Mad Man February 12, 2010 at 7:34 am

You have to wonder if Mikey would’ve broken down crying and blubbering on national TV if he wouldn’t have made it in and how many protests we’d have heard from his brother in the announcing booth. I have to agree with dawg. It does devalue the twins.

As to the cars themselves, the change with the larger “sharkfin”, 4 inch lowering of the rear quarter panels, and whatever other changes they made over the winter has made the cars a lot more aero sensitive. Hopefully this will end when the wing is gone and the spoiler returns. I’d rather see a driver win because of some good side-by-side beating and banging than win because his closest opponent spun because of an aero problem beyond his control.

5 BigE February 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm

How can someone like Wallbanger(Mikey) claim that he raced his way in? Ha! More like wrecked his way in while some of the real racers have to sit. Meantime, “D”umb “W” claims that “Mikey is the best RP racer Ever”. What a Joke they BOTH are!!!!!!

And they(Nascar) are bewildered because of the declining interest. Speaking of being out of touch!

6 Deb Sweeney February 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm

In case you were not aware, JR was told to stay out of the mess since his car already had been damaged.

He said we got a Backup don’t we and Lance basically told him not to run with the squirrels, think of the trophy and front row start on Sunday.
JR wanted to get back up there but listened to his Crew Chief, smae thing Mark Martin did in the first race but does anyone say anything about Mark backing down, NO

7 leonard February 13, 2010 at 5:41 am

Memo:There seems to be a lot of blown and flat tires in all the running and practices shown on t.v.I read that this is anew tire made for only Daytona but it seems to be a poor quality or very weak due to all these flats,I think the set-up and caster and camber and weight loading has a lot to do with it,this doesn’t bode well for some teams that won’t get it right and could be a big player on Sunday.Keep good tires on it and plenty of fuel because it could mean a higher finish.Personally,I think the Duels are still some of the best racing all year.I would like to see the top 20 from each duel race go into another race for 50 laps and call that the SHOOTOUT.Then use this finish to line up the 500.HOT Damn.

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