February 28, 2007

Week Two of NASCAR - Kenseth Sweeps Cali!

Ah, victory is sweet - - and Victory Lane even sweeter. After a disappointing finish in Daytona (thanks to a last lap crash) Matt Kenseth has come back with a vengeance.
Despite starting 25th at Fontana, with uber-whiner Jeff Gordon sitting on the pole (hee), and despite being absent crew chief Robbie Reiser for the second of four race suspensions, MK, the Carhartt #17 and interim chief Chip Bolin kicked some ass and took names.

Let's start first with MK. No, he didn't qualify well. But by lap 7 and the first of what would be six caution flags waved, he had moved up to a more respectable 18th. By lap 24, after another caution, MK was sitting comfortably in 3rd place. By lap 30, MK was leading the pack. Sweet! MK would lead the pack for 133 of the 250 laps, earning him an additional 10 points in the Cup standings. There was genuine panic, at least by me, seven laps before the end of the race when avowed enemy (because he's Mr. PS's driver) Kevin Harvick managed to come out of No Man's Land in the back of the pack and fall into second place, threatening to chase MK down. However, good fortune was smiling on MK and #17 and it wasn't the voodoo doll I was thinking about making of Harvick and his painfully bright Shell car. No, obviously God really wasn't too busy dealing with world issues to listen to me and promptly rendered Harvick's left front tire flat upon the restart, causing him to pit at the most inopportune moment. I guess God is a NASCAR fan too (or at least a #17 fan). Sunday's win, after victory at Saturday's Busch series, became MK's fifteenth win of his career (and first without Robbie Reiser atop the pit box) and put MK atop all drivers in California wins (six - - four in Busch, two in the Cup).
It also became Interim Crew Chief Chip Bolen's first career win.
Chip Bolen and his driver
Not too shabby, picking up a swept weekend in just your second weekend as Chief. I say the man deserves a raise. And let's give a shout out too to the Killer Bees, MK's pit crew. Not one mistake was made, they were absolutely flawless - - one green flag pit stop, with a four tire change and fuel replenishment was done in a speedy 12.79 seconds.
The Killer Bees - Gettin' it done

This was also the Carthartt's car first victory - - gotta love that alternate paint scheme.
So take that, smarmy guy in the Kroger parking lot, who talked smack about my driver when he saw my Matt Kenseth flag. MK is not a whiner, he's a winner, you wiener.
And yes, it's official. I am obsessed with NASCAR.

The Man

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