Thursday, June 4, 2009

In The Groove: Coca-Cola 600 - May 25, 2009

In The Groove is dedicated to bring you a peek at the Highs and Lows of racing randomness from Charlotte USA. Welcome to the Washing Machine edition for the 50th anniversary of the Coca-Cola 600.

We started the endurance race on the Soak cycle on Sunday, with zero laps being run. I've seen that referred to as the Coke Zero. NASCAR made the call to postpone until today. So, we continued on to the Rinse & Spin edition on Memorial Day. The cars got rinsed, spun around for a while, got rinsed again. You get the picture. Rinse and repeat.

The High Groove

Running first in the High Groove is David Reutimann who brought home the 250 lb trophy. Wow, what a call to stay out on that final rain caution/red flag. Points of interest: The No. 00 had never been to victory until today; this was The Franchise's 75th career start; and this was The Franchise's first Cup victory, ever. Additionally, this was the first win for Michael Waltrip as an owner. Congrats to MWR and to David Reutimann!

Running second in the High Groove is "Rocket Man" Ryan Newman who started on the pole and chose the outside line to bring the field to the green flag. Newman had a pit problem early in the race but came back to finish 2nd with the call to stay out at the end. Newman continues his top 5 finishes and now sits in 7th in the points. Good job.

Running third in the High Groove is the decision by NASCAR to throw the caution for the Memorial Day Remembrance moment of silence at 3pm EST. Very classy. I found it very respectful and moving. Thanks NASCAR.

Honorable mentions: Robby Gordon and Brian Vickers

The Middle Groove

P1 for the Middle Groove is Dave Blaney. What, you say? Blaney finished this race. He did not park it on lap 49. He was only one lap down and even received five bonus points! He had the same sponsor this week as the winning car, Aaron's Dream Machine. I'm feeling tingly all over. Will it happen again this year?

P2 for the Middle Groove is Joey Logano. Logano, after having brake issues early in the race, was running in the top five when last caution came out but cycled through pit stops for a 9th place finish. He's looking better and better and I think the confidence will continue to grow. Kudos.

The Low Groove

P1 in the Low Groove is Mother Nature, of course. I believe the jet dryers logged more laps than the cars.

P2 in the Low Groove is Mike Bliss. Bliss was our Nationwide series winner on Saturday night due to a rain call, pretty much the same way as Reutimann won today. However, Bliss was the first (and only) car to cut out on the Cup race today. Dern Dodge engine.

P3 for the Low Groove is Kevin Harvick. Harvick made contact with Sam Hornish Jr., hit the wall twice, and was black flagged for speeding. Was DeLana on the pit box again?

Dishonorable Mentions: Dale Jr. and Kurt Busch.

And for the checkered flag we have In The Groove’s thought for the day ... What can I say, Kyle Busch probably should have won both the Nationwide and Cup race this weekend. He was leading both races when caution came out for rain and the race was called - early. I don't know why Kyle didn't stay out today to see if the race would have been called. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, twice.

Quote of the week: "Billy Bad Butt." - Tony Stewart

We should be hearing some news by late tomorrow about the mandatory meeting called by NASCAR to meet with the drivers, teams, well, everyone. See you again after the Monster Mile.

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