Thursday, June 4, 2009

In The Groove: Richmond - May 4, 2009

In The Groove is dedicated to bring you a peek at the Highs and Lows of racing randomness from Richmond, Virginia. Welcome.

The High Groove

Running first in the High Groove is Kyle Busch, naturally. The Show stole the show, all weekend. Richmond and Kyle Busch proved to be a fascinating "Combo." I wonder how many more records Rowdy will break or tie with by the time of his 25th birthday. Congrats, again.

Running second in the High Groove is Stewart-Haas Racing. SHR’s drivers Tony Stewart (2nd) and Ryan Newman (4th) were competitive and on their game Saturday night. Although Smoke said that they "backed into" their finishing position of second, I ain’t buying it. Smoke usually doesn’t get hot until about Daytona in July. There is something much more magical going on with him this year. Even Newman moved to the top ten in points. Of course, the contest now is to see which of these drivers will get a big "W" first. More Saturday night racing this weekend, so we might just find out.

Running third in the High Groove is Casey Mears. I honestly do not know how he did it, really. Casey Mears finished 9th. Surely after changing organizations, teams, numbers, uniforms, etc., etc., time and time again, one could excuse away his poor career. But, there Mears is – week after week. Still plodding along. Harvick’s and Mears’ entire crews were switched before the Richmond weekend and maybe Richard Childress had another stroke of genius. No, I’m not holding my breath just yet, but it was good to see. Kudos for your top ten finish.

Honorable mentions: Jeff Burton (3rd), Juan Pablo Montoya (10th), and Marcos Ambrose (11th)
The Low Groove

P1 in the Low Groove is Jimmie Johnson. Johnson was ready to hightail it out of Alabama and move on to Virginia. However, the defending champion had a rough go of it in Richmond. From speeding penalties, to no brakes, to getting caught up in an accident, Jimmie just could not get out of his own way. He finished in the 36th position, 32 laps down. I wonder if he thinks this track sucks too?

P2 in the Low Groove is Dave Blaney. Shocking, I know. Blaney wrecked before I could say start and park. I truly do not understand why the team/crew did not get him back out on the track as there appeared to be minimal damage. We saw how well Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin and others ran after getting some damage to their cars.

P3 for the Low Groove is Kevin Harvick. Harvick blew a tire and smacked the wall, finishing in the 34th position, 6 laps down. Did you know that DeLana was sitting atop the pit box again this weekend? Why is DeLana jinxing him like that?

Dishonorable Mentions: David Stremme a/ka/ wrecking ball, Denny Hamlin’s pit crew, and Brian Vickers for missing his pit stall.

And for the checkered flag we have In The Groove’s thought for the day ...

Junior nation, do you remember how irate and how vocal you were as a group this time last year? Kyle Busch wrecked Junior at Richmond and, goodness, we didn’t hear the end of that for a long time. Heck, people were still talking about it before the drop of the green flag this Saturday night. This year, Junior made pretty much the exact same move underneath Jeff Burton during the race, wrecking him, and yet I don’t hear the Burton brigade throwing tirades. Maybe a mention, but not an all-out call for Junior’s neck. Weird.

Quote of the week: "... as odd as this is going to sound, I've really been impressed with how good, Goodyear’s working really hard and they continue to not sit on their hands and they keep trying different things, and they keep trying to find combinations that make it better for us ..." - Tony Stewart

We have Saturday night racing up again this weekend at Darlington, the track "Too Tough To Tame." If you tried to be tough to tame growing up and your mom had to give you a few of those (Darlington) stripes, remember your Mom for Mother’s Day this Sunday and, if you can, tell her thanks for her unconditional love. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!

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