I am starting to worry about Denny Hamlin.
In the lead-up to the Daytona 500, he did an interview where he said that approximately 70 percent of NASCAR drivers are on some type of medicine for attention deficit disorder to help them focus better. NASCAR wasn’t very happy with Denny’s comments and called him to the hauler to have further discussion on it.
Couple things here: 1. How does Denny know that much about what prescriptions people are taking? 2. Why does he think it’s OK to say stuff like this and not expect any push back. He got all butt hurt when Bubba Wallace said he must not have taken his medicine before the 500 because Hamlin ran Wallace into the wall after the checkered flag. The two had a little altercation in the garage after the race. Lesson here: You say dumb things, you have to deal with the repercussions.
One of the first official acts of the British government after the declaration of war against Nazi Germany in 1939 was to requisition all the wine from the German embassy.
To work to stop cheating by teams, NASCAR went to a spec pneumatic impact gun for pit crews to use on stops. Apparently teams were modifying guns to give them some type of advantage (I have no clue how that would work). According to people in the garage, Joe Gibbs Racing had gotten very good at building very good air wrenches. NASCAR partnered with a company called Paoli to supply the spec guns to teams at the track. I have heard they aren’t cheap, even though one of the benefits is supposedly reduced cost.
How are these new guns working out: well, according to the reigning Monster Energy Cup champion crew chief, Cole Pearn, they are “pieces of (expletive deleted). Four teams had issues with the new guns at Atlanta, including Kevin Harvick’s Stewart-Haas crew, who won the race. I think this is an example of solution looking for a problem and it hurting teams who were perfectly happy with the old way of doing things. NASCAR has promised to fix the pit gun issues. We shall see.
NCAA basketball – influenced by agents and shoe companies and AAU shadiness – is corrupt? Surely you jest. I honestly hope this latest scandal (and is any athletics program having a worse year than Arizona’s?) leads to some real change to the NCAA cartel.
After two races, Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time Cup champion, is 35th in points. He is currently behind D.J. Kennington and Mark Thompson (both of whom only ran the Daytona 500) in the points standings. He is also lower in the standings than Matt Dibenedetto and Gray Gaulding. He would be lower if Justin Marks or David Gilliland were eligible for points. Will this work itself out? For sure, but right now, it’s an interesting stat.
Members of the Mafia are much less likely to be psychopaths than other Italian criminals.
After a great Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR fell back to earth last week at Atlanta. The field for the Cup race was only 36 cars, which NASCAR claims to be full; a claim to which I call bull. This week at Las Vegas, there are 37 entries. To be clear, they will start 40 cars. Not to be all doom and gloom, but this is a problem, people.
As I am writing this, Duke and Carolina lost on consecutive nights. N.C. State, who was supposed to be terrible this year under a first-year coach and after losing Dennis Smith Jr. to the NBA (see above post re: NCAA scandal), is 10-6 in the ACC, only .5 games behind Carolina. No real point here, I just really like this Wolfpack team.
The Somali word for “president” also means “big head” and the candidate with the biggest head usually wins. I’d be a lock.
It was a shame there were so few people in Atlanta to see the Cup race. With Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano playing a different pit strategy than Harvick and Brad Keselowski, it turned into an entertaining race even though the No. 4 Ford was by far the fastest car on the track. For me, it’s further proof that you don’t need a crash fest to have a good race. And I love a track that wears out tires; it reminds me of racing at Rockingham.
A babalevante is someone who makes feeble jokes. I feel this is appropriate for this column.
Andy Cagle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.