Bristol once again has injected some much needed life into a NASCAR season badly in need of a heartbeat. Flat tires took out a few contenders’ named, Gordon, Kenseth, Johnson and Stewart but did not leave the race without excitement. Beating and banging occurred all over the track resulting in a near donnybrook in the pits between new series bad boy, Denny Hamlin and his former teammate at JGR Racing, Joey Logono. And speaking of Hamlin, has anyone ever seen a driver use the outside wall in order to turn the car like Hamlin did for the final 5 laps of the race? We did on Sunday as Hamlin’s car lost his suspension and the only way he could turn the car was to bang it off the wall. Unfortunately, he was not able to maintain the NASCAR minimum speed and finished the race in 23rd position. The wall was reportedly unharmed.
Oh yeah, Kasey Kahne held off Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski for a well-earned victory. On a day dampened by cool damp weather and too many empty seats at the Bristol Motor Speedway, the day brought us the most exciting race since Watkins Glenn in the summer of 2012. As a NASCAR fan tweeted shortly after the race, “That’s what I’m talkin about!”
It was the 15th career victory for the good looking and popular Kasey Kahne who finished a career best 4th in the Chase last season. Kahne was born on April 10, 1980 in Enamclaw, Washington and currently resides in Moorsesville North Carolina. Like many current NASCAR drivers Kahne got an early start with his racing career, racing at age 17 at the Deming Speedway in Deming Washington.
Kahne’s NASCAR career took off in 2006, winning a career best 6 races and finishing 8th in points which had been his best finish until last season. Like many NASCAR drivers Kahne’s best work is done off the track. He created the Kasey Kahne foundation which provides much needed support to chronically ill children and their families as well as disadvantaged youth. Each year his foundation raises funds for these causes by holding several fund raising events, among them an annual 5K charity run through Charlotte North Carolina. Sometimes a good guy does finish first.
The Hamlin – Logono feud started after Hamlin spun Logono as the two were fighting for 2nd position on lap 348. After the incident Hamlin radioed his crew chief and said he was sorry and didn’t mean to spin him. Logono wasn’t buying any of it. After the race Logono met Hamlin in the pits and the two exchanged pleasantries and a little pushing and shoving ensued. “It’s Bristol but it’s ridiculous. I feel like I race him clean all the time,” Logono said. “I understand the way he races now that he’s not a teammate and I will race him the same way he races me.” After the race the two continued their verbal assault on twitter.
Logono: “Hey @dennyhamlin great job protecting that genius brain of yours by keeping your helmet on.”
Hamlin: “Why’s that? What would you do?”
Logono: “Show you some love and appreciation.”
Hamlin: “Need my address? Last time I checked he (Logono) had my cell and direct message button to choose from otherwise hush little child.”
Hamlin’s teammate and perennial NASCAR bad boy Kyle Busch chimed in, “It’s a little disheartening that we can’t all get along.” Oh Bristol! Thank you for brightening our season. On to Fontana, California we go with some interesting things to look out for. My three picks:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Carl Edwards
3. Jimmie Johnson
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