Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Martinsville race, for the first time. If you’ve never watched short track in person it needs to be on your bucket list. I enjoy all NASCAR racing but quite often the field at intermediate tracks get strung out pretty quick and  get boring. The speedways don’t get strung out but they do have a portion where the drivers play follow the leader. Again a little boring.

Short tracks have bell to bell action all over the track. There is always something worth watching.

This, as you all know, had been Junior’s best start to a season. He hadn’t finished out of the top ten. He was leading in points going into the race. I, of course, brought him bad luck. His worst race so far this season. His car wouldn’t get traction coming out of the turns and it wouldn’t turn going into the curves. It was not good. In fact, towards the end, it was almost painful to watch. Especially since early in the race he looked pretty good. He was as high as fourth at one point.Dale 88 Chevy

In the end, he was one of the worst cars on the track. he didn’t finish in the top twenty. He dropped to third in points. he finished two laps down.

Not a good day, to say the least. The very least.

But things still look good. Dale is only 12 points behind Jimmie Johnson and two tracks coming soon are two of his best. In two Saturdays is Richmond and the following week is Talladega. Known as  the track the Earnhardt’s built. Junior has five wins there (his dad had 10).


I think he will rebound from this week. This season, the 88 team, looks as good as anyone out there. The bad weeks look like flukes. Not like a couple of years ago when the good weeks were the flukes.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins at either track or both. After all I am staying home. Not because I want to but for the sake of the team.

It’s the least I can do.

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I hate road courses. I believe it’s the equivalent of putting two soccer games on the Green Bay Packers schedule. With that disclaimer out of the way, I really thought yesterday’s race was a snooze. I was so bored I changed the channel and watched golf then switched back and watched a lot of the race in fast forward on my DVR.

One reason I didn’t like it was; Dale had a fifteenth place car. Not much more, not much less. Just middle of the pack and this year we have gotten used to better. Granted, last year, we would have been praying for a car that good. Thankfully those days are gone – I hope.

It did look, for a moment, Junior was going to bring home another top ten but that was spoiled by who knows who. Someone spun him on the next to last lap. We have no idea who it was because TNT didn’t have a decent camera angle plus Kyle and the boringtones, would have had to stop another useless, boring story to comment on the spin and God knows Petty and his booth partners are not going to shut up long enough to describe action on the track.

Now the good news – we have Sonoma behind us and we are third in points. This is the part of the season Junior has been known to fade. I don’t see that this year. Next Saturday is an intermediate track in Kentucky and then on to Daytona. Both of these are tracks Junior should excel if not win. Then it’s all down hill to the Chase with the exception of Watkins Glen. Even at the soccer game at the Glen there is a breath of fresh air. Unlike Sonoma, which follows Michigan, Michigan follows Watkins Glen. So the memory of a decent finish at the Glen could be erased by another great run at M.I.S. Instead of the other way around.

It’s a good year to be a Junior fan and I am enjoying it with of course the exception of the two road course but that’s why the NASCAR gods gave me a DVR.

In fast forward it almost looks like a race!


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