Rain wreaks havoc
Franklin County Times
The annual average rainfall in Fontana, California is 14.77 inches. Mother Nature can take a few months off because it seems that half of the yearly quota was met last weekend while NASCAR was trying to race.
In what has to be one of more bizarre weekends in recent memory, the rain and the poor track conditions wreaked havoc on both the Sprint Cup race and the Nationwide Series race. The race was on, it was off, it was on, it was red-flagged for seepage (if there is word that conjures up more unpleasant thoughts than seepage, I don't know what it is), it was on, and then it was off again.
Like a lot of suckers, I keep checking back on FOX to see if the race would resume late Sunday night. Finally, when the last update was at 1 a.m., I decided to call it a night and check the results the next morning.
Well, the race was postponed until Monday, and I caught bits and pieces of it in my office. A seemingly unbeatable duo of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson on Sunday led to a really unbeatable Carl Edwards on Monday. Edwards was the class of the field on Monday and won going away. After the first two races, Chevrolet and Toyota are still waiting on a visit to Victory Lane. Considering the two tracks, Daytona and California, that is a bit of a surprise to me.
I guess it shows how even the new Car of Today really is, and the bodies of these cars are identical. Only the set-up and motors can be different and parity seems to be the result. Not that leveling the playing field is bad, since the COT has produced some very exciting racing.
It is way too early to start looking at the points standings, but Kyle Busch is atop both the Cup and the Truck standings and sits in second to teammate Tony Stewart in the Nationwide standings, and that is pretty strong. Busch seems to be driving with a chip on his shoulder, and I must admit, it is very entertaining to watch. That guy is doing things on the track that only a handful of guys are capable of doing.
From the debacle of California, the teams must make the cross-country trip again to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If you remember this race last season, Tony Stewart had some pretty rough comments about the condition of the track after undergoing a multi-million facelift the year before. Tony appears to be a kinder and gentler Stewart this season, so we'll see how he acts this weekend.
Jimmie Johnson had no problems with the track last season, winning his third race in a row at Las Vegas. In fact, the race has produced streaky winners. Before Johnson, Matt Kenseth had won the previous two races. So, we have had only two different winners in the last five races. The only non-Hendrick or non-Roush winner in the 10-year history of this track is Sterling Marlin. He won in 2002 while driving the Coors Light Silver Bullet for Chip Ganassi.
It would hard to bet against Johnson in this race, but four straight is a tall order. My pick to win this weekend and earn Toyota's first points in the Cup race is Kyle Busch.
Jeff Findley is a guest columnist for the Franklin County Times. Findley is the publisher of the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald.