Published on August 16th, 2011 | by Shannon Baxter0
Watkins Glen International Review: Manic Monday
Rain forced NASCAR postpone the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen until Monday, despite attempts to get the race in. After the events of Monday, however, the rain will be the last thing fans remember from the action packed race. Tempers weren’t the only things flying high at the Glen on Monday; cars were too!
Rubbing is Racing
Boris Said and Greg Biffle weren’t talked about much during the race. Said spun early and ran in the back most of the day. Biffle ran out of gas early and ended up losing several laps. For them, the action heated up after the checkered flag. After Said spun, he spent the rest of the day racing near the back. Biffle, who ran out of gas on lap 28, was also racing at the back, two laps down. Said radioed to his spotter and said that Biffle was racing him “dirty” and let it be known that he would find him after the race to take care of it.
As soon as the race was over, Said parked his car in front of the No. 16 hauler to have it out. According to Said, Biffle threw some punches at him and then took off. Said then got out of his car and took off angrily towards Biffle. Pit crews from both teams restrained them and the drivers were sent separate ways.
Said let his voice be heard in his post-race interview. “He’s the most unprofessional scaredy cat I’ve ever seen in my life. He wouldn’t even fight me like a man after (the race). I won’t settle it out on the track. It’s not right to wreck cars, but he’ll show up at a race with a black eye one of these days.”
Said then went on to say he would get Biffle’s home address and give him a visit Wednesday for a “whipping.” Biffle responded via twitter, calling Said “unprofessional and disrespectful.”
NASCAR said let the boys “have at it”, but are they allowed to make threats towards other drivers? I’m curious to see how far NASCAR will let this go.
I’ve seen some crazy wrecks in my ten years of being a fan, but today’s wrecks rank as some of the wildest. It started with Kurt Busch on lap 49. Busch had a brake failure and crashed hard into the Turn 5 tire barrier. Denny Hamlin, who also seemed to have a brake failure, had a very scary crash into the Turn 1 barrier. The crash was so hard that it buckled the guard-rail behind the tire barrier.
The biggest crash of the day happened when Boris Said and David Ragan got together on the final lap. Said and Ragan went for the same real estate at the same time. Said got his nose up to Ragan’s left-rear quarter panel. The two made contact, which ended up hooking Ragan causing him to bounce off the left rail. Ragan then slammed into Reutimann, sending him into the right guard-rail. The impact caused Reutimann to go airborne, then crash viciously into the fence. Both Ragan and Reutimann walked away from the accidents sore, but okay.
The Tasmanian Devil
It’s no secret that when the NASCAR series comes to a road course, Marcos Ambrose is a contender. He was able to beat last week’s winner, Brad Keselowski to get the win. Ambrose is the fifth, first-time winner this year. This puts him, along with Brad Keselowski and Paul Menard, into the Sprint Showdown, which pays a $3 million bonus if one of them were to win the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Amborse is also locked into the 2012 All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Brad Keselowski isn’t just the surprise of this weekend, he’s the suprise of the month. Racing hurt hasn’t phased him at all. Keselowski finished a hard-fought second at the Glen. He has moved up four spots in the chase to 14th position. If he keeps this up, he may make his way into the top 10 in points!
Martin Truex Jr also deserves a shout-out for his fourth place finish. Truex ran in the top five for most of the day and drove a clean race. Martin has always been a good road course racer, having road course victories in the Nationwide series. Hopefully this is the medicine this team needs to turn their season around, and finish the year out right.
Also, give a call to Dale Earnhardt Jr. The team was fortunate when the caution came out for Biffle running out of gas while Earnhardt was on pit road. When the race went green, he found himself in fourth. Several thought it would only be a matter of time before he started losing positions. But, he didn’t. He maintained his position in the top 5, holding off Truex Jr, Tony Stewart, and Jimmie Johnson.
Unfortunately, his pit strategy late in the race backfired, and he wound up 15th. Still, 15th place is his best finish at the upstate New York road course since 2005, and he moved up one position in points to ninth, 36 points ahead of 11th place.