by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowOctober 6, 2007 12:50 am UTC 2 Comments
I paid more attention to NASCAR Nextel Cup practice this week than I ever have before. This is facsinating stuff at Talladega this year.
Everyone wants to know how the Car of Tomorrow will perform in it’s first superspeedway debut. I’m not sure if you can figure anything out by watching practice but it’s fun to think that you can.
Cars ran around in packs – one time a point was made that the five Rousch Racing and two Yates Racing Fords were running in a pack separate from everyone else. Commentators Jeff Hammond and Larry MacReynolds speculated that the Ford teams were trying to learn something specific about the handling of the Fusion. Then in the next sentence they talked themselves out of that, saying that other than the headlight and grill decals, the Fusions were no different from the Chevys, Toyotas and Dodges than from each other.
Jacques Villenueve negotiated practice without incident and seems to be surviving the weekend with his self-esteem intact. Everytime I tuned in to the television coverage, someone had a microphone in the grill of a driver who thinks that Jacques’ Talladega start is bad news.
The best argument came from Boris Said. Boris thinks that Villenueve should have run the ARCA REMax Series race here, like Dario Franchitti and Scott Speed did today. Said made the point that the ARCA cars are fast and competitve, run two and sometimes three-wide and provide a good intro to the drafting and traffic. The Cup cars will be three, and sometimes four-wide all day and are a whole different ball game.
At least Villeneuve didn’t get benched for rough driving. Denny Hamlin was singled out for overly aggressive driving – read bump drafting – and forced to sit out the end of morning practice. I wonder what the NASCAR police are going to do during the race when everyone but the leader will be bumping?
I’m really looking forward to this race.
Picture credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR