Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rating the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500: 3 Stars ***

It took until lap 199, but the boys finally had at it in the beautiful Pocono Mountains. The race was so-so, but the aftermath was quite interesting. Pocono gets a 3 Star Rating.

Logano vs. Harvick, Kahne vs. Allmendinger, Stewart vs. the field. Anyone who had a chance to voice an opinion after the race did so, except Jeff Gordon, he let Kasey Kahne handle the questions after walking out of the camera shot. What fired everyone up this particular weekend? This was set to be a nice lazy afternoon at Pocono with everyone just putting in laps to get to the finish. However, once they got close everything went crazy.

Let’s start with Joey and the Harvicks. The second-year driver who has been trying to mind his p’s and q’s ever since he debuted in the Cup series last year has developed a reputation as a smooth, consistent driver. But, that may have led to the thought that he can be pushed around. Every driver goes through this at some point in his career; this was just the first time we had seen Logano take the bait afterward. While the comment about DeLana Harvick’s firesuit was quick-witted, it sounded a little funny coming from a 20-year-old guy whose father was out on pit road chasing him around after the race. I don’t expect this to carry on much further on the track, but it would be intriguing to see Logano get up on the wheel and use the chrome horn a time or two. We shall see.

Next up is Kahne vs. Allmendinger. That Richard Petty Motorsports group is quite the dysfunctional organization. For years now the management has been unstable at best, last year drivers were not getting paid, getting sponsorship has been a chore for several years now and the drivers hardly speak to one another. If that’s the case, I can’t see why Kahne expected Allmendinger to cut him a break on the final lap. Yes, the dinger drove Kahne straight into the grass, but it would seem that the teammate deal is kind of hollow words when the “teammates” hardly even speak to each other. Kahne is fed up and done with this group. Might as well stamp that Hendrick Motorsports patch on his uniform now because he is likely going to race those guys cleaner than he will his own teammate.

Finally, Tony Stewart said everyone was driving like idiots throughout most of the race. Considering the entire field was strung out for most of the first 97 laps I’m not sure they were driving like idiots the most of the race. They may have on restarts because once things got strung out nobody had much of a chance to pass anyone.

In any case, it was surprising to see such aggression at the end of the race. This week I watched the race at Pocono from last fall and everyone was more than content to let the final laps wind down and finish quietly. Not so this year.

The incidents we have seen between drivers this year makes me wish the “Have at it, boys” slogan had been applied last year when Kyle Busch spun out Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Richmond. I don’t know if Jr. would have engaged in a shouting match, but the possibility of seeing Jr. pull a Jeff Burton on Busch makes my mouth water.

So, next week the series continues the northern swing with a trip to Michigan, the place where car manufactures will be talked about way too much in one weekend. Late cautions ended a chance at a fuel-mileage race this weekend, but Michigan may have the greatest rate of fuel-mileage races of any oval track. It will be interesting to see if the Hendrick Motorsports group can get back on track. Yes, Jimmie Johnson finished fifth, but not one Hendrick car was up front much during the race. Roush has always been good at Michigan and the new Ford engine will be used by every Ford in the field. See? We’re already talking car manufactures. Have a great week everybody.


  1. Four hours of one star television and line dancing followed by thirty minutes of four star excitement.

    Let's hope Michigan will bring it!

    Thanks jmayer!

  2. Great review, JM.

    Oh yes, the talking heads will be babbling non-stop about the race teams racing for manufacturers bragging rights... in their own backyard! Yawn. We have the pre-race storylines down pat, huh, JM?

  3. Dwindy1 - That pretty well sums it up. lol. Hope the debris cautions stay out of the way. I think Michigan could be a very clean race.

    Gene - That we have, and I do think all four makes have a chance at winning this week.

  4. 3 stars for the racing but 5 stars for the drama...

    I dunno what Smoke was yapping about either but I do look forward to him making the highlight reel - he seems pretty frustrated to me. Maybe Prelude will make him happy...

    Gotta say I love the psychodrama, hate TNT so far though, lets see what MI brings.

  5. klvalus - Things just kept coming one after the other on the postrace show. I know people like to dog FOX all the time, but I think they provide much more insight than Wally and Kyle's Ohhhhhhhhh! any time someone gets loose.