Podcast – Out of the Tunnel – Show 20

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This week Hannah, Adam and I discuss, The Coke-Zero 400 from Daytona, AJ Allmendinger’s failed drug test, the new member of the Harvick household, a shirtless Kasey Kahne, and penalties for Smoke and Austin Dillon.  We recap the points and make some picks for Louden plus Hannah gives us a NHRA update.

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Gaynalysis – 400 miles in Daytona

The Gaynalysis is just one gay NASCAR fan’s take on the race weekend.  You can read the “straight” recap of the Coke-Zero 400 from Daytona by clicking here.

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“Gay NASCAR” by Keith J. Varadi – 2009

Only a few short hours before the green flag dropped NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell dropped a bombshell and Twitter almost imploded.  O’Donnell announced that AJ Allmendinger had been suspended for failing a drug test that was given last week in Kentucky.

The announcement started a 72 hour clock in which Allmendinger can request that his “B” sample be tested.   Meanwhile , the Penske Team scrambling to get their jet up in the air for a quick round trip to Charlotte to scoop up Penske Nationwide driver Sam Hornish Jr.

TNT showed footage of the Penske jet landing near the speedway as the pre-race ceremonies continued.  The only thing keeping it from becoming a full-on OJ Chase were helicopter shots of Hornish’s SUV as it raced through the tunnel.

For now, I am going to withhold comment about AJ.  There certainly isn’t anything fun or funny in this situation – and frankly, we don’t know enough.  Allmendinger has made no statement and NASCAR has in no way indicated what substance showed up in AJ’s “a” sample.

When this season started I was among the many who thought AJ would win his first big Sprint Cup race now that he was in a great seat.  I just knew this would be the story that put AJ on the front page – I never thought something so seemly would be the thing that got “AJ Allmendinger” trending.

Sam Hornish was strapped in at the last minute and the race began.  The first half of the race was slow – almost boring – as it ran caution-less with drivers spread out like slot cars.

I like the race but the reaction to the race on Twitter was mixed.  The bottom line for me is that the 2-dogs-f’ing style of tandem racing is gone.  NASCAR made some huge aero and cooling changes – but they made the cars so prone to overheat that even running in a big pack for long was dangerous.

Those who were watching on TV may not have seen a lot of passing…. but the stats don’t agree!  Tony Stewart started in the rear of the field and took the #14 to victory lane.  Biffle and Kenseth got separated in a late pit road mistake – but quickly regrouped and drove it back to the front.

It seemed as if Kenseth was going to take the best car of the day to victory lane except Tony Stewart made an amazing move to grab the lead out of turn 4 on the last lap.  Biffle and Kenseth’s draft was split up and Biffle was trying to follow the #14… but he had Joey on his outside and Harvick on the inside… they tried to put three race cars in a compact-only parking spot.

The resulting crash bottled up most of the field – Kenseth, Stewart and Burton made it through cleanly and Smoke was up front when they crossed the line.

I will admit to making some “boring” jokes during the first half of the race – but the last half gave me everything I want from a Super Speedway.  Clusters of cars and big wrecks where no one is hurt!

The scariest moment of the night was actually at slow speeds in the pits.  Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman got tangled up leaving their pit stalls.  This sent the #39 spinning wildly towards the pit box of Brad Keselowski.  Members of the #2 crew and NASCAR officials sprinted out of the way of Newman’s out of control car.  Luckily, no one was injured but Keselowski’s car suffered some significant damage to the rear bumper and quarter panel.

That brings me to this week’s Q4G Shout-Out – awarded to the entire Blue Deuce Team.  HEYYYYYYYYYYYY FELLAS!  Nice work.  I am sure everyone was a little shook-up after nearly getting smashed and having to repair their race car – the team and  Brad brought it home P12 – a solid finish with the hand they were dealt.

Tony pulled out a great win – snatching the victory from Kenseth’s hands….. but the Media will be focusing on the AJ story this week and Smoke’s win may be lost in the shuffle.

ALSO – Congratulations to Kevin and DeLana Harvick – who welcomed their son Keelan Paul Harvick into the world on Sunday, July 8th.