The Gaynalysis is just one gay NASCAR fan’s take on the race weekend. You can read the “straight recap” of the race from Phoenix by clicking here.
Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR
Something funny happened on the way to Homestead. Phoenix.
One phrase keeps coming to mind when I think about everything that happened at PIR, “You can’t make this shit up.”
First, in the matter of full disclosure – I didn’t see any of it. I left the race early - with about 100 laps to go and missed all of the drama. I had already been in Arizona for a week; combining a work trip with NASCAR – but I had to drive back to Vegas Sunday to un-pack, launder and re-pack for the next trip. Currently, I am sitting a plane heading back to the Carolinas for some sales meetings.
I listened to the end of the race on Sirius, tuned into the all of the angry callers after the race and I did get to see the highlight reel when I got back home later that night.
What a mess! Where do I even start. How about the winner – Kevin Harvick. This was his first win of the season (for himself and his team) but it only adds more confusion to the breaking news that Harvick would depart RCR in 2014. As first reported by ESPN, Harvick will take his happy self to Stewart-Hass Racing in 2014 but will run the Bud #29 for Childress in 2013.
Rumors swirled that Richard Childress was not happy with how the news leaked out – but no one in the garage was that shocked. Kevin hasn’t been happy at RCR since last season – and everyone knows that Pop-Pop is aiming to put his 2 grand kids in his Cup Rides sooner rather that later. The writing was on the wall and Harvick has charted the next course in his career.
The win is an important one for Harvick – but any rumors of unrest between Harvick and Childress were dispelled as they both hugged and stood side-by-side in Victory Lane. It was a first-time trip to the winner’s circle for Keelan Harvick – who parents were beaming under a stream of confetti.
Now… to the good part…. the juicy part….. all the drama. Let’s break it down by the players involved.
Jimmie Johnson: Where’s the horseshoe now? The weekend didn’t start well for 5-time, he was slow in practice and qualified P24 to start the show. The beginning of the race played out like any other Chad-and-Jimmie Saga… start poor, work-work-work on the car and dial it in…. the tested strategy was working as Jimmie chased Brad to the front of the field.
Then his brakes got too hot, melted a bead (not what hippies do in college with that play-dough and an oven) then blew a right front tire and slapped the wall hard. The #48 went behind the wall and lost nearly 40 laps trying to get the Lowes Chevy fixed and back out. Eventually Johnson got back out and limped to 32nd place finish and far worse – 20 points behind Bad Brad heading into Homestead.
Which brings us to Brad. Poor poor Brad? What – you say? Now Queers4Gears has really lost it….. Brad all but cliched his first and his bosses first Sprint Cup Championship and you say, “poor Brad?”
You heard me and I stole the words right out of Brad’s mouth. When you watch his ESPN “This is my Chase” spot he talks about having to prove his detractors wrong at every level as he rose to Sprint Cup. He wanted to EARN this Championship, win this Championship and not give any room for someone to say, “the only reason he got the Cup was because (blank) (blanked).
Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR
Brad will, in all likelihood win the Championship in Homestead – but not the way he wanted. “I felt like we had a race-winning car and I wanted to take the points lead by winning a race and not relying on a failure,” referring to Johnson’s crash. There will be detractors who say Brad didn’t win but Jimmie lost the Championship.
One thing is for sure – all NACAR fans will be robbed of the “astonding 2-man battle in Homestead” that we have all been expecting. Jeff Gordon saw to that.
It is hard to call one of the greatest drivers ever to grace our racetracks with his presence as a tool – but I’ll do it. Jeff Gordon you tool! Strip the title from Jimmie Johnson’s Kobalt tools ride – JG is the official tool of Hendrick Motorsports.
I don’t need to run down the play-by-play, you’ve all seen it a dozen times and tweeted about it more….. but more than one person made a bone headed move on Sunday – and one of them isn’t even a person.
First of all, NASCAR blew two huge calls. The caution should have been thrown when Jeff Gordon first hit the wall and decorated the track with parts of his car. Secondly, NASCAR should have thrown the caution on the last lap and not let them race back to the checkers.
While the second blown call didn’t affect who won the race – it did result in a ton of smashed up race cars. Bottom line, it wasn’t safe – as the airborne car of Danica Patrick showed, small track or not – the hits can be huge.
Much like the Governor of Arizona, who started the race, wagged her finger in our President’s face – I am gonna wag my finger in Jeff Gordon’s face. What an armature move. Even more troublesome, was the flippant answers Gordon gave to the media and tweeted to fans – lacking any form of apology or regret.
“It’s just things have gotten escalated over the year, and I’ve just had it,” Gordon said. “Clint’s run into me numerous times, wrecked me, and he got into me on the back straightaway and pretty much ruined our day. I’ve had it and was fed up with it and got him back.”
I am a grown man – and I’ve been watching NASCAR for a long time. I understand tempers can flair – and even our sport’s heroes make boneheaded moves from time to time – BUT, racing deals are racing deals – and what Jeff did to Clint ain’t no racing deal.
Gordon ignored the black flag issues by NASCAR, tried to wreck Clint one, slowed down, continued to ignore the black flag and waited for Bowyer to come back around. We cannot allow our drivers to choose which rules they want to follow.
Gordon was, for all purposes, not even supposed to be on the field – and he affected the outcome of a play. It’s comparable to the Jets coach who came off the sideline and tripped a Dolphins player who was running down the field. Both incidents rise above the level of poor sportsmanship.
NASCAR should park Jeff Gordon – Fair is Fair, when Carl sought revenge on Brad in Atlanta – I said NASCAR should park him. When Kyle intentionally wrecked Hornaday in Texas – I said NASCAR should park him.
I have no problem with men handling things in the garage with a little pushing and shovin… heck, let em all take off their watches. But not on track! It is simply too dangerous. Revenge is a dish best not served dead.
Jeff Gordon ignored the refs – and affected a possible (slight, but possible) Championship run – and also destroyed the cars of two other drivers who had nothing to do with Clint and Jeff’s spat. Comments from drivers around the garage expressed similar outrage.
“But sometimes that’s not how the sport works and you have to accept that. I’m more just disappointed in the quality of racing that we saw today. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous, and I was ashamed to be a part of it.” said Brad Keselowski.
Brad didn’t stop there, unleashing a profanity laced anwer in the Media Center “I spent a whole week being bashed by a half a dozen drivers about racing hard at Texas and how I’m out of control and have a death wish, and then I see bullshit like that,” said Keselowski. “That’s fucking bullshit. That’s all you can call that. These guys just tried to kill each other. You race hard and I get called an asshole for racing hard and called with a death wish, and I see s–t like that, and it just pisses me off. … It’s just fucking ridiculous, and they should be ashamed. It’s embarrassing.” Keselowski later apologized for the language – but not the sentiment.
Joey Logano also tweeted that Gordon was his hero growing up – but he lost a lot of respect for that day.
Clint Bowyer’s owner, Michael Waltrip said he had never seen anything like what Jeff did adding, “Cowardly, chicken move by someone that has raced for championships before and knows how important every position is. They barely brushed on the back straightaway and he waits – he purposely waits – and tells everybody he’s waiting and wrecks our car and our hopes for racing for a championship. I’m beside myself. I can’t believe that he would get involved in the championship battle.”
We won’t find out until Tuesday what penalties NASCAR will issue to Gordon for the wreck and/or Bowyer’s crew for the ensuing scuffle. As I mentioned earlier – I think NASCAR needs to park the #24 for the season finale – not so much for the revenge – but for ignoring a black flag to seek it.
Rules and rules – it shouldn’t be left up to the driver to decide which rules and when he wants to obey them.
Instead of talking about Harvick’s win, or Brad’s regaining the points lead, or Jimmie’s tire failure – for years to come, talk of this race in Phoenix will be souly focused on the bone headed move made by Jeff Gordon and a pile of wrecked race cars at the start-finish line.