I’m one of you. Long before my first article or big name interview and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been a stock car fan. So for that reason, my name doesn’t matter and neither does my photo. It’s more like we’re just sitting here in the grandstand before the race, talking about Dodges and NASCAR. Hey, you want a cold one? --JC
Kasey’s New House!
owes Motor Speedway’s Race Weeks is a big ‘ol deal. I mean, all that racin’ right there in the heart of stock car country? Yeah, boy! And for our Dodge boys, it turned out to be pretty alright! Sure, there’s abso-tively no championship points to be earned for the Sprint All Star race, but it’s still a big, BIG deal. One reason is braggin’ rights. The team that wins the All Star Race gets to brag on how they done whooped on the competition. They put the best of the best together, give ‘em a green flag and see who wins. The winner gets to strut around like Rick Flair and rub it in the others’ faces. ‘Who’s yer Daddy?’ – you bet! Another factor is the track time they all get. That sets up for NASCAR’s longest race a week later and we’ll get on back to that.
One of the best things about the All Star weekend is that it is TOTALLY for the fans. The fans vote on who can be a wild card in the All Star Race. And that’s exactly what happened with the Sprint Fan Vote. Ya see, the All Star Race is for folks that done won a race last year and ‘ol Kasey Kahne ain’t done that. So he, and all the other guys that ain’t won last year had to run the Sprint Showdown – a 40 lapper. Now, they take the top two finishers out of the Showdown and move ‘em on up to the All Star Race. It’s kinda like they do on your local short track with A and B mains and guys transferring. Only Kasey didn’t finish first or second. He finished fifth. That’s where the fans come in. They voted Kasey into the big show and by now y’all know he done started from the back and won the darn thing. That MILLION BUCKS first place money was sweeter than a wedding day mullet.
When they asked Kasey what he done thought of that, he said, “I love it. This weekend is all about the fans. Everything that Sprint and Lowe’s Motor Speedway do over the two weeks we race here in Charlotte is all about the fans. This is so awesome to get our first victory with Budweiser and to win this race. I want to thank all the fans for voting for this Budweiser team. I owe this victory to them.”
As we said, this ain’t about points. This here win can put the ‘git up and go’ back in ALL the Dodge Boys. After all, it got one of the biggest Dodge teams back on track. Gillett Evernham Motorsports ain’t had no wins for a while and this puts them on the map. It’s important, too, for their new sponsor Budweiser. It’s also real important that this win comes on an intermediate track as that’s where EVERYBODY has been having the most trouble with the new cars. ‘Member, the secrets to this car are coming in spurts. One week, you’ll have one team kicking major booty and the next week at a different kind of track, that same team won’t be able to find their ass with either hand. Again, that’s all across the board with all car brands.
‘Ol Kase knows the deal and says, “Momentum is so big in this sport,” He’s right, but remember folks, momentum can drop you like a bad prom date, too. What’ll keep this going is for the Dodge Boys is to show up strong for the Coca Cola World 600.
Well, a few days later, ‘ol Kasey didn’t let no grass grow ‘tween his toes. He went out and made the front row of the 600. “That was a good lap for our Budweiser Dodge Charger; it just wasn’t good enough to stand up for the pole,” Kahne said following qualifying. (‘Ol Wild Thing, Kyle Busch won the pole ‘cuz him and his Tie-Oda are on a hot streak.)
Then come the long, long 600 and y’all know he won that, too. He didn’t over power ‘em like he did the week before, but he was there, running second when Smoke Stewart cut a tire. After the win, Kasey said, “This is a very special race, special weekend for the entire Budweiser Team. We were there all night. We put our Budweiser Dodge where it needed to be. The pit stops were great. The pit calls by Kenny (Francis, team director) and Chad (Johnston, race engineer) were awesome. Everything was great all night. There were some good race cars out there. We were back and forth with all of them. I was thinking we were going to finish second and I saw Tony slow up. I thought he was out of gas. At that point I couldn't believe it. From there, I just tried to hit my marks and make sure I brought it home.” And bring it home he did.
And so did some other Dodge Boys. Kurt Busch, Elliot Sadler and Bobby Labonte all took turns up front and looked great. It looks like Dodge has figured out the intermediate tracks and that’s not a bad place to be. Sadler said, “We can walk into Dover with our heads held high and feel good about what we did (finishing eighth) last week at Lowe's.”
Oh yeah, Kasey also said, “I enjoy this track. It is my favorite track now.” It oughtta be, Kasey. It’s YOUR house, now! You OWN it, brother!
And speaking of Lowes Motor Speedway, we want to wish Humpy Wheeler, the promoter of LMS, the very best retirement wishes. Humpy and the speedway are responsible for many of the nice things we see at ALL speedways across the U.S. Him and his team have set the bar for giving us all the very best racin’ has to offer and we need to thank him. Thanks a million, Humpy! We’ll miss ya! Maybe we’ll go fishing with him now…