Archive for October, 2009

NASCAR: Colombian Comet is bleepin’ brilliant

Posted in Column, NASCAR with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2009 by Martin Henderson

If you’ve ever heard Juan Pablo Montoya unleash a barrage of expletives after missing a shot on the golf course — a shot on the miniature golf course somewhere between the castle and windmill with his young children in tow — you’d realize just how intensely competitive he is.

There are those who live for winning, but Gordon Gekko has nothing on Montoya, NASCAR’s best story of the season for the last two months.

No one except the foolish would have expected Montoya to ace stock car racing in his third season, especially with an outfit like Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Imagine, two irrelevent programs combining forces to give Teresa Earnhardt, Chip Ganassi and Sabates the opportunity to play for a championship. Not even Dale Earnhardt would have spotted that one coming. Not this soon.

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Nothing fabricated about IndyCar’s championship

Posted in Column, IRL, NASCAR, NHRA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2009 by Martin Henderson

In a racing world where playoffs were created to ensure a close championship battle and maintain consumer interest, isn’t it ironic that the IndyCar Series may have the best championship of all?

Going into today’s final race of 2009 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Scott Dixon has the championship lead, teammate Dario Franchitti is five points off the pace, and Ryan Briscoe is eight points back. The series has averaged a new championship leader every other race this season.

There is nothing contrived about this battle for open wheel supremecy, nothing fabricated by artificial means or points. It will be decided in a 200-lap shootout on a 1.5-mile oval under the lights. One of those three men is going to win it, and he will earn it in the process.

Based on the whole season, not just a portion of it.

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NASCAR: Kyle is the pile driver in Chase

Posted in Column, NASCAR with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2009 by Martin Henderson

Kyle Busch was starting to wear a little thin, so maybe he got the comeuppance he deserved by not qualifying for The Chase.

Maybe it was noteworthy that he missed by only eight points, that he came so tantalizingly close, because he acted this season as though victory was his divine right. It might have been easy to feel a little empathy for him if the most dangerous man in the Chase hadn’t been so darn arrogant.

There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. Maybe Busch ought to study Juan Pablo Montoya to get a feel for how it’s done.

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