Saturday , October 25 2014
Home / Bowles-Eye View (page 14)

Bowles-Eye View

Johnson, Martinsville Prove It’s the Drivers That Have Changed — Not The Racing

Johnson, Martinsville Prove It’s the Drivers That Have Changed — Not The Racing

Jimmie Johnson won at Martinsville. Nothing’s changed, right? Wrong. The last two races on the Sprint Cup circuit prior to Sunday had showcased drastic changes to the sport, and none of them have been completely well-received. At Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR’s new race car proved to be a continuing nightmare for tire development, as the majority of drivers in the field spent the day struggling to find grip on a track notorious for being one of the friendliest in terms of offering multiple grooves for drivers to make a fast lap. Said Jeff Gordon of the new car/tire package, “I will challenge any tire manufacturer out there to build a tire for this car at this race track. It’s impossible.” Read More »

Beating And Banging At Its Best: NASCAR’s Five Greatest Bristol Finishes

Beating And Banging At Its Best: NASCAR’s Five Greatest Bristol Finishes

It’s a question us journalists hear all the time – especially after the three-week swing of racing at Fontana, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. If I had to count up all the random emails in my inbox from fans this month, hidden somewhere in between “Why don’t you treat Junior more fairly” and “you suck because of A, B, and C” is a basic complaint about NASCAR’s “cookie cutter” racing facilities, ending with, “Why can’t the sport build more tracks like the one they have in Bristol?” I hear you, guys … I hear you loud and clear. Read More »

Can Jeff Gordon Lead Hendrick Motorsports Again?

In racing, there's that old analogy of "second place is the first loser." And in certain ways Sunday, Jeff Gordon did come up short. As Matt Kenseth celebrated in Victory Lane late into the night at Fontana, Gordon saw his winless streak extended to 42 points-paying events -- tying the worst stretch of his 16-year career. But for Gordon, losing out on the California Oscar couldn't completely erase the momentum of finishing runner-up. Two races in, a second place finish -- combined with a strong Daytona performance derailed only by the weather -- has momentum back in the corner of Team No. 24. And when you're dealing with a man who's won more Cup races in the past 20 years than anyone else, that's not something to be taken lightly by the rest of the competition. Read More »

Five Feel Good Stories Giving The Great American Race An Unexpected Boost

Five Feel Good Stories Giving The Great American Race An Unexpected Boost

Heading into Speedweeks, Martin Truex, Jr.’s No. 1 on the side of his Chevy was synonymous with the one piece left alone from a desperation merger. Now, that “1” stands for something far more exciting -- Daytona 500 pole sitter -- closing out a weekend that’s given hope to people looking for some different faces up front next Sunday. “The guys felt good about this all winter,” Truex said after pulling what had to be labeled a minor upset. “They’ve felt like they’ve had a shot at coming down here and sitting on the front row for the 500. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to sit in that seat and drive that thing.” Read More »

Hoping For Some NASCAR Give And Take In 2009

Dear NASCAR Faithful, The offseason is over, and I can’t wait! What a refreshing change from the past few years; it’s amazing what a couple of weeks off not having to cover test after test in December and January will do for your tired soul. After a disappointing year, the worst thing to happen when the racing doesn’t match the hype is to have it hammered into your head day in, day out. And while some fans still complain about your precipitous decline the past few years … I know there’s a lot more who actually started to miss you for the first time in recent memory. Read More »

Why We Were Robbed Of The REAL Championship Chase

Why We Were Robbed Of The REAL Championship Chase

Come with me on a journey into the battle that could have been. Once upon a time, the laps are winding down at Homestead; and while you might not like a fuel mileage finish, for once, you’re sitting there on the edge of your seat. Carl Edwards has made the daring gamble to go the final 66 laps on a tank of gas, canceling out the brilliant strategy of Jimmie Johnson and a two tire stop that finally got him the track position needed to run up front. Now, Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus are staring at a terrifying dilemma; they know their car isn’t capable of going the distance on fuel. Knowing a win by the No. 99 will likely cost them the title, Knaus doesn’t know which direction to turn. Should he hope against hope his numbers are wrong, leave Johnson out, and hope he can save a little extra Sunoco? Or, should he send him out on a banzai effort to gain as many positions as possible, putting distance between the No. 48 and Edwards before shortpitting for fresh tires with 20 laps to go – a desperation maneuver in hopes new Goodyears can gain enough positions in time to save the championship? Read More »

Out With The Old, In With The Who?

Out With The Old, In With The Who?

For so many millions of us, favorite athletes become so much more. Role models for our kids, our communities, ourselves; they’re put on a pedestal of success we can only wish to achieve. Through them, we choose to live our wildest dreams, placed in a fantasy world in which a larger-than-life persona can show us the joys of perfection. Every once in awhile, we get lucky in love, and the dream never dies. Our idols leave the sport we love at the top of their game, and we’re allowed to remember the end just the way we want it – like a fairy tale. But more often, the bubble bursts and we find out the truth – that these drivers we worship are human, too, unable to fend off the inevitability of age and time. And that makes it so much harder when you see their careers come crashing down. Read More »

Edwards And Co. Driving With Nothing To Lose

Edwards And Co. Driving With Nothing To Lose

Sometimes, in love and in life, you have to take a gamble. But not everyone chooses to do so at the right time. Just like a craps table in Vegas, people will walk away before they’ve taken the chance they need to really get somewhere. Or, maybe they’ll roll one too many times, and hundreds of dollars in winnings will get wiped out with a simple throw. But for those who play it just right, a gamble can be a wonderful thing. For all intents and purposes, Carl Edwards took his 2008 Sprint Cup championship, threw it on the table, grabbed the dice, and rolled Sunday night. Read More »

With The Chase Halfway Done, Experience — Not Youth — Has Already Won

With The Chase Halfway Done, Experience — Not Youth — Has Already Won

As one of the younger NASCAR writers on the beat, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding a changing of the guard in this sport. So early on, it came as no surprise I was ready to jump on board with a season in which Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards spent the Spring and Summer trading punches back and forth in their battle for Sprint Cup supremacy. A seemingly unstoppable force on the track and off it, one of the two appeared ready to rise as the first 20-something champion since Busch’s brother Kurt in 2004. And if that wasn’t enough, these men had personalities about as volatile as Mt. St. Helen itself. They didn’t like each other to the point they loved trading verbal barbs, and a title Chase between the two seemed destined for its own set of National Enquirer headlines. But as August turned into September, both men got busy figuring out the code needed to go from self-important to self-destruct. By September, it was Jimmie Johnson, not those two, which had the upper hand, carrying out this year’s playoffs to perfection in marking his territory across the Sprint Cup leaderboard. And with each passing week, we’ve discovered that the edge Johnson owned could suddenly be chalked up to both Carl Edwards’ and Kyle Busch’s major weakness: experience. Read More »