Race Weekend Central

Voices From the Heartland: Chassis Histories Too Much Time on Someone’s Hands

Despite qualifying on the pole for last Sunday’s race (Aug. 8) at Watkins Glen, when it came to race time, RK-656 just didn’t have what it took to hold the lead. When they crossed the start/finish line to complete lap 1, No. 1012 from the Ganassi stable was pacing the field in his place.

A relative newcomer to NASCAR racing, RK-656 has a record of four starts, two of those being top fives. Debuting in Cup competition in June of ’09, RK-656 soldiered to a 13th-place finish. Later that year, the first of those top fives, a third-place result, was recorded in August. In 2010, however, things did not start out so well for RK-656 as a 29th-place finish was the best it could muster before last Sunday where it finished fifth.

Be that as it may, the real racing at the Glen last Sunday was between another Ganassi entry, No. 1014, and a foreigner of whom there was no information available. This was the very first race for the No. 1014. The only other time it was on the track was during a test session in Virginia back in June.

One of the biggest movers last Sunday was the JGR entry of No. 240. Starting from the rear of the field, No. 240 made short work of anyone in front of it and eventually finished in the eighth position. Like RK-656, No. 240 also made its NASCAR debut in June of ’09. Unlike the RK-656, however, it hasn’t quite made the same impression. Before Sunday’s race, No. 240 has posted finishes of 22nd, fourth and 39th in three previous starts.

A pre-race favorite, Hendrick entry No. 543, whose only previous start in NASCAR resulted in a victory in June of this year, was caught up in a late-race battle for real estate between the No. 240 and RCR entry No. 245, which resulted in the No. 543 in the fence and heavily damaged. Ironically, it was a teammate of the No. 240 that tagged No. 543, sending it to the garage.

Probably the biggest surprise of the race, though, was without a doubt PRS-722. PRS-722, in only its second race, was beaten only by race winner No. 1014. Previously, PRS-722 had finished… oh, the heck with it!!!!

Does anyone have a clue as to what I’m talking about here?

Everything you have read above is factual. None of it was made up and is information that anyone can look up. But that is my point… information of this type is just plain stupid!

For the record, what you have been reading is the chassis selections for last Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen, as it was posted on jayski.com from team PR.

Now, I can’t say for sure just how long the teams have been releasing this crap, but I can tell you that the week before in Pocono, No. 283 recorded the hardest hit in NASCAR history! Yep, that’s right, it’s the chassis that Elliott Sadler was riding on when he hit the wall.

Who cares?

I have been a NASCAR fan for a long, long time. I used to live and breathe the sport at our local tavern every Sunday (after church, of course) with all my other living and breathing fan friends. I got a girlfriend who is into NASCAR as much, if not more, than me and I know for a fact that she was cheering on RK-656 for all she was worth last Sunday. However, NEVER, in all my years as a fan or a writer, have I ever heard anyone mention the chassis that their driver, or one they hate, was driving!

So what is the point of paying someone to sit and write (sometimes extended paragraphs) bios and histories of chassis? Does someone think we care? Does someone think that other teams are intimidated or swayed in their decisions as to which chassis they may bring by what someone else is bringing?

Hell, I’d wager to say that most drivers don’t have a clue as to the number of the chassis they are sitting on! Crew chiefs may care and apparently some lonely PR reps do, but the rest of us do not! And if you disagree, well, I’m here to tell you – just as your spouse and friends (if you’ve any left) have…you have a problem!

What’s next? Telling us what style of underwear the drivers are planning on wearing? If that is the case, Danica is going to get hounded by the press more than ever!


Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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