Monday, April 3, 2023

NASCAR’s “European Vacation” Road Race at COTA

As All that was missing were Chevy Chase and His Sweetheart Cristie Brinkley…


Yeah I know, Y’all are Jonesin’ for some riveting Banter on that other Oval race from Texas Motor Speedway. But that’s Not how I roll Here in Nofendersville…


As late Saturday Nite’, since ‘Ol Elton John sez’ Saturday Nite’s for Fightin’, Righto? (March 25th) I was perusing my NFB Newsline for The Blind’s telephone service, when my Minneapolis Star Motorsports “feed” popped up a story about the forthcoming Roundy round race at Circuit Of The Americas. (COTA) The first Road Course race of the season.


What Tripped my No. 4 Wire from my normally pressing Next was the mention of not one, but two former Formula 1 World Champions competing, Say What?


As I had Zero Clue that Bloody ‘Ol Jense’, aka Jenson Button had inked a three race Dealio to go Cup racing, presumably All three races driving for Rick Ware Racing. (RWR)


As RWR announced Wayback’ on March 10th that Button would run three Road Course events for them. The first being at Austin. And then Jense’ will compete at the inaugural Chicago Street race and finish with the Indianapolis Road Course race in August…


Not to mention that thee Iceman’, aka Kimi Raikonnen would be making His second Cup start for Trackhaus Racing’s Project 91 entry. The Team’s third car dedicated to running International Drivers on a limited basis. As Raikkonen made His RASSCAR’ Debut with the team last year at Watkins Glen.


Thus I made a mental note of this, but didn’t plan on “Watching” the race. Having chosen the MotoGP season opener from Portimoa, Portugal instead as my Sunday event.


Yet as I was making lunch just after noon, I decided to switch over to FOX and decided I could at least Hear how the start went? Before I decided what the Hell! I’ll just make it a lazy Sunday afternoon instead…


Pretty sure it was just before the green Flag finally flew for the overly drawn out start, complete with Mikey “Aw Shucks!” Waltrip pimpin’ His Pace Car ride, Spew!

 Before Mike Joy mentioned Thar were 35 regulars and four Road Course Ringers, Huh?


As I’d forgotten this was one of the possibly seven Cup races this year that Conor Daly would attempt racing in, since after all, He had a Free weekend like all of His IndyCar “Buddies.” With Daly once again behind the wheel of The Money Team Racing’s No. 50 Chevy  Camaro. As Conor rolled off 35th, ahead of former IndyCar driver Cody Ware.


While I did hear Mike Joy mention that perennial IMSA Sports Car Ace Jordan Taylor had qualified an impressive fourth, after an early race “Dust Up” saw Him drop back to 10th. As Jordan was making His NASCAR Debut substituting for Chase Elliot in the No. 9 Hendrick Chevrolet Camaro. As Elliot had broken His leg Snowboarding.


But Thar was No mention of where 2007 and 2009 F1 World Champions Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button started. As noted, Button was also making His Roundy Round Cup Debut aboard the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang. While Raikkonen and His Oophlats were making their second outing behind the wheel of the No. 91 Trackhaus Racing’s Camaro.


And it was funny how I felt bad for ‘Ol JJ’, aka Jimmie Johnson getting punted on lap-1. Arse-sumedly since I came to enjoy Johnson’s Humbleness during His two year IndyCar experiment. With Johnson later opining that’s what happens when you’re starting from 31st, after being cleared from the Medical Center.


As lookie Dar’ Mom, IndyCar aren’t the only ones to Crash on lap-1, Zoinks! Although the clean-up seemed to take forever…


And who was that funny sounding “Foreign” speaker on FOX? As it took me a little while to figure it out. But I’m 99% certain it was Herr Guenther! Although absolutely No Freakin’ idea why Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner was doing Colour commentary on a Roundy Round Taxicab Bombers’ race? Other than He had an “Off” weekend and was helping with NASCAR’s unexpected Circuit Of The Americas

race’s international flair?


Was Rootin’ for A.J. Allmendinger to win as He ran in second. Although don’t know what happened on His second Pitstop when He went from third down to P15?


As I found myself getting annoyed over the lack of talkin’ up either of the former Formula 1 World Champions in the race. As it was just the RASSCAR’ Centric dribble per usual, albeit I did enjoy Curt Busch being in the booth.


And then somewherez’ after the remaining Top-3 leaders, William Byron-Allmendinger-Daniel Suarez pitted after lap-24; Mike Joy ‘N Company finally commented upon the “Road Ringers.” With Kimi 13th, Taylor P27, Button 31st and Daly 36th.


And then they started talkin’ briefly about thee original Iceman, nee Kimi Raikkonen running 13th and something about His wearin’ sunglasses at Night? Before it seemingly became the Tyler Reddick show.


Obviously Curt Bush, former driver of Reddick’s 23/Xi No. 45 Toy-Yoter’ was pullin’ for Reddick, who after all replaced Him. As Curt Busch retired due to having sustained a Nasty Concussion! As Reddick would lead 40 of the race’s eventual 75 laps enroute to victory.


Then the lullaby sounds of 30-Something High revvin’ V-8 Stock Car engines making was it up to 25 Shifts per lap according to LarryMac’ (McReynolds) promptly put me to Sleep! With McReynolds also noting they’d average 1,700 Shifts during the race, prior to “Overtime.”


Before waking up just before the first of three “Checkers or Wreckers,” aka Green-White Flag race finishes. Since after all, the day’s TV coverage lasted some insanely long four-plus Hours!


Thus being a Wee Bitamyte’ groggy, I didn’t quite catch who was where for the three drivers I was tryin’ to follow, i.e.; Raikkonen, Taylor and Button. Who I think were P17-20-26 respectively?


Whilst pretty certain that Joy said that Taylor had vaulted all the way up to fifth on the the third race finish attempt, with Button 20th and Raikkonen having dropped to P24 with slight damage to His Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Although Raikkonen actually ran as High as fourth at one point before dropping back.


As the Box Score denotes that Button was the Highest finisher of the four Road Course Warriors with a fine 18th place finish. With Taylor P24 and Raikkonen P29. While Daly went behind the wall to repair His transmission and was classified 36th. Arse-sumedly why the Talkin’ Headz

Quit mentioning Conor’s name later in the broadcast…


Ironically, it was Kyle Busch finishing Runner-up to Reddick aboard His former ride, the #8 Richard Childress Racing Camaro. For which Reddick was supposed to drive this year as a Lame Duck Driver waiting to go to 23/XI Racing in 2024.


Yet with Curt Busch’s retirement, 23/XI was able to buy out Reddick’s remaining year and now the 27yr Old has promptly repaid the team by winning His first race in the No. 45 Toyota Camary.


And since we’re doing the “European Vacation:” theme here, I’ll mention the final driver on the third step of the podium being Alex Bowman in the No. 48 Hendrick Chevrolet. Whilst the top Ford driver was Team Penske’s Austin Cindric finishing sixth behind the wheel of His #2 Mustang…