The Good, Bad and Ugly from NASCAR Last Weekend

skid marks, jason hildebrand, beaverdamusa.comFirst, the good.

AJ Allmendinger, who is just 2 years removed from a banned substance suspension, won his first ever Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Watkins Glen road course.  It was exciting for pretty much of the race.  It even came down to a green-white checkered flag, with the #47 of Allmendinger holding off the #9 car of Marcos Ambrose.

Allmendinger, who drives for a one car team, was as happy as a kid at Christmas after the victory.  It was a huge victory for his team, partly owned by former NBA star Brad Daugherty.  In a world where multi car teams rule the sport, it was nice to see the little guy win, for once.  This win pretty much assures Allmendinger a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

The top  finishers at Watkins Glen were Allmendinger, Ambrose, then Kurt Busch in 3rd, followed by Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, and Brian Vickers, rounding out the top 10.  Your current Sprint Cup Series standings leader is Dale Earnhardt, Jr, 4 points ahead of 2nd place Jeff Gordon.  Good race, though, and congrats to AJ Allmendinger, and the “little team that could.”  This upcoming week, the guys (and gal) will be running at Michigan.  Look for a Hendrick Motorsports driver to come away with this victory.

Okay, here is the bad.

It is bad that a man’s first Sprint Cup Series victory is overshadowed by what happened on a dirt track the previous night in upstate New York.  Yes, Tony Stewart, was at it again on the dirt track.  This time, he probably wishes all that was broken was his leg.  Instead, he is part of an ongoing investigation of a death of another dirt track driver.  Kevin Ward, Jr was fatally injured after he got out of his car and was confronting/finger pointing at Tony, and was hit by Stewart’s car, as he passed during caution.

It all started when Stewart took Ward’s car out and put him in the wall.  I’m not even going to get into what I think happened, but others are saying Stewart could be in some serious crap, legally.  Who knows, though?  All I know is that Tony Stewart should quit going out on off nights running Sprint cars on dirt tracks.  Nothing good has happened the past 2 years while he has been racing on dirt (last year broken leg, now this), and most importantly, it is unfair to his team and the people that work on his team.  He does own the team, but it is still unfair to the rest of the crew.  Stick to the stock cars, Tony.

Finally with the ugly.

The Watkins Glen raced yielded an hour plus red flag, the other day.  When Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell got together and smashed into a fence and guardrail, it had to give Jeff Gordon chills.  Just a couple of years ago, Gordon crashed in similar style on the same part of the track. I just wish the car manufacturers could make the regular everyday cars we drive that safe.   The fence and guard rail had to be repaired by the track crew, hence the red flag stoppage of the race.

I’m just glad the road construction crew working on Exit 20 in South Cleveland on I-175 wasn’t the crew making the repairs.  If that were the case, we would still be waiting.

About Jason Hildebrand

Jason Hildebrand was born in Cleveland, Tenn. and has lived his entire life in Bradley County. Jason started playing baseball at a very early age and went on to play at Cleveland High School where he graduated from in 1992. After graduation, Jason attended The University of Tennessee at Knoxville before graduating from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
An avid sports fan, Jason’s is a season ticket holder at the The University of Alabama. He has been fortunate enough to be a part of the last two Crimson Tide National Championships (’09 BCS game in Pasadena, CA and ’11 BCS game in New Orleans, LA). Though he primarily cheers, “Roll Tide Roll!,” he keeps up with all Collegiate football, regionally and nationally.
He is currently a co-host on the Sports Drive and the sideline reporter for Cleveland High School. He has been blogging for since 2014.
In Jason’s spare time he enjoys playing golf and cooking (outdoors). Jason is the son of Terry and Diane Hildebrand, from Cleveland, TN. His birthday is October 3rd , and he is also the husband of Emily Beaty.

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