NASCAR, 2014: Bad Weather and Controversy (What’s New?)

skid marks, jason hildebrand, beaverdamusa.comEaster weekend seems a perfect time to sit back and reflect on what has come to fruition the first 8 weeks of this very early NASCAR season. A lot of storylines have evolved, so far. First, the number 29 of Kevin Harvick is good for 2 things, a non finish or a win. Heading into Richmond, he is the only driver on the circuit with 2 coveted victories. Aside from the 2 wins, his other races have the NASCAR Gods turning over in their graves. Next, the old man (oldest regular on the circuit), is off to his best start in many years. He is currently the point leader heading into the 9th race of the 2014 season. With the exception of the grass jumping up and tearing up his car at Texas Speedway, Dale Earnhardt, Jr is doing his best impression of his father, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Junior has been consistently running and finishing in the top 5, way more than other drivers. The only thing more consistent than Jr finishing in the top 5, has been the bad weather, so far (I’ll get to that later). Carl Edwards has been another good one, this year, winning at Bristol Motor Speedway (I was there, and it was freakin’ cold!). Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski aka I wanna fight Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch are your other winners, so far, in this 2014 season.

What would NASCAR be without controversy? First was the tire issue at Fontana at the Auto Club 400. Multiple cars tore up tires, and many tore up cars. The Survivor was Kyle Busch, who benefited from dominant driver Jimmie Johnson cutting a tire very late in the race. Kyle went on to win and secure his spot in The Chase. A week later, Brad Keselowski wanted to fight Kyle’s brother Kurt at Martinsville, over Brad’s screw up. BTW, Kurt was in the right, and Brad was in the wrong. Also, Kurt would have stomped a mudhole in Brad.

I sure hope the weather here on out is better than what we have seen, so far. The weather, for racing, has absolutely sucked. First, Daytona was delayed. I’m not complaining about night racing, but it was a long Sunday night that day. Bristol. I froze my rear end off, along with about 50,000 other brave (or stupid) souls in the mountains of upper east Tennessee that morning/day/evening. Then the Texas soaker that had to be delayed until the next day.

This week is the first of two Richmond night races this 2014 season. It is hard to bet against any Joe Gibbs Racing driver at Richmond, or Jeff Gordon. Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Gordon have all been money at this track. If you were to pick a few others to win this week, Tony Stewart, Dale Jr, and Kevin Harvick all have 3 wins at this track (money says if Harvick doesn’t crash/blow up, he will win).

Foolish move of the year, was Dale Jr at Texas. 12 laps into the race, he dips down the track and clips the grass, sending him up the track and into the wall. This resulted in an inexplicable 43rd place finish for the 88 team and injured the 48 car, who by the way is his teammate Jimmie Johnson, in the process. Dale Jr admitted it was a boneheaded move.

Racing stripe of the year belongs to Danica Patrick. Why? Because she can’t finish races on the lead lap and can’t stop hitting everything on the track.

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 BeaverDamUSA.com 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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