Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Snow angels for Kurt

While traveling down Interstate 79 to work this morning, I saw a strange figure walking across the highway about 100 yards in front of my speeding car. Was that Jimmy Watts, the wayward gasman who nearly trotted onto the Atlanta Motor Speedway frontstretch in search of an errant tire? No, instead, this foolish soul on I-79 near the Canonsburg exit was a lonely PennDOT surveyor trying to set up equipment on the other side of the road. Maybe the state should suspend that worker, just like Watts got the boot after his foolish stunt.

What was Watts thinking going that close to the track with cars racing by about 75 feet away? He should have known that the rolling tire from Marcos Ambrose’s car already would cost the No. 47 team regardless because equipment left the pit box. By Watts leaving his pit stall and running to the track, the tire also cost the team its gasman.

The little stunt and subsequent caution flag stunned most drivers and crew chiefs. It certainly made for an interesting development since most of the cars had pitted, leaving a few of the leaders on the track. But it happened early enough in the race that it shouldn’t have made a major impact on the finish. No one was stopping Kurt Busch, nor his bizarre victory lap.

By the way, was that lap supposed to honor Alan Kulwicki and his Polish victory lap he patented in the early 1990s? If so, it failed miserably. Sure, Busch now has a creative gimmick that fans can look forward to if he ever wins again. But what’s the point of driving backwards around a track with no fans sitting in the corners or backstretch? Maybe Busch should consider something a little simpler, just like his evil brother’s now famous bow to the crowd. Maybe Ku. Busch can bring back his “snow angel” celebration at Bristol in 2006. It certainly would have been fitting Sunday at Atlanta, because Jimmy Watts damn near became a pancake angel.

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