Johnson nosed out Harvick at the line in a photo finish in the first duel. This raced showed that 4 tires is not required on all pit-stops after Johnson was one of only two drivers to stay out with just 4 laps to go. Michael McDowell and Max Papis were able to transfer in after Todd Bodine fell just short of making the show. It was a tough break for Dennis Setzer who got spun and taken out of contention while in the final transfer spot halfway through the duel. Outside of Jeff Fuller who parked the car, all the cars that had to race in were in a position at one point to do so.
Another duel, another side by side finish, this time it was Kasey Kahne beating out Tony Stewart at the stripe. Penske Racing had a good show with both the 2 and 12 leading at times and the 77 going through the field on a couple occasions. In the end, Mike Bliss was able to race in and Scott Speed was able to race in (instead of time in) to allow Michael Waltrip to time in for the final starting spot. Scott Speed was able to do this when he passed Casey Mears with 2 laps to go down the backstretch on what seemed to be a pass below the yellow line that NASCAR did not seem to notice, or chose not to notice. All I know is SPEED never showed a replay of the pass, so I cannot say anything definite but it appeared that Speed?s left tires went under the yellow line, thus allowing the 51 to race come Sunday.
A lot has been said about Danica-mania this weekend and how the media is over doing it. I am personally getting sick of all the coverage about Michael Waltrip on SPEED. ESPN has Rusty Wallace who seems to be a fairly good job at remaining unbiased while calling races. He has his son in the race and owns two cars in the series and in my opinion calls the race from a neutral perspective. DW calls the races on SPEED and FOX like Michael Waltrip is leading the point standings going into Homestead.
During the duel today he was so ready to blame the 78 for the accident off turn 4. After several replays Waltrip had to drop his argument when it was clear there was no defending Michael. It also took over a minute to tell the audience that Max Papis made the 500 after the race had ended.
Race two had a camera just on Waltrip and when Speed made what was a questionable pass on Mears, there was no replay of it. I am not saying NASCAR would have flagged the 82 if they showed the replay or even if the 82 actually passed illegally but given the circumstances a replay probably could have only hurt the 51?s chance on getting to race on Sunday.
As soon as the race ended, Darrell let the world know that everyone?s favorite driver had made the race. All I want is a neutral call of the race. At this point I will take hours more of Danica coverage over any more Waltrip coverage if I had to choose.
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