Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grinding It Out

How did I get this tired? I got a full night of sleep, languished in the sack this morning, before I ran the snow blower for a whole five minutes before sitting around the Truckee DMV Office waiting for my number to come up...or my appointment time to arrive.

Time won...the woman in the cheetah print overcoat loved the low number I handed off to her...I bet it made her day...I saved her an hour+ of waiting.

I went back to my bank for my new ATM the post office to see if a Good Samaritan found my wallet and dropped it into my Post Office...sadly, no...

Longs Drugs sold billfolds...CVS doesn't. Grabbed a $10 Nylon Billfold at Porter's. It's better than the one I lost...though the olive drab camo of the old one did start a conversation or two!

I was back at the DaveCave by 3PM, and spent the rest of the afternoon shredding junk mail...mostly pre-approved credit card solicitations, and old credit card statements. I pay my bills online, the paper bills remind me to do my due diligence every billing cycle...saved me $10.05  once...

Anyway, why am I so tired? Couldn't have been watching a lot of the 37 Hours of the Daytona 500! I laid about Saturday morning while the race announcers vamped for hour upon hour...raggin' on and on about the rain and Twitter of all things. There's only so many questions that race car drivers can pontificate on...Finally, the Daytona 500 was postponed for the first time in 54 years.

No problemo...Monday was gonna be snowy outside, I'm without my wallet and Debit Card, and the pantry is stocked...I'm set for NASCAR's Super Bowl! The race is postponed again, now until 4PM Pacific.

Still snowy out, I prepped a batch of Bakesale Betty's Fried Chicken Sandwiches...lunches for the next couple of days, anyway...

I turned up the sound on the TV just before the green flag fell, and Darrell Waltrip shouted: "Let's go racin' boys, and Danica!"

That didn't take long..."The Big One" happened on Lap 2...Danica's car caught enough of it to send her car behind the wall for a new rear end housing and all that goes with it...she started near the back after starting from the Pole in Saturday's Nationwide Series Race...after quite a while she rejoined 38 laps down.

Rules changes brought back Pack Racing for the most part, and the late start and cool temps all but eliminated the two-by-two drafting that we saw all week. Under the Florida sun, in 80° temps there was a hybrid of pack racing and two-by-two drafting. Two cars could hook up and escape, but they couldn't stay paired for more than a couple of minutes before the pusher started to overheat. It was the best of both worlds...

Back at the Daytona 500, the pack stayed together through the race. Needless to say, the Lap 2 wreck was just the first Big One. There were 9-10 yellow flag a red flag that stopped the race with 40 Laps to go...for another Two Hours!

Here's what happened. During a caution period, Juan Pablo Montoya exited the pits after some work was done on his #42 Target Chevrolet and was accelerating along the bottom of the track to catch the rest of the pack behind the Pace Car. A couple of Safety Trucks were towing Jet Dryers at the top of the Turn 3 banking (31° steep banking!) blowing tire debris down to the infield.

At about 100MPH, something under Montoya's #42 broke in a shower of sparks, and he spun up the track right into the leading jet dryer causing a huge explosion!

Montoya's car was destroyed, but he climbed out of the wreckage as soon as it came to a stop in the infield. The Safety Truck driver was shaken, but not stirred, and helped by the Safety Patrol to walk down the extreme banking.

When they were halfway down the track, the spilled jet fuel found an ignition source and a huge river of fire ran down the track.

I've never seen anything like it! In the darkness, it looked Biblical...the fire burned for several minutes before track fire crews finally doused the flames. It turns out the jet dryers carry 200 gallons of Jet-A fuel!

Take a minute to ponder the irony..."Safety Truck" = hot jet engine+200 gallons of Jet Fuel in a simple aluminum tank, not in a fuel cell like the race cars, all mounted on a slow moving trailer, with 30+ racecars whizzing by at 70+MPH under caution

A funny thing happened during the Red Flag...the race cars were all parked on the back straight, while the fire was doused and the track dried and repaired. From his #2 Miller Lite Dodge, Brad Keselowski took a photo of the fire scene with his iPhone and Tweeted it.

 The rest is history... Read the linked article, especially if you don't "get" Twitter...The TV talk quickly turned to twitter before the race was finally restarted.

Who was expecting a Green/White/Checker Finish? Only everybody watching! Matt Kenseth won his second Daytona 500 in his #17 Roush-Fenway Best Buy Ford.

Twitter during the race, and especially during the red flag was almost as much Snarky Fun as Live Tweeting the Oscars Sunday night! Getting a laugh with 140 characters or less takes some doin'...

Jeez, the wind is really howling now (12:15AM) I'll wrap this up and log off before the power goes off! Good Night!

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