By admin | August 7, 2011
By Richard Allen
The Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at the Pocono Raceway was not exactly a shining moment for NASCAR and the sport’s television coverage. Seemingly, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong throughout the day.
Right from the beginning, ESPN had some sort of issue with their signal which caused the broadcast to suddenly jump into commercial break as announcers would disappear mid-sentence with no warning. From there, the start of the race did not help to improve matters as the racing was strung out and boring. On top of that, rains came and caused a one hour and forty minute delay filled with typical rain delay gab.
So, it’s doubtful that a full audience was left to witness the few storylines that actually did play out in the races late stages. However, those who did remain were rewarded with a couple of points of interest at the end of the long 500 mile event.
Brad Keselowski defined grit and determination by not only running the full race distance but winning with a broken ankle. His injuries were the result of a testing crash earlier in the week at the Road Atlanta course in Georgia.
The Penske Racing driver certainly earned the respect of many not only for his performance on the track but also his mention of U.S. troops in victory lane. “I’m no hero,” Keselowski declared. “The heroes are the guys who died in Afghanistan this weekend. I want to spend time thinking about them. They’re my inspiration for this weekend, the things that those guys do.
“I’m glad that we could win today, but those are the heroes. I just drive race cars for a living.”
The only other real storyline came from two of Keselowski’s closest pursuers and fans had to wait until the final lap for that to play out. Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson raced hard for the third spot and as the two exited turn one they made slight contact. Both seemed to take exception and the contact continued and got more intense as they raced on around the 2.5 mile track.
As could be expected, each driver saw the incident differently.
“I didn’t know we were supposed to pull over when it came down to five to go,” Busch said. “I raced him hard. I raced him smart. I raced him clean. And he wants to come over here and bitch about it.
“He came off the turn and did a jab to me left; I did a jab back to the right. It was as clean as I’ve ever seen it. Why can’t we race like this and put on a show for the fans and not have a problem with it.”
Johnson saw things differently.
“I took a lot of patience and gave him a lot of courtesy throughout the course of the day running him down,” Johnson said. “I could have run into him, I could have moved him a lot of different ways to get that position. But I didn’t.
“I went down there and passed him and off of 2, he ran me up into the wall, or tried to, and I held my ground so I wouldn’t get smashed in the fence.”
Thank goodness for a demonstration of perseverance and a late race tiff or this event might have gone down as an all time snoozer that sent fans and viewers away in droves.
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