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A Vanilla Driver Won A Vanilla Race in Pocono

By admin | June 9, 2013

 Ole ‘Five Time’ was too much for the field in Pocono

By Richard Allen

Jimmie Johnson is often reffered to as a vanilla driver for his ability to always say the right things. In other words, he has a tendency to be somewhat bland and boring. That, in turn, brings about the referrence to the somewhat lifeless flavoring.

On Sunday at the Pocono Raceway, Johnson dominated a race that proved to be less than eventful. In other words, it was quite vanilla. The No. 48 was out front for 128 of the race’s 160 laps and pulled away after several late race restarts for a relatively easy win.

The few highlights included Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart almost spinning after some contact. And, Juan Pablo Montoya and Matt Kenseth went for a slide after light contact. Other than that, it was a cake walk during the “Party in the Poconos 400″ for Johnson.

NASCAR waved the yellow flag a few times, conveniently just after green flag pit stop cycles had been complered, for “debris”. Those cautions kept the field bunched, but even with that, there was nothing anyone could do with the eventual winner.

One of those cautions came just at the point in which the race would have been turned into a fuel mileage stretch, potentially injecting at least some drama. But alas, there were a couple of minor mishaps that allowed everyone to make it with gas left in the tank. So instead, the resulting restarts provided what little intrigue that could be mustered.

But don’t worry, there will still be plenty of ammunition for those who insist on carrying NASCAR’s water for them. After all, Johnson’s margin of victory was only 1.208 seconds and there were 31 cars on the lead lap at the end. Also, popular Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished a solid 3rd while Danica Patrick “kept the fenders on the car and logged valuable seat time” on her way to a 29th place finish.

Someone prior to the green flag tweeted that the grandstands in Pocono were packed. The overhead camera shots showed a very different picture as there were scores of empty seats exposed. Another person(@J_Fellenbaum) tweeted me during the race that, “I’ve had 20 people in my section just leave.”

Jimmie Johnson has a number of fans. But at the same time, there are many who believe that he is too vanilla for their tastes. Many of the ‘media elite’ types keep trying to force feed fans that the races are really very exciting and that Johnson is not as boring as some believe him to be.

In my view, a vanilla driver won a vanilla race. What did you think?

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8 Responses to “A Vanilla Driver Won A Vanilla Race in Pocono”

  1. Jerseygirl24 Says:
    June 9th, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Been to Pocono enough to know that it isn’t worth the gas and/or time to bother with again. I always laugh at the “packed stands” info that seems to come out of nowhere. I was at Dover last weekend, it was maybe 50% full.

    the “paid NASCAR” media can keep banging the drum about how exciting it is and how wonderful it is for Johnson to be so dominant, but it’s a hard sell I think for anyone who isn’t already a Johnson fan. I can admire the talent while being bored with the personality.

    Apparently the Gen6 car hasn’t done as much for the competition as NASCAR wants since except on restarts the field was spread out with several seconds in between each car and there was very little passing.

    Yep, if by vanilla you mean bland, Pocono1 was certainly that. Just think, in a few weeks, we get to see a repeat performance. I think I’ll skip that one, even on TV.

  2. Russ Says:
    June 9th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Dont think Johnson can be blamed for his personality. He and the HMS team are very good at what they are paid to do which is to win races.

    As for the racing it is what it is, and its not going to be perfect so either accept it or …….. They have tried all sorts of gimmicks and it hasnt changed things. The engineers are in charge now and they will always go for the conservative approach. But there is no going back now.

  3. Tony Geinzer Says:
    June 9th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Hey,Hey. Rich, if the races are so vanilla, I would like Chocolate and Caramel Syrup mixed with my Vanilla Ice Cream as a cure to the G6 Gremlins.

  4. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    June 9th, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I’m sure we’ll see more tracks do what Dover is doing and “downsize” in a positive manner by “widening” seats.

  5. Offkilter Says:
    June 9th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I’ll take HMS vanilla over JGR fruits and nuts flavor with the newly added side of Great Value lowfat cheese EVERY day of the week.
    Perhaps it would have been better racing if toyota hadn’t detuned their motors?
    Personally, i’m indifferent over the non-action today because, well, it was Pocono. Don’t expect barn-burners there or michigan or california. From time to time we get a good race from one of these tracks, but its an exception, not the norm. And that is with the gen6, cot, early 2000,s “do not touch, extremely fragile-scrape the wall you are now junk”, and the 90’s & 80’s boxier and not as aero sensitive type racecars.

  6. Sue Rarick Says:
    June 9th, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    David Pearson was pretty vanilla, yet few will deny he had great skills. Johnson just happens to be the dominant driver of this era.

  7. RacingFan Says:
    June 10th, 2013 at 1:38 am

    Definitely, the race would have been much better with the non-detuned TRD motors. Without that, no one can challenge the Hendrick cars. Maybe if Roush were to discover that the mechanic aligning the gas pedal in their cars had been leaving a two-by-four under all the gas pedals, they might suddenly be able to compete. Childress is hit and miss at best. Waltrip racing is now down on power, too. Stewart racing is really just Hendrick. Penske shows a little promise, but is going through too much turmoil now.
    Roush would like to have Penske’s knowledge of car building, but if Penske is smart, he will not fall for that. Oddly, small horsepower differences seems to be very important to speed. But Penske’s advantage over Roush must be in the handling.
    It is time for NASCAR to generate some more online controversy again to keep the interest up. I am convinced that many people like to read about the races and issues but have lost interest in watching them, either on TV or live. Hamlin should have said that the racing at Pocono last year was very interesting, but the the gen6 cars need to catch up to the COT to race as well at Pocono. That should do it.

  8. Tyler West Says:
    June 10th, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I just sucked! Not because of who won, Pocono has never been worth a crap. It’s just a boring track.