From the Marbles

Happy Hour: Talking all things Talladega

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles

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You can see Ryan Newman's car in there somewhere. (Getty)

Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com or @NickBromberg. We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy. Right? Oh who are we kidding, this is NASCAR. No one is ever happy.

Another really busy week in NASCAR. How do you think the sanctioning body fared in the Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing appeals this week? NASCAR was definitely not happy with the decision that the appeals panel made in the JGR case, but I that decision certainly seems to side with public opinion. There weren't too many people saying that the penalty was fair.

Oh, and there was that whole race at Talladega too. That's what you all wrote about this week. This might be the most, uh, passionate mailbag of the year. But it's Talladega, would you expect anything less?

I thought Talladega was excellent this weekend (except for the weather delay) and I'm tired of these drivers whining about the cars taking flight. Aren’t most of these guys engineers, physics 101 aerodynamic vehicles going fast can take flight. If you have a problem with that get another job, it’s that simple. The only way to ensure the cars don’t take flight is to slow down…NASCAR did that with the restrictor plates, anything else and its just normal highway traffic driving. The cookie-cutters suck because there is always 2 or three cars that drive away and the rest of the pack is racing for points. Talladega and Daytona are the only tracks where the winner truly isn’t decided until the checkers…its great! Plus, weren’t most of these drivers talking about how the new car was so much better that the COT a couple of weeks ago.
-Derrick

Well, Ryan Newman does have his engineering degree from Purdue, but you have to remember, he just had a car land on him at over 150 miles an hour. I don't care who you are, that's a tad traumatic, don't you think?

Where Busch's car was hit (the right rear quarterpanel) was the perfect spot for it to go airborne. Had he been hit further up the door, his car may not roll over. Does that mean it should be chalked up as "one of them racin' deals" and we move on? Of course not. But at the same time, like Derrick said, I'm not sure NASCAR will ever be able to glue these cars to the ground at all times at these speeds.

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Hey Jay. I'm 51 years old and never tried to do somting (sic) like this, don't do the new twitters, facebooks, etc. But if you could sometime, tell that candyass Ryan Newman the next time he is a little uncomfortable going back on the the track, just let me know and I'll
drive his old nag. Or if he's that scared, just put his (stuff) on the truck and leave. But if you can forward me his contact info, I'll gladly tell him.
-Wade

Fans ask drivers to be human and have personalities, and then when we get raw, human emotion out of them, like what we saw with Newman after the crash on Sunday, people react like this. I don't get it.
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What to say about Talladega? I don't enjoy watching a race, seeing drivers work all day to put themselves in position to win, and then have some joker wipeout half the field with an ill timed move. I think Newman was spot on. This is getting old. Maybe we should remove Talladega from the schedule
-Dean

Hasn't racing, at no matter the track, always been about being in the right circumstance? Sure, crashes at Bristol and Martinsville don't tear up as many cars as they traditionally do at Daytona and Talladega, but there's always an innocent bystander or two that gets caught in someone else's mess.

But yeah, I do get see the point that taking out the field in by half in a crash is tiresome. And it certainly had to be for fans of Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart, who all saw themselves taken out in Talladega's first crash just like at Daytona.

This letter below is my favorite one. I just don't know where to begin, though it's been edited slightly for a low blow. Did it come from the comments?

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Most of us want to see Ryan and Kurt put those two little boys, Stenhouse and Yeley, in the sandboxes in every race from here on out. If I was those two drivers I would wreck Stenhouse and Yeley at every opportunity I had on a track. No doubt those little boys will get their due in the future.
NASCAR had any professional judgment they would fine and park Stenhouse and Yeley...maybe million bucks apiece and a dozen races. That was just damn plan stupidity on a super speedway track. Had to know that was not going to go. If you make that move little boy Stenhouse, you have to go...but his new girl friend likes little boys now...maybe somebody should nail her car like what Yeley and Stenhouse did to Kurt and Ryan. Yeley and Stenhouse could have killed or permanently injured some drives with those idiotic moves.
-James

James (and anyone who shares the same opinion that James does, although it's likely a tiny number of you), what the hell are you talking about? What did Ricky Stenhouse do wrong when he took the outside lane down the backstretch? What did JJ Yeley do wrong when they made contact? The laps were winding down and drivers knew that they had to get to the front as soon as they could.

Stenhouse saw a lane and he took it. It just so happened that it closed up on him and then a bunch of other drivers got involved. Had it been a veteran that made that move, would you feel the same way? And shouldn't you be saying the same thing about Kyle Busch?

By the way, see that green car in the picture above? Danica Patrick was involved in that crash.

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I haven't seen anything on NASCAR about using practice as qualifying at Talladega. Earlier this year at Vegas qualifying was rained out, and they used points from last year. What is happening ? Are there any cut and dry rules with NASCAR?, or, are they just making it up as they go along? Thank you, and I look forward to your comment.
- William

Through the first three races of the season, NASCAR uses the previous season's owner points to set the field and the garage stalls. Now, it's the current season's owner points.

Why is that important? At Las Vegas, there were no track activities on Friday. No official practices or qualifying or anything. That meant that NASCAR had no practice speeds to go on to set the field, so owner's points were used and Keselowski was on the pole. At Talladega, NASCAR was able to run practice, so the speeds from the first practice were used.

In short, if there's a practice, the first session's speeds will be used in the event of rain washing out qualifying. If there's not a practice, the owner's points are used.

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