Thursday, September 17, 2009

SYMT Tour- Chase Race #1

Talladega Nightmares
Every NASCAR fan and driver knows that the fall race at Talladega is the race that wreaks havoc on the Chase standings. Every Chase driver has the fall date at Talladega circled on their calendar. Why? Kurt Busch said it best: “You go into Talladega just hoping to survive and hoping that you’ve done enough before then just in case something happens.” Here is a brief recap of the standings following the Talladega fall race:

1. In 2004, Talladega was the 3rd race in the Chase. Jimmie Johnson entered the race 4th in the overall points standings, 56 points behind 2nd place Kurt Busch; he left in 9th, losing 100 points to Busch. Johnson would miss out on his first Sprint Cup championship by a scant 8 points.

2. In 2006, the fall race was moved to the 4th race in the Chase. That year, Brian Vickers spun teammate Jimmie Johnson into Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Fortunately for Johnson, he did not take a big hit in the points, and he went on to win the first of his 3 championships.

3. Last year, Carl Edwards trailed Jimmie Johnson by a mere 10 points on the eve of the Talladega race. A crash which caused damage to the entire Roush Fenway race team increased the points differential between Edwards and Johnson to 72 points.

This year, the fall race at Talladega moves to the 7th race of the Chase, leaving the Chase drivers only 3 races to recover from a bad race, so it’s anyone’s guess what effect the race will have on the standings this year.

So, after a discussion with F2 and GGW Commissioner photogr, the Beagle decided why wait until ‘Dega to create chaos with the standings, and thus came up with this week’s race format.

One of the constants in this year’s SYMT has been the number of field fillers and start & parkers who qualify above their talent on Friday only to revert to their normal lackluster performances on race day(as jon_464 always says, “you people know who you are”). All of us GGW racers have been plagued with this phenomenon over the course of the season- some more than others.

With that in mind, this week’s race will be a “Best of the Worst” race. As with the regular season, the starting grid will be set according to Sprint Cup qualifying with one small but important change- drivers will be assigned from the bottom up:

1st place GGW (Tez) will start 43rd
2nd place GGW (Stork) will start 42nd
3rd place GGW (F2) will start 41st
4th place GGW (SB) will start 40th
5th place GGW (Kristen) will start 39th

and so on until the field is set.

Now, before you get all bummed out over the prospect of being paired with Dave Blaney Joe Nemechek, or God forbid, Todd Bodine, there’s always the possibility that one (or more) of the top drivers could have a bad qualifying day. Don’t believe me? One only needs to look at this year’s Daytona 500 for proof. Matt Kenseth qualified 39th for the race and ended up as Victoria Lane’s date for the evening.

The starting grid will be posted to this blog and the Lug-Nuts group blog as soon as the Cup lineup is posted on Friday.

Good luck and let’s go racing.


  1. Great job, That 2006 race should have been Jrs to win or at least a 3rd place instead of 23 rd thanks to Vickers. Been down hill from That 2006 chase was a tight race for most in it.

    Thanks for hosting the first race.

  2. First starting I may have a chance. lol

    What I saw in 2006 was Vickers already in the inside lane when JJ decided to pull down and help/block (take your pick) him. If JJ had held his line...or went earlier when he was clear...there would have been no wreck.

  3. SPEED,



  4. Great blog about previous chase races at Talladega.

    Even before the chase was implemented Talladega played a role in who would eventually win the championship. Remember back in 2002 Mark Martin into the chase as the leader. Johnson was second and Stewart was third.

    The lineup was setup due to rain. As they were coming to take the green, Mark Martin veered left into Johnson causing both to receive damage to their cars.

    Stewart went on to finish 2nd that day, and he took the points lead and never looked back.

  5. F2-

    Thanks. Could you please post an updated list of the Chasers and their points. I know some have expressed wanting to participate since you posted your blog.

    Thanks again.

  6. Hanahan-

    Yep, you might have a chance this week. Then again, you could end up paired with the aforementioned Blaney, nemechek, or God forbid, Bodine :o).

  7. Gunny-

    Thanks. I don't know if you're too late or not. Hope you make it in.

  8. Tsfan-

    I didn't realize that the 2002 race impacted Mark Martin. I had always thought it was the 50 point penalty he was hit with late in the season.

    Thanks for reading.

  9. *looks for the dreaded 'past champions provisional' drivers*

    so I'm getting Bobby Labonte then :P

  10. tez-

    you can always hope that one of the top drivers misses qualifying and has to start at the back.

  11. Maybe I'll actually get some decent points!

  12. Pays to be last to be first! I feel like I am in Hells Kitchen with the "best of the worst" comment...LOL

    Lets go racing!!

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  14. updated..

    1. Tezgm99 - 30 = 43 grid
    2. Storkjrc - 30 = 42 grid
    3. Forensic2 - 20 = 41 grid
    4. Aero13 - 20 = 40 grid
    5. Gunaquat - 20 = 39 grid
    6. Speedbeagle- 10 = 38 grid
    7. Klvalus - 10 = 37 grid
    8. CR Racing - 10 = 36 grid
    9. Tsfnapc - 0 = 35 grid
    10. Hanahan - 0 = 34 grid
    11. HotfootLori - 0 = 33 grid
    12. Volfan69 - 0 = 32 grid
    13. Photogr - 0 = 31 grid

    Now where set.

  15. HFL-

    I hope so. You certainly had more than your fair share of field fillers during the regular season.

  16. Kristen-

    At least here, you don't have Gordon Ramsay yelling at you.

    (BTW, your next question for Tony: Do you love the Whopper more than your mom's spaghetti?)

  17. Hope you all keep it off the catch fence - have fun!

  18. moseby-

    I hope we do, too, but judging from qualifying, it doesn't look too promising.

  19. Before I post the starting line up, let's take a look at some of the field fillers and s&p drivers that DIDN'T make the GGW field:

    David "I never met a wall I didn't hit" Stremme will start 6th.

    Bobby Labonte will start 8th.

    Dave Blaney will start 15th.

    As for our starting grid(listed in order of points)-

    Tez Michael McDowell
    Stork David Ragan
    F2 John Andretti
    Aero13 Paul Menard
    Gunny Aric Almirola
    SB Matt Kenseth
    Kristen Erik Darnell
    CR Tony Raines
    Tsfan Elliott Sadler
    Hanahan A.J. Allmendinger
    HotfootLori Joey Logano
    Volfan Jeff Burton
    photogr Marcos Ambrose

    Can't wait to see how this all turns out.

  20. There not that bad,,lol. Who the heck is Erik Darnell???

  21. Awww I like Erik! He was great on the gong show last year was it? I am good with him...LOL!

    Yea, no Gordon Ramsey but I am also not asking Smoke about his mom's cooking...Tell me about your mother Mr. Stewart! =P

  22. F2-

    Erik Darnell replaced Bobby Labonte in the #96 @ HOF/Yates.

  23. Kristen-

    Tony is absolutely on the record as saying that his favorite food is his mom's spaghetti.

    It's one of those questions that can't be answered, kind of like when a woman asks her husband, "Does this make me look fat?" You know that no matter how you answer the question, you're going to be in trouble.

  24. Ok, don't hitch your wagon to a driver, yet. FOXSports and are showing two different lineups for the same race. GGW officials are meeting to decide what to do.

  25. GGW Racing officials have ruled that we are going with the starting lineup as posted on

    There is also a last minute entrant into the race- moseby is joining in on the fun- so the new grid looks like this:

    Tez-- Michael McDowell
    Stork-- David Ragan
    F2-- John Andretti
    Aero13-- Paul Menard
    Gunny-- Aric Almirola
    SB-- Matt Kenseth
    moseby-- Erik Darnell
    Kristen-- Tony Raines
    CR-- Elliott Sadler
    Tsfan-- A.J. Allmendinger
    Hanahan-- Joey Logano
    HotfootLori-- Jeff Burton
    Volfan-- Marcos Ambrose
    photogr-- Mike Wallace

  26. Ah the Fall Dega race. Certainly a multi "BIG ONE" race. Who will it dash the hopes of a drivers championship bid this year.

  27. Good question, photo. I think the lateness of the race this year will have an even bigger impact- no time to recover if you take a major points hit. I'd be willing to bet that any Chaser still in the hunt that runs into trouble at Dega will be out of it.

  28. oooo, McDowell is one of my facebook friends so that was pretty funky.