Paul Menards Wins First Race at Brickyard 400
Wisconsin native Paul Menard became NASCAR’s newest first-time winner on Sunday with an upset victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a track steeped in tradition for his family.
The first half of the race was dominated by drivers with the strongest cars. But when debris cautions jumbled up the pit cycles, the Brickyard 400 turned into a race of pure strategy.
Menard and his Richard Childress Racing team played it brilliantly, as crew chief Slugger Labbe had Menard give the lead up to defending race winner Jamie McMurray in an effort to save fuel. Certain McMurray didn’t have enough gas to make it to the finish, Labbe then turned his attention to Jeff Gordon, who fell 12 seconds behind after a late fuel stop but was slicing his way through the field.
Labbe gave Menard the green-light with just over three laps to go. He passed McMurray for the lead, and was silent as he circled the track with Labbe giving constant updates on Gordon’s lap times. Gordon ran out of time, and Menard cruised to his first career victory in his 167th career start.
Menard’s only other victory came in the second-tier Nationwide Series in 2006.
Quiet and reserved by nature, that didn’t change as Menard crossed the finish line. As his team screamed over the radio, Menard quietly asked, “that’s the checkered, right?”
Atop the pit box, his billionaire father was far less reserved.
“I’ve been waiting to kiss these bricks for such a long time. I’m ready!” John Menard yelled.
Not much of a NASCAR fan myself, but I point out his win because 1) I went to college with his older brother and had some marketing classes with “J.R.” and 2) Given the way the enviro-nuts in Wisconsin hate and treat the state’s richest man, I’d rub in his good fortune for a second or two.
Have We Finally Nailed “D.B. Cooper?”
If you’re a fan of the show “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” on the History Channel you know they did an episode on the DB Cooper mystery there. It was pretty much a lot of circumstantial evidence trying to pin it on one guy, who’s long since dead.
If you wish, you can read a write-up of an episode they did on D.B Cooper here.
Packers Re-Sign John Kuhn
All together now: KUUUUUUUUHHHHHNNNNN!!!!
ESPN.com is saying the real force in the Packers offensive free agency moves may not be GM Ted Thompson, but QB Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers wanted the team to keep James Jones (They did.) and Rodgers wanted the team to keep Kuhn as well.
We Have a Debt Ceiling Deal (or Something)
From the looks of it, the GOP won and the Dems completely gave the shaft to their base. No tax increases, immediate cuts, and the only thing the White House gets to hang their hat on is no other vote before Election Day 2012.
As if a vote on the debt ceiling will be what decides the Presidential Election next year? It’s going to be the economy’s double-dip recession.
I may not win over the Erick Erickson’s of the world, but that sort of thing works for me.
(Yes, I understand the concern about defense cuts from some, but I also know there’s plenty of waste at the Pentagon. Particularly in the realm of defense contracts.)