Things We Learn From The Rain

Friday Night's Busch race in Richmond was plagued by a series of rain delays that lasted nearly 2.5 hours. During that time, the FOX crew did their best to fill the time, and keep viewers entertained. Here are a few of the tidbits we learned during that stretch of light rain.

Michael Waltrip
Michael Waltrip put aside rumors that he had worked out a deal with Dale Jarrett, or that Toyota offered Jarrett $20 million to race with them next year. He did, however, say that he's trying hard to get Jarrett signed to his team. He also managed to name 9 of his sponsors during the interview. FOX kept a running count.

Kenny Wallace
We learned that Kenny Wallace is good to fill at least 5 minutes of air time if needed. A clock was kept running while he spoke about anything and everything, eventually squeezing in a few words about short track racing. The clock was stopped at 5:22 when the interview was apparently over, but he kept going, so hey had to restart the clock. Kenny filled even more time.

J.J. Yeley
We learned a little too much about J.J.'s restroom issues. He was playing around with teammate Denny Hamlin, who had injured his hand earlier in the week by racing with his crew around their truck. Now Yeley's hand was also wrapped up. His explanation was that he caught his fingers in the zipper of his fire suit while using the restroom. True? Or was he just wanting to wrap his hand like his teammate? We may never know. But either way, it was too much information.

Kyle Busch
We learned that Kyle Busch simply cannot do an imitation of Kenny Wallace's laugh, but he can manage to fill almost as much time. We also found out that during red flag stops, he gets hungry and wants something from McDonald's. Wha1t no jokes about KFC and his recent reckless driving incident? Oh well. But it did give me an idea. Maybe NASCAR needs to employ a few waitresses on roller skates to serve food to the drivers on trays like they have at Sonic and other drive-ins.

Emmy Awards for NASCAR on Fox
Yes, NASCAR on FOX recently won a few Emmy Awards. Chris Myers and Jeff Hammon proudly displayed them for a segment. And now, if they mysteriously disappear, we'll know where to look for them. Either the dashboard of Hammon's cutaway car, or in his hotel room.

The Vortex Theory
DW repeatedly told us about his "Vortex Theory". Apparently, when the cars are running around the track, the heat from the engines forms a "Vortex" above the track that pushes away the rain clouds. Or something like that. He admits to having no scientific proof, but he's convinced it's true.

Of course, it didn't work when the cars went out onto the track and ran the first 13 laps. The rain came back. So much for that theory.

Plus, Chris Myers looked up the definition of the word "Vortex". Even if the theory were true, it must need a different name, because a "vortex" sucks things in, while according to this theory, the rain clouds are pushed away.

Newman and Kenseth
When these two guys are interviewed together, neither one is serious. It's like a bad routine in a Las Vegas comedy club. Maybe where their driving careers are over, they can hit the road together.

Kyle Busch, part 2
In the pre-race interview, we learned that Kyle Busch couldn't quite say the name of his sponsor. After several attempts to say "Triazicide", he simply gave up and said "Tria-whatever". I'm sure the sponsor will be happy to hear that.

Finally, the race
When the rain ended, and the race finally was run, we learned that not a whole lot has changed through the past few weeks. Well after midnight, the checkers flew, and 7 of the top 10 cars were regular cup drivers. And the man in front was Kevin Harvick. His last four races have ended in a 1st, 1st, 2nd, and 1st. Even with a 25-point penalty after Talladega, he's running away with the Busch series, building what could quickly become an insurmountable lead.

The forecast for Saturday Night's Cup race has a 40% chance of rain (depending on where you get your weather information). Let's hope the rain stays away this time. If it doesn't, we may learn more about the drivers that we really don't need to know.

Published on May 7, 2006 in