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Random Lugnuts: Marcos Ambrose! (and Rain Dates)

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Marcos Ambrose, Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, Random Lugnuts
What is Random Lugnuts?  It's random bits of stock car racing commentary written on an irregular basis by an irregular racing fan.  The name is a reference to the lugnuts that go flying off a car during a pit stop:  you never know where they are going to go, what they're going to do when they get there, they can be annoying, they're often useless after a race, and every once in a while someone gets hit and they don't know exactly where it came from.
Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page.

Random Lugnuts: Marcos Ambrose! (and Rain Dates)

Bill Crittenden
August 16, 2011

Long overdue, Marcos Ambrose has finally won a Sprint Cup race, taking the checkered flag yet again at what has got to be one of his favorite tracks in the northern hemisphere.

It really couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, at least from what of the drivers' personalities come through the TV broadcasts.  I watch V8 Supercars Australia when it's on here in the States, but I never got to see Marcos race in his home series.  But his attitude when he came here quickly made him one of my favorite drivers in stock car racing.

As I have a lot of Sunday events that I need to attend for one reason or another, I had always hoped that a) Marcos Ambrose would win a Cup race and b) I would be able to watch it live on TV.  That actually happened yesterday, despite being at work.  I had just gone to lunch, grabbed a slice of pepperoni pizza, and sat down in the lounge just in time to see the final two laps.  Unfortunately, the sound was muted, so there was no commentary and I have no idea what Marcos said in Victory Lane.  My memory instead is of watching him get there, bouncing through the bus stop giving that car everything he had to catch Keselowski, and then after making the pass being in the unfortunate position of having Brad Keselowski on his rear bumper on the final laps of a race, all while having to maintain a "professional demeanor" and stuffing my mouth full of pizza to keep myself from yelling, "COME ON MARCOS, PASS HIM, YOU GOT IT, YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!"

I had feared that Marcos may have missed his only chance at victory in the top level of NASCAR when he saved a little too much fuel at Sonoma.  Instead, one of NASCAR's biggest outsiders brought Richard Petty back to Victory Lane.  Hopefully, he'll win a few oval track races and both Marcos Ambrose and Richard Petty will stick around in the sport for years to come.

I've expressed my annoyance with rain dates before.  This week's was at least understandable, they couldn't race at Watkins Glen in primetime, because a delay in the action would push them into the evening and there aren't enough lights to do night racing.  Nor could they expect everyone to shoulder the costs of bringing two sets of tires, equipping the cars for wet racing, and the testing involved for possible rain setups to make that an option.  Hopefully later, but not in this economy.

Besides, I suppose I could cave in and spring for streaming video on a Sprint smartphone (not that I'd ever go back to Sprint again...) but then I don't have the kind of job where I can watch TV at my desk.  I imagine productivity was pretty low for some people yesterday morning.  Thank goodness it was "only" Watkins Glen and not Daytona that everyone was trying to keep up with at work.  But to me, watching Marcos Ambrose's first Cup win was a big deal.  Could you imagine a World Series baseball game having a first pitch at 9am Monday morning?  Not that Watkins Glen is a Chase event, but there are only 36 Sprint Cup races a year and we're getting close to the Chase races and so far the possibility of running a very important race when few fans can watch it is entirely possible.  How would you like to be at your desk when you get a text telling you that Dale Jr. won Talladega?  Not cool.  Except for the part about Junior winning again, that would be great...the rest, definitely not cool.



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