The NASCAR Nationwide Series made its only appearance north of the border this weekend. The stars of the NASCAR’s top development series came to Montreal for the only race of NASCAR’s three national touring series outside the US. Not only were the Nationwide stars there but so were several Canadian heroes like Jacques Villeneuve, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, and Andrew Ranger. I was live tweeting the event so here’s a look at some of my tweets and analysis from this afternoon’s race.
2:53 – The NNS race at Montreal is 74 laps long. 2008 F1 GP was 70 laps and took 96 minutes. If the NNS race is less than 3 hours, I’ll be shocked.
[SM: It wasn’t. It took 3:51:10 to complete, not counting the red flag to switch over to the rain setup.]
3:00 – In three laps, a Formula One car would be able to lap the fastest NASCAR Nationwide car. Makes you think.
3:08 – First caution on Lap 3 for Colin Braun’s blown engine. A little oil on the track never slowed an F1 race. Pick up the pace, boys.
3:16 – Ron Fellows pits to get his front valence repaired after it was torn up yesterday. Took so long to fix that he only lost half a lap.
3:29 – Back under green at Montreal. Max Papis has climbed up to 10th. Ambrose, Edwards, Villeneuve, Coleman, Perez.
[SM: Papis started at the back of the field because of an engine change.]
3:50 – Carpentier has trouble. He’s stopped at a marshal post on the backstraight. Brought out a caution. Either a gearbox or suspension.
[SM: He missed a shift which blew the engine and ended his race.]
3:51 – Villeneuve stays out on this round of pit stops. He’ll take the lead, much to the delight of the Montreal crowd.
3:58 – Heading to restart. Canadians: Villeneuve 1st, Ranger 5th, Tagliani 12th, Kennington 16th, Fellows 20th, Fitzpatrick 23rd
[SM: Not for long. Villeneuve pitted just before the restart to get into his fuel window.]
4:01 – 18 laps complete in 58 minutes. When was the last time a NASCAR race was called for darkness?
4:10 – Tagliani, Coleman get together as Keselowski spins ahead. Tough day for the Canadian contingent. Ranger still leads.
4:21 – Justin Allgaier loses control and takes out both Fellows and Kyle Busch. Fellows & Allgaier likely out. Busch might be okay.
[SM: Allgaier’s car wheel-hopped into the second chicane, spun to the right, slid through the grass and took out Fellows. Busch just got spun around.]
4:31 – On Lap 28. Green this time by. Of the 28 laps, 14 have been under caution. Ranger still leads.
4:39 – Ambrose powers by Ranger in the chicane at turn at what ESPN calls turns 7 & 8. Most call it turns 4 & 5. Ranger down to 3rd.
5:07 – Caution because Jeff Earnhardt stopped at the Casino Hairpin. Villeneuve caught out by it and will fall towards the back.
[SM: Villeneuve hadn’t stopped during a round of pit stops and was among the last to pit. He lost a lot of track position as a result. His second bad strategy call of the day.]
5:20 – Ranger restarting 2nd to Ambrose. Immediately falls to third.
5:23 – Caution out for debris. Steve Wallace dragged gravel onto the track. ESPN says it isn’t a phantom caution. IT’S ONLY GRAVEL!
5:28 – ESPN talking about rain en route to Montreal. If it rains, NASCAR might end the race. 15 minutes to rain, give or take.
5:29 – I think NASCAR should just let the teams do what they want. Put on rain tires if you want or risks slicks. Be racers, boys.
5:33 – Teams are all geared up for the possibility of rain. Grey wall of rain towards the mainland. Wet weather is coming.
5:40 – Ranger makes the move on Edwards at Turn 3 to move up to second.
5:42 – Caution for rain. I would imagine that would end it. We have to wait for NASCAR to figure out what it’s doing.
5:53 – NASCAR is going to bring the cars down pit road and let them make changes to run in the rain. Advantage back to the Canadians.
5:55 – Remember last year that NASCAR was only going to give them 5 minutes to switch over? It took an hour.
6:05 – They pulled it off this time. Cars are rolling off. With 13 to go, it’s Ambrose, Ranger, Edwards, Busch, Menard.
[SM: A lot of spins and cautions in the time between this and the next tweet.]
6:44 – Looks like a green-white-checker finish is coming at Montreal.
6:54 – Coming back to green for a two-lap shootout. Track is mostly dry. Something crazy will likely happen.
6:55 – Edwards wrecks half the field and moves up to second. Might not get out of Montreal unscathed.
[SM: Edwards dive bombed everyone into the Senna Hairpin. He moved Ranger out of the way, spun Busch and caused a chain reaction mess.]
6:59 – Ambrose takes too much rumble strip at the final chicane and coughs up the win to Carl Edwards.
7:00 – Ambrose messed up his line and cut the second part of the chicane, over the rumble strip and lost it.
7:02 – Don’t think Edwards should have won. Anyone else would have been penalized for rough driving for that restart.
Tweets From Drivers
Colin Braun (@colinbraun) – At the airport already in Montreal. Blew the engine on lap 3. Car was great and passed 6 guys in 2 laps! Darn…we were good — That was my first Roush Yates engine problem in 2 years, hard to complain, they do a great job. Wish we could have showed what we had.
[SM: This was a series of two tweets.]
Michael McDowell (@mmdowell47) – Finished 11th in the demolition derby today. I am hungry right now as well.
Max Papis (@maxpapis) – Drove a great race but final result was not good I really feel this is the best race I ever done in Nascar — I hope all canadians had fun I felt it was really unnecessary to send us out for the last 10 laps like that but it gave a great show — It was piss poor for Brad Kesolowsky to spun me around he showed no class at all I will give it back to him when he will remember — Dear Brad K u have long way to go before beeing a real champ like Mark Martin looooongggg way — Was still fun to run in the rain but in the last 10 laps people were just crazy .Nascar cars r great in rain I’m just mad as some drivers — Still had a great great fun looove to be in Nascar is a real sport real people and real racing …. IT was great to be always sideways — For all of u Brad K just text me he want to explain what happened I will look at reply and call him in the next days — Still mad but maybe …..he will have some reason to make me less mad I will update u all on this
[SM: This was a series of eight tweets. They don’t call him Mad Max for nothing.]
1. #60 Carl Edwards
2. #47 Marcos Ambrose
3. #11 Andrew Ranger
4. #32 Jacques Villeneuve
5. #88 Brad Keselowski
6. #34 Tony Raines
7. #23 Jean-Francois Dumoulin
8. #29 Stephen Leicht
9. #62 Brendan Gaughan
10. #18 Kyle Busch
11. #96 Michael McDowell
12. #6 Erik Darnell
13. #86 Antonio Perez
14. #05 Victor Gonzalez Jr.
15. #98 Paul Menard
16. #66 Steve Wallace
17. #28 Kenny Wallace
18. #15 Michael Annett
19. #01 Mike Wallace
20. #1 Max Papis
21. #75 Brett Rowe
22. #24 Eric McClure
23. #27 Jason Keller
24. #41 Stanton Barrett
25. #81 Alex Tagliani (-1 lap)
26. #09 Boris Said (-1 lap)
27. #33 J.R. Fitzpatrick (-1 lap)
28. #20 Brad Coleman (-4 laps)
29. #38 Jason Leffler (DNF, -6 laps)
30. #10 Justin Marks (DNF, -6 laps)
31. #40 Jeffery Earnhardt (-9 laps)
32. #61 DJ Kennington (DNF, -19 laps)
33. #49 Mark Green (DNF, -37 laps)
34. #87 Mike Bliss (DNF, – 46 laps)
35. #5 Ron Fellows (DNF, -50 laps)
36. #12 Justin Allgaier (DNF, -51 laps)
37. #0 Andy Lally (DNF, – 59 laps)
38. #99 Patrick Carpentier (DNF, -61 laps)
39. #52 Tony Ave (DNF, -62 laps)
40. #16 Colin Braun (DNF, -74 laps)
41. #90 Chris Cook (DNF, -75 laps)
42. #26 Brian Keselowski (DNF, -75 laps)
43. #91 Tom Hubert (DNF, -76 laps)