I wrote this post Sunday night and told y’all I’d be writing one every week about the race. I spent the better part of the day updating the Books page of my website and was late getting started on the race (thank goodness for the DVR). I shuffled some things around. Some covers went to the top, some to the bottom, but most all of them were grouped or regrouped differently. Much like the race in Phoenix over the weekend.

It’s all about strategy for these guys. Short track racing. New surface. Different tire. Different fuel cells this year. It’s not just about the new cars and new paint schemes, though I’ll admit, looking at all the bright, shiny new designs is really cool. My son and I buy several new die-cast cars a year. I can’t even begin to tell you how many he has. Hundreds. Me, I have 7. But I seem to keep adding more… It’s a fun little thing we share.

The #18 finished in 6th. He led quite a few laps. The #47 (Bobby Labonte, my other driver) finished 16th. This was really a good effort for him and I’m proud of the comeback he’s been making the last couple of years. This was the second race of the Nascar season, but after all the hype and drama of Daytona and speedweeks, it’s now time to get down to business. It’s all about the points, leading laps, winning races, figuring out those ever important strategies of fuel mileage, when to pit and when to stay out, when to hang back and when to make a charge toward the front.

These guys and their crew chiefs are always thinking, always trying to find the edge, always trying to figure out how to make the best of what they’ve got, how and when to take the time to change things up, tweak things, add here, or take away there. It’s not all that uncommon for authors to do that too. Or anyone really. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like sports. There’s thinking involved, there’s trying to one up and man up and do better. There’s always someone with that winning strategy that can pull it out in the end and make us all wonder just how in the Hell they did it. I know most people don’t see the appeal, especially with racing. It’s not just about them going around in a circle turning left all the time. It’s the scuffles on the track. It’s the tempers. It’s the wrecks. It’s the strategy in the pits. It’s the arguments. It’s the paint schemes. It’s the rivalries. It’s the thinking involved. It’s who hit who at the wrong time in the wrong spot (and it’s Danica Patrick having a temper tantrum and telling her teammate to give her plenty of room…). It’s intense at times. It’s fun.

Denny Hamlin and the #11 Fed Ex Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota won the race in Phoenix on Sunday. Congratulations to them. Though, that #29 there behind him, did his damnedest to catch up and win. He just didn’t have enough fuel left. See, again, strategy…

(photo courtesy of ESPN Radio 104.5FM)

Next, it’s on to Las Vegas. Kyle Busch and his brother, Kurt are from Vegas. Maybe I’ll get lucky and one of them will win!

Y’all have a great day!

~lissa