One of the best things about watching a NASCAR race is that fans have the opportunity to listen into the complete radio discussion from every driver in a race. Sometimes other sports put out selected bits of audio from players on occasion but you get the complete unfiltered and uncensored talk as teams discuss strategy and some of the stupid things their competitors do.
Kansas marked the first night race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. And there’s just something about night racing that brings out some great racing. It also brought one of the most hellacious hits I have seen as a lifelong racing fan and brought along a more serious tone to the race this past Saturday.
The tight racing started before the sun had a chance to set. Austin Dillon and Jimmie Johnson got together off of turn four and Dillon wasn’t going to give Johnson an inch. Johnson would get close to Dillon’s rear and get him loose off of four.
Andy Houston (Dillon’s spotter) “There you go. Don’t take no shit.” (on Johnson)
Earl Barban (Johnson’s spotter) “Now there’s a little (expletive)” (on Dillon) Couldn’t determine the expletive there.
Johnson “Just let him know if he keeps his head a little bit I wouldn’t have had it happen.”
Chase Elliott had a rough day after leaving his pit and hitting Michael McDowell as he was entering his pit.
Eddie D’Hondt (Elliott’s spotter) “Watch that #95 coming late here. Here he comes.
Alan Gustafson (Elliott’s crew chief) “Damn it. Back it up here.”
Elliott “Well there goes our night. Fucking awesome.”
Todd Parrott (McDowell’s crew chief) “Can’t believe Alan didn’t fuckign see us.”
McDowell “I didn’t see him. I was already past his nose when he pulled out.”
The audio doesn’t lie and D’Hondt was doing his job and let everyone know McDowell was coming. It’s also not Elliott’s fault because he’s trained to leave right as the jack stand comes down. When there’s a car coming, the jackman needs to hold the car up to ensure a safe release. So it’s the jackman’s fault for not listening to D’Hondt and dropping the jack too early.
The big talk surrounded the big wreck late in the race that collected Joey Logano, Danica Patrick and Aric Almirola. After a brake issue caused Logano to lose control and go into Patrick, she hit the wall hard for the second consecutive race. Almirola wasn’t able to get down low enough, lost control and slammed into Logano, almost flipping over in a fiery crash.
After seeing that up close, drivers were incredibly concerned at the well being of Patrick and Almirola after seeing their hard hits.
Austin Dillon “Holy shit, dude. That is bad, bad, bad, bad. Oh, gosh.”
Trevor Bayne “Gosh. I hope they’re ok, man. That was the hardest hit I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Jimmie Johnson “Oh my gosh. That is not good.”
Ty Dillon “Oh my God. Hope everybody’s okay. Holy shit.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. “Holy cow. That was big.”
Clint Bowyer “Holy shit.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Yeah that was awful.”
Jamie McMurray “He was hauling ass when he hit them. He almost flipped. That’s unbelievable.
Almirola was in quite a lot of pain and it showed on the radio. Almirola suffered a T5 compression fracture of his vertebra in the crash and will be out of action for a while.
Aric Almirola “Oh, my back. My back. My back. Ahhah!”
Joel Edmonds (Almirola’s spotter) “Okay, bud. Help’s coming. Help’s coming. Just wait on them.
Even though Patrick was quite pissed off at Logano, even though it wasn’t his fault, Logano was concerned for Danica after seeing her go head first into the wall.
Joey Logano “Yeah it broke big whatever it was. Is Danica all right? She hit a freaking ton.”
Ryan Blaney “Man. Danica takes some of the hardest hits I’ve ever seen.”
Chase Elliott “She’s a pretty tough ol’ bird. I’ll give her that.”
Brad Keselowski “Tough girl. Those were big hits.”
Chad Knaus and Earl Barban had quite an exchange about a potential second fight involving Joey Logano.
Chad Knaus (Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief) “Danica is going to beat up Joey.”
Earl Barban (Johnson’s spotter) “Well she could.”
After safety crews cut Almirola out of his car and got him to a hospital, racing resumed. Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. were in control for stage three of the race and at the end, Truex claimed his second win of the season.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to the home of NASCAR for the Monster Energy All-Star Race on Saturday night. It’s a four stage sprint race where drivers will have an added strategy of a softer tire and a million dollars going to the winner. With no points being distributed, it’s literally a race where winning is the only thing that matters so expect some hard racing and people to be mad at each other this weekend.