Against the Wall: RC 29th in MartinsvilleTuesday, March 31, 2009 | 2:52 PM
Remarked 1981, 1982 and 1985 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Fox TV analyst and Darrell Waltrip of the rookie Carmichael, “Whether you are racing a car or a truck, there is one constant here: Anger management.”
Added fellow TV talking head Phi Parsons, “It takes a rhythm here. You’re on the brakes, there is beating and banging — it’s a real throwback. And, yes, Carmichael. Like all the other drivers, will need to use anger management. Ricky Carmichael will be prepared, though, as he’s used to short track racing after doing the whole Camping World East Series last year.”
With its super short straights and amusement park-like corners, Martinsville is an old school anomaly and one that, far more than any other track on the Trans-American circuit, chews up and spits out brake parts. A full-on scratch and dent race 131.5 laps in length, Ricky Carmichael would be jamming the brake pedal into the aluminum floorboard of his Chevy well over 300 times throughout the course of the race. With boss and coach Kevin Harvick always in his ear, RC was certainly cognizant of not only his brakes, but of the other 35 trucks that would leaving streaks of melted rubber and big gouges al over his #4 Oakley Chevrolet. Now he just needed to go out and execute.
With exactly 100 laps remaining in the race, Ricky Carmichael was in 25th position and16.395 seconds behind the leader. Nonetheless, he kept chipping away at it, waiting to see what would come next. Then, with 64 laps left it all went sideways, litteraly, for Carmichael when tangled up with the #84 truck of Chris Fontaine.
“Ricky Carmichael has had a bit of a rough day,” said announcer Michael Waltrip after the smoke had cleared away.
On the completion of the white flag — the conclusive lap number 250 — Carmichael and his battered and bruised #4 Chevy flashed beneath the checkered flag, the 29th truck to do so. On the upside of things, his two KHL All-Stars teammates, Kevin Harvick and Ron Hornaday, finished the race in first and second, respectively.
“Everything was really good until that first spin," lamented a somewhat frustrated Carmichael. "I learned a lot today – especially that it’s so tough to come back from a mistake. I was able to get to the finish to gain the experience. My teammates Harv [Kevin Harvick] and [Ron] Hornaday have run more pace laps here than I’ve had total laps so I needed to learn a lot in a hurry when the green flag fell. We were able to hang on to the lead lap after the first crash, but then the second one (on lap 186) really jacked us up. After that, it was just hanging on by a thread and trying to stay out of the way of the other guys.”
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