MINER'S MINERS We ran the Chilean Miners through the NASCAR filter to give that remarkable and inspiring story some perspective. Think stock car drivers are heroes and perform the impossible? Consider these numbers: + The miners have been ...
We ran the Chilean Miners through the NASCAR filter to give that remarkable and inspiring story some perspective. Think stock car drivers are heroes and perform the impossible? Consider these numbers:
+ The miners have been trapped underground since Aug. 5. We flew to Watkins Glen that day and since have had nine races and an off week. That's a quarter of the season.
+ We've completed 5,098 laps and 5,988.111 miles while the miners have been underground.
+ The miners have been trapped 2,050 feet vertically beneath the surface. That's equal to a stack of 13 and a half Indianapolis Pagodas, or 70 feet more than the entire length of the frontstretch at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
+ The miners spent five days trapped before we announced Kasey Kahne would drive a Red Bull Toyota in 2011.
+ The escape capsule is 21 inches wide. That's nine inches less than the space Scott Speed and Reed Sorenson climb through to get into their cars.
+ FALL FALSEHOOD EXPOSED
After further review, we've discovered that the we-get-to-sleep-in-our-own- beds description of the fall Charlotte weekend is inaccurate. The beds are ours, but really, how much does the industry sleep considering there are three consecutive nights of racing?
82. SCOTT SPEED
MONDAY QUARTERBACK: While flirting with a top-15 finish, Scott Speed and the No. 82 Red Bull Toyota team gave up 16th place in favor of two tires with four laps to go Sunday at Auto Club Speedway. But most of the competition stayed out, and on the restart Speed never could regain what he lost. He finished 24th a result that's not indicative of how well the day went.
BEHIND THE DEBUT: Little do people realize, but our No. 82 entry debuted at Charlotte in October 2008 if debut means occupying space in the Sprint Cup garage. Rain wiped out practice and qualifying, and with no owner points to fall back on Scott Speed and the car never hit the track. Speed went on to make his Cup debut the next week at Martinsville in the No. 84. The No. 82 didn't unload again until February at Daytona. Since then, Speed has made three starts at Charlotte, with a best start of 16th (October 2009) and finish of 18th (May 2009).
VITAL SIGNS: Ranks 29th in the driver standings 24 points behind 28th- place Elliott Sadler.
83 . REED SORENSON
CHASING IT: The No. 83 Red Bull Toyota was nowhere close to the car that had finished 12th or better in six of the previous seven races at Auto Club Speedway. Reed Sorenson fought grip issues in the front and rear, and the afternoon became a steady battle of balance. He climbed into the top 20 by lap 160 and after two late pit stops finished 27th.
MAN AND MACHINE: As for the driver, Sorenson owns two top 10s in the 600 but only one top 15 in the fall race. He led six laps before finishing 15th in October 2008. As for the car, the No. 83 owns two top fives at Charlotte with a robust 234 laps led in the past seven races.
VITAL SIGNS: The No. 83 ranks 27th in the car owner standings 41 points behind the No. 47.