Thursday, November 6, 2008

Last weekend

Spent a good deal of time watching sports last weekend and saw some nutty stuff. But let's get this out of the way first: "Sports, sports, sports, sports! Bart gets to ride in front because he's a good guy at sports!"

OK. First, Lewis Hamilton became the youngest driver, and first non-white dude, to win the Formula One championship, but only by the narrowest of margins after almost throwing away the title on the last lap.

First a little background. Hamilton, as a rookie last season, entered the last race in Brazil up 7 points. It should have been more, but he made hist first major mistake when he beached his car while entering the pits in China the week before. Another major driving gaffe, then a mechanical issue, would follow in Brazil, and there went the championship. Hamilton lost by 1 point to (my boy) Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.

And so cut to a year later. Hamilton again starts at Interlagos up 7 points, with only native Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari. And Massa usually cleans up at his home track. So a little eerie, right? Maybe, except Hamilton seemed to apply the lessons learned from the '07 and '08 seasons and was content running around in the top four most of the day, needing only to finish fifth to take the title should Massa win.

And then it started raining, and it got a little crazy.

With a handful of laps remaining all the front-runners, and most of the field, came in for intermediate rain tires. But not Toyota's Timo Glock, and with Glock staying out, Hamilton was in fifth place.

Which was good for the title, but then BMW's Robert Kubica, a lap down mind you, suddenly was much faster than Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton, and proceeded to pass Vettel going into a corner. Hamilton then seemed to pull over to let him through coming out of the corner, but did so awkwardly and slowed quite a bit, thus allowing Vettel to pass him as well.

And with less than two laps to go, Hamilton, great in the wet all season and driving the best car in the series, could do nothing about it. Vettel, likely taking the unofficial title of "best driver in the wet," was gapping him in an inferior car. The McLaren crew was collectively crapping their nomex suits, and the title was lost.

If not for Timo Glock's dry tires, that is. Massa was already well past the flag man when Glock slowed precipitously, supposedly because the rain picked up and he was struggling to stay on track.Vettel and Hamilton went screaming by, crossing the line seconds later in fourth and fifth, giving the title to Hamilton by a margin of 1 point over Massa.

To watch Hamilton have the title so well in hand all through the race, and then to almost throw it away with a few laps remaining, then to pass Glock at the last moment to save it: amazing. A definite "Whaaat?!?!" moment.

In far less dramatic news, Troy Corser, the guy I root for in World Superbike, took second in the championship with a stong last race, even as title winner Troy Bayliss dominated the weekend with two poles and two race wins. (Not bad for Bayliss' retirement send-off.) But second in the championship was pretty good considering a stong finish to the season was needed to claim it from teammate Noriyuki Haga.

Corser is leaving Yamaha for the new BMW factory effort next season. Should be interesting to see how competitive they'll be. Corser, though, is a good choice for BMW as he's fast, reliable and experienced.

And last we have that Texas Tech defeat of Texas, which was pretty epic. Crabtree is stout. I've liked Texas Tech a bit since someone somewhere referred to their fans as the "Philadelphia Eagles fans of colege football." Looking at the photo below, I'm guessing that was an accurate assessment.

1 comment:

ron said...

shes hot.