Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010 | 1:02 p.m.
I was sitting directly above the start/finish line at Phoenix on Sunday when Carl Edwards decided to jump into the enthusiastic crowd after his victory in the Kobalt Tools 500. Excited fans continued giving one another high-fives several minutes after Edwards left the crowd. This was a cool move by Edwards and it made the day for fans who were lucky enough to have seats at the start/finish line. I’ve included a small thought balloon in this photo so you can locate Edwards.
The garage area at Phoenix is one of the tightest I’ve seen at a track. There’s no room to spare as the teams work on their cars. And given the drama between Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton last week, it’s a good thing they were separated by six garage stalls.
Each Cup car has an air intake that is in the cowl directly in front of the windshield. Teams keep these openings covered with a plate when the cars are in the garage to make sure nothing falls into the intake. Several of the teams have creative handles on the plates, which I assume are there to remind someone to remove the plate before the car goes on the track.
Here’s the car of Jamie McMurray, which includes a toy Ronald McDonald with a fishing pole.
Ryan Newman, who is sponsored by the U.S. Army, has a small soldier attached to his protective plate.
And here’s my suggestion for the intake cover on Kyle Busch’s car.