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Author Topic: Roush Racing Driver X  (Read 2858 times)
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Desmond
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2006, 06:13:57 PM »

Episode of Monday, January 23:

--The three wild card entrants into the next round of the contest are Michael Pickens, Johnny Clark and Sondi Eden.
--In this round, drivers participate in the "chase/race."  Here, another truck is introduced to the Darlington track, and the competition progresses as follows: five warm-up laps alone, five more warm-ups with the other truck, five hot laps trailing the other truck, and 10 laps leading the other truck.  On this episode, Carl Edwards drives the other vehicle.
--The first driver is Matt McCall, and he impresses everyone with a steady, measured performance in all four phases.  He gets off to a great start, with a warm-up lap of 31.5 seconds, well below the standard of 32.06.  Just about the only bobble in his performance comes on a later lap, when he gets the "Darlington stripe"; then again, he wasn't the first to get one and he won't be the last.  McCall receives a near-perfect score of 415.
--Next was Auggie Vidovich.  He has no ride lined up for 2006 with his current series, so Vidovich has a special reason to do well.  However, he could not match McCall's speed, and, more importantly, cannot easily find a racing line.  His score is 260.
--Following Vidovich was wild-card Michael Perkins, who continues to impress Jack Roush with his adaptability to tracks much bigger and more challenging than he has ever seen before.  Edwards praises him for running the best lines of the contestants in his group.  But Pickens has two problems: he never gains a large amount of speed, and asks for no adjustments after the first warm-up laps, at a track where they are critical.  Pickens settles for a score of 270.
--Ending this group is Peter Shepherd.  The Canadian fights the wheel early on.  By the third segment, he settles down and finds his line, but his speed plummets from a 31.9 in the first warm-up to a best evaluation lap of 32.71.  When he leaves the truck, Shepherd feels pessimistic about advancing in the "gong show."  Shepherd also scores 270.

Next week, favorites Danny O'Quinn, David Ragan, Eric Darnell hit the track with wild cards Eden and Clark; working with them will be Greg Biffle.  After these runs, only four drivers will remain.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2006, 06:20:01 PM »

I thought it was absolutely absurd for Roush to bring back three drivers who were eliminated at Martinsville and give them an extra chance.  

To give those three an opportunity at Darlington after already sending home several guys who surpassed them at Martinsville just seemed wrong to me.

This really smacked of the "reality series" mentality (as I understand it - never watched that junk to really know, but have seen previews and heard things).  

Cheryl
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Desmond
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2006, 06:07:05 PM »

Summary for the episode of Jan. 30:

This week's show featured three favorites and two wild cards.  All the drivers performed the way we expected:

--First on the track was David Ragan, one of the favorites.  He went flat out, even approaching the bumper of pro guest Greg Biffle on several occasions.  Ragan's fastest laps while trailing Biffle was 31.68 seconds, well below the standard of 32.06.  While he was leading, he went no faster than 32.36, but was still impressive and consistent.  Ragan impressed the judges to the tune of a 360 score.
--Johnny Clark, the wild card from Maine, was next.  During the show, Clark talked about how he thought this was his last chance at a major professional contract, since he is 25 years old and most developmental drivers are much younger.  However, he didn't seize the chance, with no lap faster than 33.53 seconds.  Then again, Carl Edwards thought that Clark was simply spooked by a track whose dimensions and setup he had never seen before.  Still, Clark scored a very low 175.
--Erik Darnell was also a favorite heading into this round, and he also ran close to Biffle's bumper.  Darnell beat Ragan's times while trailing the pro (31.59) and leading the pro (31.99) and also had an outstanding 15-lap evaluation average of 32.28.  But the judges were just as quick to emphasize how smooth Darnell was off of the tricky Turn 2.
--Sondi Eden, the other wild card, followed.  Although she showed "a lot of intelligence," as Jack Roush said, and although she improved her lap times continuously in the evaluation period, Eden was scored very harshly because those times were nowhere near those of her rivals.  The total of 170 was by far the lowest of the field.
--At first, Danny O'Quinn showed why he was also among the head of the class.  He ran blazing laps (fastest: 31.96) and a very consistent line in the warmup laps.  However, O'Quinn lost control of the car during the evaluation laps, especially coming around Turn 1, and Biffle could no longer keep up when O'Quinn ran in the lead.  Still, O'Quinn scored an impressive 370.

It was then time for Roush to announce the four finalists for the "gong show."  As expected, they were Ragan, Darnell, O'Quinn, and Matt McCall.  Clark, Eden, Michael Pickens, Auggie Vidovich, and Peter Shepherd were eliminated.

Next week, the finalists race each other.  After the race, the judges will meet one last time and determine the winner.
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old hot rodder
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« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2006, 11:21:04 PM »

Quote from: "Cheryl"
I thought it was absolutely absurd for Roush to bring back three drivers who were eliminated at Martinsville and give them an extra chance.  

To give those three an opportunity at Darlington after already sending home several guys who surpassed them at Martinsville just seemed wrong to me.

This really smacked of the "reality series" mentality (as I understand it - never watched that junk to really know, but have seen previews and heard things).  


Cheryl, I never picked up on the reason for the "wildcards", so I tend to agree with your sentiment.
  Now, may I pease have another little blue helmet?? Thanks. :-D
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William James
Desmond
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2006, 05:11:25 PM »

Congratulations, Dick! :smt041
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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2006, 06:30:30 PM »

Thanks, Desmond.
 I notice that it says that I'm a curmudgeon now. Boy is that an understatement!!! :-D
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William James
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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2006, 07:28:45 PM »

Congratulations, Dick!  I'm sorry I missed noticing your new status.  

Quote from: "old hot rodder"
I notice that it says that I'm a curmudgeon now. Boy is that an understatement!!! :-D


For many of the rest of us too!   :lol:

Cheryl
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Vivian
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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2006, 09:25:21 PM »

Congratulations, Dick!  And you too, Cheryl.

Do you think we will ever reach the end so we will have to change the color of the helmets.

One more episode of the Driver X.  I kind of lost interest although I continue to watch.  Deep down, when they brought in those wild cards, (just for show IMO) that even more gave me the impression that Jack had already made up his mind and just wanted to add more drama and fullfill the obligation of x number of shows to be broadcast by TDC...
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Cheryl
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2006, 01:30:18 PM »

Quote from: "Vivian"
One more episode of the Driver X.  I kind of lost interest although I continue to watch.  Deep down, when they brought in those wild cards, (just for show IMO) that even more gave me the impression that Jack had already made up his mind and just wanted to add more drama and fullfill the obligation of x number of shows to be broadcast by TDC...


I totally agree about Jack bringing those people back to make the show last longer.  Smacked of "tabloid TV" too much for me too.  They couldn't cut it the first time, so why waste time on them again?  But I'm betting those three will return next year.  

Did you really get the impression there is only one more show left?  I wasn't sure by what they said on the promo for next week.

On the helmts, I haven't done anything lately.   :lol:   I just meant a few of us here are [admittedly] curmudgeons in real life!  

Cheryl
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Desmond
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« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2006, 06:49:34 PM »

I am very sure that the announcer at least implied that this was the final episode.

If I have counted correctly, Monday's show will be the 13th show in Roush Racing: Driver X.  That is the typical size of a network's order from the producers of a given show.
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« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2006, 06:01:34 PM »

Episode of Feb. 6:

The search is over.  Eric Darnell, a third-generation driver from Illinois, has won the "gong show" as seen on Discovery Channel's Roush Racing: Driver X.

With the win, he gets a one-year contract with Roush and one of its two full-time truck teams.

This episode begins with a quick recap of the 12 previous shows, which were taped over three weeks at Martinsville and Darlington.  The drivers combined for 1900 laps and 1500 miles on the track, and were viewed by 19 judges.

The four remaining contestants--Danny O'Quinn, Matt McCall, David Ragan, and Darnell--are divided into two heats.  In the first, O'Quinn and Ragan are on the track; McCall and Darnell in the other.  The heats take place at Darlington at night, after a delay due to rain.

First, the drivers spend five laps on the track alone, after which they can ask for adjustments.  Once they return to the track, they start handicap style, with one of them starting a half lap ahead of the other.  The four drivers are compared by total speed for the 20 evaluation laps; the two with the best times advance to a final.  

O'Quinn gets off to a flying start in the first heat, holding a 1.3 second lead over Ragan after six laps.  But Ragan cuts into the line slowly, then takes the point on lap 14.  In the end, Ragan's time is better than O'Quinn's by 0.69 seconds.  It turns out that Ragan was the tortoise, compared to the hare that was O'Quinn; the tortoise's more conservative strategy saved tires and enabled Ragan to gain the better times in the end.

Before the start of the second heat, McCall asks to loosen the truck, while Darnell wants to tighten it.  This resulted in a winning strategy for Darnell and a losing one for McCall.  Darnell gets an early "lead" and was never headed, "winning" by 7.46 seconds.  The heat leaders, Ragan and Darnell, also have the best overall times and move on to the final.

In the final two-truck shootout, Ragan gets the better jump and leads the first few laps.  Despite predictions from Roush and someone else (Matt Kenseth?), Darnell is able to pass Ragan on the outside and goes on to win the race.

However, Darnell's win does not necessarily settle the matter.  The Roush Racing judges then go back to the Presidential Suite at Darlington to discuss the entire "body of work" for the three weeks for each of the finalists, considering both on-track performance and off-track image.  McCall is eliminated, receiving none of the 12 or so votes.  O'Quinn and Darnell receive the most votes.  Jack Roush feels that the vote is so close that he cannot make a decision immediately.

He returns to his office (Charlotte?  Livonia, MI?) and makes the calls to the finalists.  McCall, O'Quinn, and Ragan are seen receiving the bad news--none of them has won.  This leaves only the call of congratulations to Darnell, which he accepts with happiness.  

However, the reaction that follows is subdued.  Is it the typical Midwestern demeanor, or is it something else?  Maybe he hates having to return from some race just to get a staged phone call. :evil:   (OK, so I hope that the call wasn't somehow staged.  But remember the newspaper article from Maine after one of the earlier episodes aired.)

Although Darnell is the only "official" winner, all four received NASCAR contracts for the coming season.  Ragan will split the #6 Roush truck with Mark Martin, O'Quinn has a Busch Series ride with Roush, and McCall has signed with Robert Yates Racing.  Good luck to all!
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