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Talking the Kansas Race and Extra Stage for the 600

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

While watching the beginning of the Kansas race I thought the big thing I would have to discuss was Chase Elliot clipping Michael McDowell as Elliot was leaving his pit and McDowell was entering his. Honestly I am surprised that doesn’t happen more often. I think that really that’s his crew chief Alan Gustafson was not on the ball watching for other cars as Chase was leaving his pitstall.

However the story ended up being the big wreck involving Danica Patrick, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola looked absolutely brutal and to be honest the more I have watched it between the replays that evening and re-watching again during this writing-the worse it looked. All three drivers involved hard hits…however if you were to show me the footage and say one of these three drivers gets injured in this wreck which would you think it would be. I would have picked Aric every time. Why? Because not only was the initial impact hard but the fact that the rear of car went airborne and then slammed back down (rewatch it at speed and you will see what I mean about that slam down on the rear) I would be incredibly surprised if that was NOT what caused Almirola’s T5 compression fracture. These cars are safe…and funny thing was is I was just touting the day before the new increased metal around the “driver cocoon” as we call it in my house. But increasing rigidity of the space around the driver to prevent movement of car parts into their area will not keep drivers completely safe- as seen by the injuries suffered by Almirola.  I mean the car gets semi airborne and then slams onto the ground- the normal safety equipment (I am thinking things like hans and whatnot) all did their jobs no doubt and protected all three of the involved drivers from suffering from more serious injuries. But much like your regular passenger car- the safety equipment will do it’s job if engaged properly but it won’t prevent every injury- there is no possible way. Aric’s injury also serves as a reminder that auto racing in whatever form you enjoy it in comes with inherent risks.

For a great breakdown of this wreck check out Regan Smith on NASCAR Race Hub, who ironically will be subbing for the injured Almirola.

I will say that I heartily disapprove of the media sharing photos of Aric in the car and being removed from the car. I think it was classless to really even take the pictures let alone share them on social media. I can’t imagine what the photographers were thinking (okay maybe I can…and it’s green).  I hope that this is not a practice that NASCAR as a sanctioning body is condoning as it’s insensitive to Aric and his family.

Here is the Fox Radioactive for the Kansas race including driver commentary about the big wreck:

I don’t know why but Chase’s comment about Danica being a “tough ol’ bird” cracked me up.

Who impressed me at Kansas: Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez

Who disappointed me at Kansas: Gray Gaulding, Chase Elliott

Now- on to the big news this week that NASCAR would be adding an extra stage to the Coca-Cola 600. It’s the longest race in the year and I think it’s only appropriate after watching how the stages have played out over the season for NASCAR to re-evaluate the number of stages in what would be the longest race of the season. It’s our enduro race people- of course NASCAR might want to add a fourth stage- I think it’s only appropriate. It’s a new format and all new formats need tweaking. As you know I wasn’t convinced at first in the stages format to begin with- until I saw it in play at the short tracks- where I think the format really shines. It makes sense that they would tweak the format taking into consideration the length of the 600.

Now who wants to talk about All-Star race tire compounds?

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