Unfortunately when things go busy for me in the real world blogging here can suffer. Doesn’t mean I am not paying attention to what is going on in the NASCAR world- it just means that I have trouble getting time to write it all down. I have been suspiciously absent for a month- but I haven’t missed a race. I just missed writing about them. I am back and I am going to use this post as a catch all for some things I have been wanting to write about but haven’t yet had the time. So here is a list of things I have been wanting to discuss:
- We will start with the playoff format. As you all know I wasn’t a fan of it at first. Then I started warming up to it around Bristol. However I am back to not much liking it. Why? Because I am pretty sure that the very thing it was put into place to prevent- is actually doing the exact opposite. When NASCAR started messing with the CHASE, it’s reasoning was to get drivers and teams out of the racing for points system. Yet isn’t that exactly what people are playing to now? They all want those extra playoff points. The way these points work, at least in my understanding, will give drivers a huge advantage in the chase. So you could very well have a driver who wins maybe one race and one playoff race win a championship thanks to these “championship points” that the drivers get to keep with them through out the last round of the playoffs. Does it seem like the driving is more aggressive earlier in the race? It’s because everyone is trying to get those championship points. You know- the ones that Martin Truex Jr has in spades right now. Someone could go on a tear and win nearly every regular season race from now until the end and will not be able to catch up to Martin’s “championship points” total.
- Silly Season started early with Dale Jr’s announcement that this season would be his last. That mystery (although not really) has been solved and Alex Bowman has been confirmed to be the driver that will pilot that 88 car next season. Regarding SHR- there is talk that Danica may be out of the ten at the end of the season and Kurt is in an option year. Between the two possible open seats I was really hoping that SHR would snag Ryan Blaney. Now we know that Blaney has gone to Team Penske and in turn Paul Menard will be taking his sponsorship with him to Wood Brothers. So who is left for the 10 or 41 should they open up? Well- Matt Kenseth is rideless – this we know from his announcement that he will not be back in the 20 car. There is also talk that Kasey Kahne is out of the 5 car at the end of the season (although maybe not now that he has broken his winless streak). There has also been talk that SHR might go down to just three cars next season because of sponsorship woes. Also speaking of sponsors- it is really not a surprise to me that Target is leaving NASCAR when they pulled their INDYCAR sponsorship pretty much mid season. So new sponsors will need to be courted.
- This same day qualifying as the race- how do you all feel about that? I don’t know that I have a feeling about it one way of the other to be honest. It seems that NASCAR is trying to change it from a weekend long sport to a single day. Later races (which honestly as a west coast fan rocks) and same day qualifying all seem to be going towards that.
- The overtime rule. I don’t see an issue with it. I don’t see what NASCAR did at the end of the Brickyard race a big deal. I am not blind and yes I could see that cars were wrecking before the caution light came on. But first of all I think even if they were super human and were able to drop the caution at the very very beginning of the incident Kasey Kahne would have still already passed over the overtime line. Also I see no problem of them waiting to see if the incident would require safety vehicles to be deployed- which obviously it did. If you don’t see it this way- let me know why…because I just can’t see it but who knows maybe I missed something.
- The one thing that really riled me up recently though was JGR suspending two Furniture Row Racing pit crew members before this weekend’s race at Pocono. Yes I realize that Furniture Row gets a lot of assistance from JGR – specifically when it comes to pit crew training and support. Yes Martin Truex Jr’s team taunted Kyle Busch’s crew but the crew chief, as the leader of the crew, should lead by example and walk away. Instead Adam Stevens chose to storm into another team’s pit box and get in their face. Yes I realize that frustrations were high on both ends. I wouldn’t call what happened fighting or even shoving really. It wasn’t a full on fist-to-cuffs fight. It’s not really fair that JGR gets to suspend crew members for what went down- corporate teammates or not. Why? Because what better way to disable a competitor (because make no mistakes about it they are competitors) that you were racing hard against then removing two critical crew people. It may or may not be what JGR intended but it’s how it looks. I think the team should leave the penalties to NASCAR who obviously chose not to penalize either parter. Or they should have also penalized Stevens for charging into another teams “office.”
That’s all I can think of right now. So what’s been on your mind regarding NASCAR this season so far? Can you believe we are already so close to the end of the regular season already?
PS- Yes I know that Badgroove.com has been having trouble loading on some devices. I tracked down the issue and I believe I have resolved it- if you still have issues.
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