It seemed like forever since I have watched a race? Why? Because first we had the Easter break with no racing and then first race back from Easter was Bristol which was delayed until Monday. Well we are coming up on enrollment deadlines at work so it wasn’t possible for me to be able to sit in my office and pay attention to the race as it happened. I knew I would find out who won (Jimmie) and I heard that the racing was really good at Bristol- which made me jealous that I decided to forgo DVR’ing it. Why would I do that? Well there are a couple of reasons. I knew I would know who the winner was before I could get home and watch it (and indeed I did) so I would have already known the outcome. Plus- honestly I didn’t think I would feel like coming home and watching a race. Too bad because I heard from more than one source that the racing at the track was excellent.
There was so much terrible weather across the United States I was grateful that they were able to race on Sunday at Richmond. I was jonesing for some racing action and I honestly think I got it. When I am talking about racing action- I am talking about side-by-side racing for position. It seems to me that NASCAR was right after all with this segment racing and it really shines on the short tracks. It seems to put a sense of urgency in the racing that seems to make it so that the drivers are not just biding their time for the end of the race.
It seemed that a big complaint among the race fans I follow were the in-race penalties during the race at Richmond. There were several pit road speeding penalties, a couple of lose tire and equipment leaving the box penalties but no more than any other race I thought. So I am wondering if people weren’t talking about the commitment violations for pit road (I guess technically we can’t really call them commitment cone violations since they don’t use a cone at Richmond but instead use an orange square. Apparently it use to be okay if your right side tires hit the orange commitment square on the track but this race they changed the rule so that the tires had to be completely on the left side of the box for pit road and the right side of the box to remain on track. During the national broadcast they said that the change was communicated during the driver’s meeting and I don’t know if a few of the drivers just weren’t paying attention to the rule change or if they were unaware.
I think a lot of people are talking about the incident with Joey Logano ducking in quickly and blocking the view of the commitment box from Kyle Busch who then clearly ran over the box because it was blocked from his view by Logano. Some people think it was a dirty thing for Logano to do. Some people think Kyle Busch is being a whiner. I can honestly see both sides. As the race leader Joey Logano’s job is to protect that lead. Ducking into the pits at the last minute is nothing new- it’s probably one of the oldest “tricks” in the pit strategy sleeve. Nor do I think Kyle has reason to be called a whiner- he was upset- that penalty cost him a decent finish and possibly a win. It’s quite understandable to be upset with the call- especially when you yourself can’t see the box because the view is blocked by the car in front of you. Kyle doesn’t have the vantage point the people on TV have or even the people in the stands. I would call that a “racin’ deal” pure and simple.
Stewart-Haas had a pretty good day overall. All four cars finished in the top 20 with one top five (Harvick), one top ten (Busch), One top 15 (Bowyer) and one top 20 (Patrick).
Drivers that impressed me: Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Daniel Suarez
Drivers that disappointed me: Dale Jr, Clint Bowyer,