Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ok, Now That We Have Daytona Out of the Way, Let the Real Racing begin at PHOENIX!!!

Not much of an article this week, just some random thoughts on the week that was.

- Granted, we PVR'd the race and began with the pre-race show @ 1:30 and fast forwarded through the commercials, however, the commercials did not seem too frequent, and it seemed like FOX has reduced the amount of time that we have to see Tim Brewer on the screen, so I'll say that the coverage of the race seemed better than it has been, though I think there is still enough they can improve upon.
- All the articles seem to be about Trevor Bayne yesterday and today. I'm prepared to give him props for keeping his car clean in what ended up being quite a wreckfest, however at Daytona, when Brian Keselowski can finish 5th in his 150 mile qualifier anything can happen. Trevor's got some skill and a bright future, but I think the Jeff Gordon comparison's might be a tad bit premature. Let's see how Trevor does over the next 6 races (he is only running a partial schedule, but he is running the first 7 races of the season) before we anoint him the next '4-time'.
- Previous paragraph aside, congrats to Danica Patrick for her 14th place run at Daytona. She seemed tentative in hooking up with others and unsure how to do that, however still managed to keep the fenders on the car and drive it to a good finish. No thanks to her teammates - Dale Jr & Aric Almirola in the #5 & #88 car who had the opportunity to help her out and instead drove around her. Seems to me she could have been given a little more help in practice and early on in the race to prepare her for running the two car draft. The fact that Danica had two teammates in the race this weekend makes it inexcusable that in the race on the radio she stated "I don't know what he wants me to do, someone has to help me out here" in reference to Clint Bowyer when he had been pushing her and was looking to change positions to get some air into his engine to cool things down a bit. How did that she not know what he was looking to do, and how did that situation not come up in practice???
- Congratulations to Michael Waltrip for winning what was probably the best race of the weekend in the Camping World Truck series. Seeing his emotions in victory lane makes me think that win likely meant more to him than any of his NASCAR wins at any level. Great to see the black 15 truck in victory lane. The racing was what we are used to at Daytona with a big pack shuffling back and forth with the trucks bouncing around and off of one another.
- The Nationwide and Sprint Cup races were both better than what I anticipated, it's just a shame to see single cars get a run like they used to be able to do and pull ahead of 5 or 6 cars, only to drop 30 positions in the next 30 seconds because there wasn't a second car pushing them. Hopefully NASCAR will take a look at the rules package at the Superspeedway's before we make a return to Talladega and Daytona.
- Pre season, everyone was talking about how people were not going to like how Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski would likely win the majority of Nationwide Series races this season, but not see their names at the top of the standings, no one really mentioned how odd it would look if someone not competing for the Sprint Cup Series Championship won the first race and his name wasn't at the top of the standings, but that is exactly what we have today.
- Who would have thought that the top three in points leaving Daytona would not include the race winner and would include David Gilliland and Bobby Labonte?
- Next up is Phoenix where Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch dominated the spring race last year, only to have the caution fly and see Ryan Newman pick up only his second win since 2005. Note that this race was not till April 10th last year. Will weather have an impact with the race being 45 days earlier this year?

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