The Frontstretch: Thinkin' Out Loud: Firecracker 400 Race Recap by Mike Neff -- Monday July 8, 2013

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Thinkin' Out Loud: Firecracker 400 Race Recap

Mike Neff · Monday July 8, 2013


Key Moment – Jimmie Johnson was about to lose the lead to Marcos Ambrose with 4 laps to go but Ambrose moved to the inside too quickly which damaged his car and ended Kasey Kahne’s night. Had Ambrose not hit Kahne, he might have actually been able to get in front of Johnson for the last four laps.

In a Nutshell – The race started looking like it was going to be the 500 revisited. Then Jimmie Johnson made the bottom line work and a good portion of the race was actually contested double wide or more. In the end, it didn’t matter how wide they were on the track, no one was as fast as Johnson and he made a farce of the event.

Jimmie Johnson was at his best at Daytona, leading 94 laps and cruising to his fourth win in 18 series starts this season.

Dramatic Moment – The only real drama during the race was when Johnson moved up to block the top line late in the event and couldn’t get back down to keep the bottom line from getting up next to him. In the end it was a temporary setback and the No. 48 simply dove away from everyone.

What They’ll be Talking About Around the Water Cooler

The fans said they didn’t like tandem racing. They wanted to get back to the packs, at restrictor plate tracks because that is somehow considered exciting. Well, Saturday night’s race was far from exciting, but they did manage to destroy a couple million dollars worth of race cars.

There is no greater difference in the command to start engines than Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison on Friday evening and the three boobs on Saturday night.

During this Daytona race, it took 10 laps to get into a single-file line running around the top. That is so much better than that tandem racing and 80 lead changes in a single event, right? After a caution, the bottom line started working but that was only because Jimmie Johnson was in the front spot. Without Johnson in the bottom lane, it was dead.

Jimmie Johnson is the car to beat in the Cup series, period. Matt Kenseth may have the same number of wins, but nobody is as consistently up front and threatening to win as the No. 48.

The Cup Series once again is different from the Nationwide Series in terms of consistency… and rules. At Talladega, the Nationwide drivers were coming to the checkered flag when a wreck started in the tri-oval and NASCAR threw the caution. The Cup Series, for the second race in a row at Daytona, has had a wreck in turn two on the final lap and they’ve let the field race back to the checkered flag. They got away with it in the 500, but this week, they tore up another dozen cars that would have gone home in one piece if they had thrown the caution.

The flaps in front of the windshields are designed to help get air out from under the car so that they don’t lift off when they spin sideways. Several of the cars that spun during the race had their flaps come loose from the cars, and a few of them appeared to leave the cars even though they’re supposed to be tethered. That’s not good because they are not that heavy and can easily fly up into the stands.

Before anything got started this weekend, there were 16 Cup cars and 15 Nationwide cars who lost roof flap spacers to NASCAR because they were out of specification. Whether the spacers were an advantage or not, the bottom line is you can’t mess with safety items and, if you do, NASCAR will come down on you without fail. The irony is that NASCAR forces all of the teams to purchase their flaps from one vendor, which is a Roush company. All three of Roush’s cup cars failed their inspection because of the spacers. Betting Uncle Jack isn’t overly thrilled with that development, right?

The Hindenburg Award for Foul Fortune

Joey Logano breaks into the top 10 in points at Kentucky, then blows a right front tire at Daytona to end his night and fall all the way down the mountain to where he began.

Martin Truex, Jr. was looking good at Sonoma and Kentucky, thrusting him inside the top 10 in points. Unfortunately for him, the fickle finger of fate sent him for a spin and a tough hit into the inside wall at Daytona, knocking out all his early summer momentum.

Denny Hamlin wrecked twice in the event. The first time, with Truex and Juan Pablo Montoya wasn’t enough to end his night. The second one, he spun by himself in front of the pack and then got drilled by AJ Allmendinger. Hamlin climbed out under his own power thankfully but it really might be time for Denny to consider that season ending surgery.

The “Big Ones” were out in force at Daytona; this wreck lifted Denny Hamlin airborne while taking out half-a-dozen other cars.

Along with Hamlin in the second wreck, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Allmendinger, Dave Blaney, Travis Kvapil and David Reutimann all had their stuff torn up.

Kasey Kahne was looking good for the win with 4.5 laps to go until Marcos Ambrose tried to make a move from behind Jimmie Johnson to the bottom of the track. The shuffling flat out drilled Kahne and sent him hard into the inside wall on the back straight.

The “Seven Come for Eleven” Award for Fine Fortune

Kevin Harvick was hanging at the back of the pack to stay out of trouble and nearly lost the draft at one point. We’ve seen that strategy bite drivers in the rear before but it played out well for Harvick on Saturday night as he came home in third place.

Michael Waltrip may be annoying in the booth and not much on most race tracks but dude can still wheel a plate car with the best of them. Waltrip was nowhere to be seen for most of the event but when the checkered flag was in the air the No. 55, with Waltrip at the wheel, was in fifth position.

Kurt Busch came very close to going home early Saturday night when Paul Menard’s engine blew. As Menard tried to get to the bottom of the track with his car in flames, Busch went to his inside and was nearly collected. Instead he went on to give the Furniture Row Racing team another top 10 with his sixth place finish.

Focused down the stretch, Casey Mears charged into the top 10 at Daytona for his best finish ever driving Germain Racing’s No. 13.

Casey Mears dodged a couple of bullets during Saturday night’s race but took one right in the door as he was coming to take the checkered flag. Fortunately for him he was almost at the start/finish line when it happened so he was giving credit for a ninth-place finish.

Worth Noting

  • Jimmie Johnson’s win was the 64th of his Sprint Cup career. Johnson is now 12 wins behind Dale Earnhardt for seventh all-time and 20 wins away from being in the top 5 all time in wins.
  • This win is Johnson’s third win ever at Daytona and fourth victory of 2013.
  • Johnson and Kenseth are tied for the most wins in the series with four apiece. Johnson and Kyle Busch are tied for the most top 5s, while no one has as many top 10 finishes as Johnson.
  • Tony Stewart’s runner-up finish is his ninth all-time at Daytona and is his fourth top 5 in 2013.
  • Kevin Harvick’s podium finish was his fifth top 5 of the season and sixth ever at Daytona.
  • Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. won the Rookie of the Race with his 11th-place finish.
  • Travis Kvapil won the American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award for this week.
  • Kyle Busch’s pole position was his first ever on a restrictor plate track.

Top 10 finishers by Manufacturer

Chevrolet – 7
Toyota – 2
Ford – 1

  • 34 cars were listed as running at the end of the race. Of course, that included the smoking heaps that littered the track thanks to the crash across the finish line.
  • Jimmie Johnson is the first driver to win the 500 and 400 in the same season since Bobby Allison in 1982.
  • Paul Menard’s blown engine was the first engine failure in the July Daytona race since 2009.
  • In another telling sign of the health of the sport, there were only 43 cars that attempted to qualify for the race this weekend. Not that long ago, there were 50 cars showing up for this race. Of course, back then they sold tickets on the backstretch for the July race as well.
  • Somehow, Jimmie Johnson was listed as being included in the incident that brought out the final caution of the night on the backstretch (when Ambrose took out Kahne). The only participation Johnson had in that incident was watching it in the rear-view mirror.

What’s the Points?

Obviously, Jimmie Johnson is still the point leader since he won the race and he was leading coming into the event. He is now more than a full race ahead of his closest pursuer. With Carl Edwards 29th place finish he fell from second to third behind Clint Bowyer. Bowyer is 49 points behind Johnson while Edwards is now 71 behind. Kevin Harvick is two points behind Edwards in the fourth while Dale Earnhardt Jr. clawed his way to an eighth place finish and gained one place to fifth some 110 points out of the top spot.

Matt Kenseth may be tied with the most wins in the series, but he also has three DNFs this year. While he was running at the end of the race on Saturday, he came home in 33rd which cost him a spot in the top 5. Kenseth now leads the second half of the top 10 in sixth position. Kyle Busch wrecked across the finish line in 12th position which allowed him to hang onto seventh in the standings. Greg Biffle ended the race with the front of his car still attached and managed to gain one spot in the standings to eighth. Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart were the big movers on Saturday with Busch moving up five spots to ninth and Stewart gaining six to round out the top 10.

The wild card competitors at this point in the season are Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne. They are not only eleventh and twelfth in points but they also are the highest two drivers in the point standings outside the top 10 with a victory each. Assuming they can hang onto those positions for eight more weeks they’ll love it.

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans, with one being a stinker and a six-pack an instant classic) – Restrictor plate racing is an acquired taste. Some people savor the intricate chess match that takes place at Daytona and Talladega. Others would rather choke down cole slaw that was sitting out in the Daytona sun for a week. The race started out with a single file parade like the Daytona 500 and ended with a double file parade that was not much better and ended with about half of the field demolished. With fewer lead changes than Dover, Michigan, Charlotte and Las Vegas, the 400 didn’t even have a jet dryer explosion this year. Try as we might to find a silver lining on this one there just isn’t one. As a result, we’ll give one hot Silver Bullet.

Next Up – The series heads to the Northeast for a heated battle at the Magic Mile in Loudon, New Hampshire. Bowing to the ADD generation of casual fans that NASCAR is looking for, we’ll see 301 laps around the track because apparently 500 laps is just too many. The race coverage starts at 1:00 PM Eastern on TNT and PRN.

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07/08/2013 01:04 AM

Another week and again another “Take Names, and Kick Butt” performance from the #48.
except this week, its not a cookie-cutter, but a plate-race. Unbelievable superior raw horsepower from the #48. Take notice that except for the #48 all the other “Hendrick Powered” Chevys are for the most part just on par with the RF-Yates, TRD and RCR powered cars. However, why doesn’t this #48 superior power/performance find its way into the #24, #88 and #5? “Junior Nation” should demand that Chad Knaus bring his “secrets” to the #88. Or, If Jeff Gordon ever wants to be relevant again he needs to walk over the #48 shop and claim the domain. Lets not fool ourselves, JJ is not the far superior driver that his record would indicate over that say of Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart. I don’t believe JJ could take inferior equipment and be the “wheel man” Kurt Busch is, if JJ had to drive the #78. JJ gave us another SOS example of how great a teammate he is. Kasey just ask Jeff or Junior they both know all about being on the short end of the stick. JJ without Chad, or Chad without JJ would tell all.

Brian France Sucks
07/08/2013 01:56 AM

Were we watching the same race? Did you watch the replays? Jimmy moved over too late to block Ambrose, made contact with the 9, and pushed Ambrose over into Kahne. Ambrose didn’t move over too quick. He got moved over while making a pass for the lead. That was on Johnson, not Ambrose, and Kahne has every right to be p!ssed at the 48 for ditching him and then ending his night. But hey, that’s what teammates are for.

Jacklegged Nascar Expert
07/08/2013 05:24 AM

Enjoyed hearing the Smoky Mountain rain on my roof rather than tune in.

07/08/2013 07:52 AM

The season is over folks….

Jimmie Johnson will win another championship.

Whether we like it or not (and this is the LAST thing this sport needs) the 48 will take it.

Is it football time yet?

Carl D.
07/08/2013 08:00 AM

“The fans said they didn’t like tandem racing.” – Please make that “some” fans. Most of us just want “real” racing. I’m sick of Johnson winning as much as the next guy, but Chad had that car perfect from the get-go and Johnson just stunk it up for everyone else. Sometimes that’s just racing.

“There is no greater difference in the command to start engines than Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison on Friday evening and the three boobs on Saturday night.” – Amen!

“Jimmie Johnson is the car to beat in the Cup series, period.” – This is July. Get back to me in September.

Kasey Kahne played the good teammate and never even tried to pass Johnson when the two were up front. No good deed goes unpunished and Kasey got what he deserved. His wreck was karma.

As good as Johnson and Kenseth have been this year, no driver has been more impressive than Kurt Busch. He’s become my favorite driver that I can’t stand.

07/08/2013 08:22 AM

thought it interesting when tv showed michael waltrip on a pit stop, he was pitted in his box the wrong direction……he’s still an idiot!

i have given up on racing….48 bunch week in and week out is the final nail in the coffin.

when i saw the teams that got busted for the spacers on the roof flaps and NO HENDRICK teams were involved, figured brian had deposited his july stipend from hendrick.

the simplicity of the anthem was great….shame it can’t be said for the command….idiots!!! what’s next a turbo charged snail in a few weeks giving the command when that movie opens?

i know how frustrated i get in traffic when i can’t pass and get on my way on highway here in atlanta. the in car view of dale jr at one point the telemetry was shown, foot to the floor all around the track and not being about to go around someone…..i know what that’s like at 20 mph….at over 200 mph for 400 miles i would be ready for the rubber room.

oh well, dega is in october. but by then the season will be long over.

hamlin needs to get his surgery. hard hit that rung his bell last week and now the hit from saturday night… many more hits can his body sustain?!

07/08/2013 08:24 AM

I continue to be amazed at how close the points are outside the top 10. After Daytona, just 44 points separate 9th from 21st. Just about anybody within that range (and especially in the top half) still has a realistic shot at making the chase. I still don’t like the chase…but for me, at least, the numbers have been exciting to watch from week to week!

I also agree with Carl. I don’t like Kurt Busch, but I find myself being happy for him and his team this year as I tend to pull for the underdogs. I hope they make the chase!

07/08/2013 08:53 AM

No other car does what the 48 does. But it passes inspection so it must be legal. Imagine Kurt in the 48. He’d have a lot less to complain about.
Brian doesn’t have to worry about Hendrick’s call this morning.

07/08/2013 09:27 AM

…and here’s the latest news. In their blatant attempt to hand JJ a sixth Hendricks cup championship, nas$car is going all out in their plan to chase more of their fan base away. What a farce.

07/08/2013 09:58 AM

Sounds like I can be glad I spent my Saturday night at the dirt track.

Bill B
07/08/2013 10:36 AM

Not much to say. Glad there is only one RP race left. Sick of JJ seemingly having a car a step above everyone else. Also wondering how transparent and sharing information really is at the Hendrick shop.
And for the record I’d rather watch that race than any race with tandem drafting.

07/08/2013 11:30 AM

I watched the first ten laps of the race and the last 50. Thankfully I didn’t waste the entire evening. I was disappointed that JJ won (again); was hoping that Jamie Mac could have pulled if off. It seems like JJ was so fast that none of the drivers felt that they could pass him even if they had help in the draft. I think Denny Hamlin should scrap the rest of the season and get the surgery before he gets permanent damage that can’t be fixed with surgery.

Tim S.
07/08/2013 11:45 AM

They managed to make Daytona into a race where Johnson gets out front with the aero and no one can pass, just like everywhere else. Some of the blame falls on the other drivers and teams, though. Anyone else remember McMurray’s crew chief telling him to just ride behind the 48? Even in the days of DEI dominance and the “23 car,” at least people would try to pass those 2 and mire them in traffic.

07/08/2013 12:12 PM

Nascar media tells us how good these teams are and how many smart, hard working people there are in the garages. And yet, after all these years, NO ONE can catch the 48 or get their car to do what the 48 can do?

We’ve all seen plenty of races where the 48 car seems to have some extra horsepower and/or can move/pass like no other car on the track.

Are we to believe that after all these “Chase years”, no other team can figure things out like the 48? Seriously?

07/08/2013 12:18 PM

tim – if we (fans) feel this way, i’m sure drivers feel the same way. i think if any crew chief/owner would tell their driver to ride behind the 48, they’d get an unpublishable ear full.

Old Fan Bill
07/08/2013 12:43 PM

B. F. Sucks,your right about J.J. blocking M.Ambrose. Which command to start your engines was the most classless? 1.The 3 clowns at Daytona. 2.DW yanking the mic. out of the ladys hand at Sonoma.

Carl D.
07/08/2013 12:49 PM

O.F.B. – I expect Adam Sandler and Kevin James to act like imbeciles, and that’s exactly what they did. While I don’t expect much from DW, I never expected him to be such a jerk at Sonoma. So I vote for #2

Kevin in SoCal
07/08/2013 02:32 PM

I was expecting more complaints about the final lap. If NASCAR throws the caution, then we all complain about how NASCAR wanted JJ to win, instead of letting them race. NASCAR let them race back, and we complain about how NASCAR should have thrown the yellow so we wouldnt have another accident. Pick one people, you cant have both.

07/08/2013 02:32 PM

O.F.B. and Carl D. I vote #2. DW shows his true colors (I thought he was going to knock that lady over). He’a a marketing machine like Danica (where’s Kyle Petty’s astute observations when you need them).

Another JJ love fest with him leading 94 laps. Then he tried to block Ambrose too late and took out Kahne. Best move of the night was me going to Milwaukee’s Summerfest and watching Buddy Guy put on a great show at the Harley stage.
Watched the race in 40 minutes Sunday morning. Next weekend … anywhere but in front of the TV watching JJ. Great driver, great crew chief, just fricking boring to see the same guy win every week.

07/08/2013 03:09 PM

Carl D., it didn’t matter who was in the lead, it was impossible to close in to even try a pass because of the short rear spoilers. I said before this season even started that the plate races weren’t going to be any good because of he short spoiler, because the short rear spoiler makes it virtually impossible to make runs. Just watch a plate race from 1989-‘92, and you’ll see exactly what I mean, because they weren’t the most exciting races to watch.

All NASCAR has to do to make plate racing watchable again is to make one change, and that’s to increase the size of the rear spoiler, which will increase the effect of the draft. NASCAR made that very change in 1993 after the dull plate races in 1992, and the result was some of the best racing ever seen at Daytona and Talladega for about two years before the modern aero cars made their debut. If NASCAR increases the size of he rear spoiler, it will get passing back, because that’s been proven.

The fact that Matt Kenseth led 142 laps at Talladega and Jimmie led 94 last Saturday night should say something right there, because nobody could even challenge them. Put a bigger rear spoiler on the car, and I will guarantee that you’ll see races with slingshot-type passes and 40-50+ lead changes again. History proves that.

The more aerodynamic the cars, the worse the racing is at Daytona and Talladega. That was the case in the late 60s with the “aero wars” cars, the mid 80s with the ’83 T-Bird, the mid 90s with the ’95 Monte Carlo, and that’s the case now with the “Gen-6” car.

Carl D.
07/08/2013 03:28 PM

Gary… Im a big blues fan and I’ve seen Buddy Guy quite a few times. He can be absolutely amazing when he’s inspired and downright sloppy when he’s not in the mood. Still, I’ll take Buddy on a bad night over a plate race anytime.

Charles… I agree that Kahne probably could not have gotten around Johnson even if he had tried. Still, he could have at least given it a shot early in the race when there was plenty of time to rebound. On the other hand, he may have dropped back gotten caught up in a wreck; who’s to say. In the end, though, no one was going beat the #48 car.

totally bored with NASCAR
07/08/2013 03:50 PM

After reading about the usual chaos of RP racing and that Johnson won another race, I’m glad that I opted to meet friends and enjoy my evening rather than waste it in front of the TV. Saw some of the replays and Johnson even said in his post race interviews that he was blocking so I am not surprised that he would wreck people with those actions. We have tickets to several races in the fall. Right now, I don’t have a lot of interest in traveling to any of them.

07/08/2013 04:12 PM

Carl D., what you say about Jimmie Johnson would have been true about anyone that got in the lead, because it was virtually impossible to make a run at the leader, no matter who it was. If it was Kahne who was leading, nobody would have gotten by him. The fact that Kenseth led almost half the Daytona 500 and 142 laps at Talladega is further proof of that.

My point is that if NASCAR goes to a bigger rear spoiler, you’ll see better racing. That I can guarantee, because history teaches us that.

07/08/2013 05:13 PM

Mike…How did not throwing the caution on the last lap tear up a dozen more cars? I didn’t see the leaders come around and pile in to them, did they? If you think throwing the caution would prevent all those in the middle of the crash from being involved is far-fetched. At the speeds they are going, and a big crash starts ahead of you, your instincts tell you what to do. I doubt you would have time to notice if the yellow light is flashing, when your trying to avoid other cars.

07/08/2013 05:45 PM

Charles, the answer isn't to change the spoiler on the rear deck (see the 1970s when the spoiler was a mere 3"). First fix is to do away with the D#^ed valances and splitter. Second fix is to use the grill openings as designed by the manufacturers.

The racing in the 70s was a bazillion times better than what we have today. Nobody pitching a fit about aero loose… it put the racing right where it belongs—the cockpit of the vehicle.

JD in NC
07/08/2013 06:01 PM

I agree with Carl D. and Kevin. I used to absolutely hate Kurt Busch, but this season I have found myself pulling for him. It also helps that he drives the car with the best paint scheme in cup – simple, solid black, and badass. KB’s in-car radio interactions with the crew were very funny at times during the NNS race with all the Cole Trickle/Days of Thunder references. I just hope if or when he gets another A ticket ride he doesn’t get stupid again.

As for the command to start engines, Allison’s made the statement “I love racing, lets get this started!” The three idiots made the statement, “hey look at me! I have to have attention!”

Tandem racing was terrible, I hope it never comes back.

JJ is one of my favorites, but he did block Ambrose. I think if Ambrose hadn’t reacted and would have held his line instead, the outcome would’ve been the same for Kasey, except it would have been the 48 coming across his nose on the way to the infield that would’ve wrecked him.

07/08/2013 06:04 PM

“As good as Johnson and Kenseth have been this year, no driver has been more impressive than Kurt Busch. He’s become my favorite driver that I can’t stand.” Same here Carl D.

07/08/2013 06:07 PM

Chuck, I was referring to just the racing at Daytona and Talladega. All NASCAR needs to do to get the racing back to what it was from 2008-‘10 is to mandate a bigger rear spoiler. I wasn’t referring to the entire circuit, only the plate tracks.

Besides, if you eliminate the valances, you would make them virtually undriveable because of the lift it would create, plus you’d make them far more dangerous when they spin out, because they’d go up in the air almost immediately because there will already be air underneath the cars. I think NASCAR mandated those strips to be on the ground to make sure the cars stay on the ground. And the front ends have been sealed to the ground at speed since the late 1980s.

Remember this. Back in the 70s, they were going 180-185 MPH at Daytona unrestricted with about 500-550 horsepower. In fact, when Buddy Baker set the existing record for the Daytona 500 in 1980, it was said that his engine was making 600-640 HP. Now, they’re making close to 900 HP unrestricted, and about half that with the restrictor plate.

And if they do raise the valance, the teams will then run a soft front end setup to get as much of that downforce back as possible, so little will really change, except the costs, which would skyrocket again.

But the way to get he drafting back at the plate tracks is an easy one. Run a bigger rear spoiler, and that by itself will make it so that the draft will come back to what it was in recent years.

07/08/2013 07:09 PM

Charles, i’d submit even in the early 80s, the spoilers were small, there were no valances, the cars were hitting 200 or better and the cars didn’t rely on aerodynamic tricks to get the grip they needed… drivers have two feet and the brake pedal is right next to the accelerator. Like DW said a long time ago, “you want better racing, stand the windshield back up, get rid of the valances and cut back the size of the rear blade (spoiler).” I don’t much care for DW but he’s right

07/08/2013 07:44 PM

The big story from Daytona is going to play out tomorrow, when the world will see whether or not Na$crap will have the Nads to Fine, Suspend Crew Chiefs 2 or 3 races, and Dock Owners and Drivers 25 points each for unapproved parts (roof flaps)that 16 Cup teams were busted for. Will Na$crap be consistent? Big PR problem here, and hefty points penalties will affect the Do-Over Chase Farce. Or will it be probation (ha!ha!) small fine/6 points. Third time this year Penske cars have been busted, Joe Gibb (#20) and MWR-Truex each twice. Will be interesting to see what plays out.

07/08/2013 07:56 PM

Gotta agree with BFS, Ambrose did nothing wrong except having the audacity to try to win a race. When the 9 was coming with a head of steam JJ left his teammate in the 5 out to dry and switched lanes. When Ambrose tried to preserve his momentum JJ came down into him sending the 9 into the 5. In F1 and most forms of racing the first attempt at a block is usually OK, but then reversing directions to block the same driver is warrants a penalty. If Johnson wants to get his nads all up in a wad over re-start procedures maybe it’s time some other drivers hoist the “blocking” black flag (which Stewart has tried but apparently he still feels blocking is OK as long as he’s the one doing it.)
Also bothered by the fact a large chunk of debris somehow managed to go sailing into the pits as the crews were standing along the wall watching the last lap play out. Fortunately there were only minor injuries but NASCAR will find a way to create wholesale homicide at Daytona or Talladega one of these days. And when they do you know FOX will be running it in thier promo ads for a decade.
I was expecting Kahne to go over and go nuclear at JJ after the race. Kasey is holding on to a tenuous spot to make the Chase while JJ is solidly locked in. I disagree with team orders but a little common courtesy towards the guy who helped push you to the lead might be expected, teammate or otherwise.

07/08/2013 08:31 PM

Yes Chuck, and every time a car got sideways at Daytona and Talladega, it either totally lifted off the ground or wanted to. Frankly, I think that a major reason the cars have such low clearance to the ground these days could be a safety measure, to make sure they stay on the ground when they gets sideways or backwards.

The bigger rear spoilers would have the same effect on drafting that a more vertical rear window would, that they would cause the cars to punch a bigger hole in the air, and I feel that’s all that’s needed to make the racing better at the plate tracks.

07/08/2013 09:55 PM

What’s wrong with a dominate driver? Now, I am not a Jimmy Johnson fan, but when your favorite driver beats him, that makes it exciting. But the problem is that everytime a race team tries to get better to challenge him, it’s illegal. Crew chiefs are too limited. Racing would be better if they had more options.

Bud Sudz
07/08/2013 10:55 PM

Not a JJ hater, but he threw a bad block on Ambrose. The 9 car had the momentum and would have pinned the 48 on the outside, as others would have followed him up the middle. JJ’s block won the race and ended the night for Ambrose and Kahne.

07/09/2013 10:32 AM

listen!!! race fans, jj, willwin the championships,untill, hendrick, beats petty an dale; record!! he wants to be the top dog,in having the most championships! nascar should read the fans ,comments on face book! race fan ,from the 60;.. no more!! what true fan is going to spend all their money, travel, all those miles ,an already know whos is going to win!!! not me! Bristol is calling everyday wanting us back. even sent us free tickets, last year!! jimmy is not a team player! he throws jr. under the bus every chance he gets! he is a usuer of his team mates! ghad learned from the best, at cheating,he worked under everham! stay home ,save your hard earned money, an fast forward to the end! nascar is a joke!


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Thinkin' Out Loud – The Off Week Season Review
Special Winter Sprint Car Series set for January debut at Cocopah Speedway
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