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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2010 Autism Speaks 400 at Dover

Who… gets my shoutout of the race?

It’s hard not to go with the driver who outclassed the field for more than half of the race, but it’s also hard to go with that same driver when his own mistake costs him the race win. So props this week to a driver who didn’t dominate, but who secured a season-best fifth-place finish. David Reutimann finished a relatively unheralded fifth to claim his second top five of the year and his first since finishing fifth at Daytona in February. With his run, Reutimann also moved up four spots in driver points, matching Tony Stewart for the biggest points gain of the week.

What… was THAT?

I’m not questioning NASCAR here (see below for that) because my biggest beef of the weekend wasn’t with the sanctioning body, but with a group of journalists who wrote all over Twitter about the winner of the Camping World Truck Series race from Dover-before most of us got to see the broadcast. At least put a spoiler warning on every post in which you give away results, guys! According to some, they did post warnings, but at the beginning of the race, and not on each and every post that mentioned results as they should have. I didn’t even bother to watch the race because I knew the results beforehand. That can’t be good for ratings. And no, I shouldn’t have had to stay off Twitter if I didn’t want to know. A simple warning on EACH AND EVERY post was called for, but sadly not delivered by a single person. It’s one thing to talk about the winner of a race that’s already been broadcast to the masses, but another entirely to ruin it for everyone not lucky enough to be there in person.

Where… did the polesitter wind up?

Martin Truex Jr. considers Dover his home track, and his pole was the beginning of a solid day. Truex finished a respectable 12th after starting on point, three spots above his 15.2 average. More importantly, the finish moved Truex into the top 12 in points. Should Truex make the Chase, it would be a first for Michael Waltrip Racing.

When… will I be loved?

I bet No. 77 crew chief Travis Geisler isn’t feeling the love from driver Sam Hornish Jr. after Hornish hit the wall twice at Dover… both times after telling Geisler he had a tire problem and being told to “wait it out.” Both times, there was no waiting, and Hornish slammed the wall with the right side of his car.

Why… are pit-road speeds a better-kept secret than the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices?

Once again, a driver was penalized for speeding on pit road with no numbers from NASCAR. (In case you were wondering, Jimmie Johnson was .0900 miles per hour over the tolerance.) Do I think there’s a conspiracy? No, but does NASCAR seriously wonder why many fans do think NASCAR fixes races with penalties or the lack thereof? Why not let the networks see the timers? Besides eliminating questions, wouldn’t it add to the broadcast if they could use pit road speeds to show how and where a car gains or loses time?

How… is Brian Vickers doing?

After a scary incident in which blood clots sent the 26-year-old driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota to the hospital on Wednesday, Brian Vickers was released late Friday to fly to Charlotte, where he will continue treatment with specialists working to ascertain the cause of the clots. Casey Mears drove the No. 83 at Dover and will likely remain in the seat until Vickers returns. (And it shouldn’t even be a question whether the car will be allowed to race in next week’s All-Star event with Mears behind the wheel. The rules, which NASCAR appears to have forgotten to read, stipulate that both the driver and the team qualify in the event that they aren’t together at the time of the event.)

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