NASCAR Race Weekend Central
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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2015 GEICO 500 at Talladega

Who’s in the headline – It took 11 years but Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally won another Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega. After some spirited racing for much of the first part of the race, the last third turned into a mind-numbing parade with little to no action at all. Earnhardt pitted with a few other cars right before Austin Dillon done blowed up to bring out the final caution of the race, and inherited a front-row starting position for the final restart. He took the lead when the green flag flew and led a 36 car procession of lemmings to the checkered flag.

What happenedJeff Gordon dominated qualifying, whipping the field by .3 seconds when the remainder of the final 12 in qualifying were only separated by .3 seconds. In the first round of qualifying, there were 21 drivers withing .3 behind Gordon. When the green flew, Gordon led the first three laps and 35 of the first 96, but wasn’t really a factor over the final 60 laps. Jimmie Johnson led twice for 50 laps, but didn’t take the point after the 103rd lap. Gordon, Johnson and Earnhardt were the only drivers to lead more than five consecutive laps. While 15 drivers exchanged the lead 27 times early, over the final 64 laps the only person to take the lead from Earnhardt was Tony Stewart for a mere one lap. Three other drivers led during the green-flag pit stops that occurred before the final caution but Earnhardt owned the last third of the race.

Why you should care – Talladega is Earnhardt territory. Dale Earnhardt Sr. had 10 victories at the track and Earnhardt Jr. was dominant in the early 2000s. Going 10 years without a victory in north central Alabama was a drought felt by all of Junior Nation. NASCAR didn’t throw a caution during a final-lap wreck, which angered some drivers. There was also another fire on pit road. NASCAR implemented new safety rules for crew members but it won’t surprise anyone if there is a new fueling system introduced in the not too distant future.

What your friends are talking about – NASCAR race control chose not to throw a caution on the final lap Sunday as Carl Edwards spun in turns 1 and 2 followed by Casey Mears, Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Michael Annett and Bobby Labonte all wrecked on the back straight. At Daytona in February, a similar number of cars wrecked and the caution flew immediately. In California this year, Greg Biffle wrecked at the start/finish line and they waited until the field was in turn two before they threw the caution. At Richmond, the field was going through a green-flag pit stop cycle and NASCAR tried hard not to throw the caution until the last three cars on the track that needed to pit pulled in, but eventually the yellow was thrown. Whether they throw the cautions immediately or wait doesn’t really matter, although safety should be the priority. The bottom line is they need to throw it at the same time all of the time.

In an announcement that nearly anyone who pays attention to the business of NASCAR saw coming for some time, the folks at GoDaddy are pulling the plug on their sponsorship of the No. 10 for next season. This year is the final year of Danica Patrick‘s contract with Stewart-Haas Racing. It will be surprising if another company or two doesn’t jump on board just because Patrick moves the needle with racing and non-racing fans alike. Debate the accomplishments all you want, but she is one of the most recognized female athletes on the planet. Someone is going to get on the hood of her car.

Rumblings in the garage are that Phil Parsons is about to sell the No. 98 team. After milking the cash cow of starting and parking for several years, the team has been running full races for the last couple seasons. Failing to qualify for the Daytona 500 had to put a strain on the financials of the organization. Motorsport.com reported that Parsons had reached an agreement with Jay Robinson to sell the organization. Parsons refused to comment at Talladega.

For the second week in a row, there was a pit-road fire thanks to spilled fuel during a pit stop. Ryan Newman‘s car/pit caught fire during a stop. It was quickly extinguished and no one was injured, unlike last weekend in Richmond where three pit crew members were taken to a local hospital for a pit road fire during the Xfinity Series race. Crew members were wearing full face helmets and fire retardant head socks this weekend, but you have to wonder how long it will be before we see an update to the fueling system that is utilized to refuel the cars during pit stops. The sanctioning body cannot be happy about campfires breaking out every week on pit lane.

During an interview this week, Kevin Harvick talked about the Cup Series schedule and the need to mix it up. He pointed out that the schedule is stale and stagnant and that the modern fan likes change. There are more racetracks that would be great to see on the schedule, but the logistics of hosting a Cup race are rather daunting. In addition, making a profit at these modern, massive venues is not easy on one race date per season. The idea of midweek races still holds value, and not having to implement all of the sponsor activation and hospitality that the weekend races require would make things easier for some small venues. It would also open the opportunity for more short-track races, which we all want to see.

Brian France spoke to the AP this week and intimated that shorter races are something that NASCAR is looking into France stated, “I think generally speaking, we want to see shorter events… not in every circumstance.”

He implied that the attention span of millenials is not what older fans have and that shorter races would also reduce the amount of time in the middle of events where drivers tend to ride around. Some people – the author of this piece included – are in the minority and think all races should be 500 miles. Unfortunately, that is not the writing on the wall and it looks like shorter races are coming. The question in that aspect is this: Are fans going to pay the same amount for tickets to see 100-200 fewer laps?

Gordon is going to driver the pace car for the Indianapolis 500. One of Indiana’s favorite adopted sons is going to “do the double” but only to pilot the pace car for the race. Gordon will not have the concerns of missing the drivers’ meeting or introductions since he isn’t committed to racing in the event.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Brad Smith after his scary wreck at Talladega in the ARCA race on Friday. Smith’s throttle hung after hitting the outside wall and then crashed hard into the inside wall. He suffered broken ankles and a laceration to his left foot. He was air lifted to the hospital, but we’re hearing that the surgery was successful.

Who is mad – Gordon was truly dominant in qualifying on Saturday. He started the race in strong fashion as well but seemed to lose a little following a red flag for a big wreck on the back stretch on lap 48. He then received a pit road speeding penalty on lap 156 as he entered the pits for his final stop of the day. He couldn’t make any progress toward the front after starting at the tail end of the pack and was then caught up in a wreck on the final lap. That makes him two-for-two in plate races this season in wrecking (or being wrecked) on the final lap

Edwards and Matt Kenseth were both vocal about their displeasure with race control for not throwing a caution flag on the final lap. Edwards spun and came back up across the race track through traffic… traffic that was not slowing down since the yellow didn’t come out. He was afraid he could have been hurt if he had been T-boned by one of those cars. Kenseth agreed, stating he lifted to avoid sending Edwards to the hospital. Edwards likened it to Daytona when he lifted because Gordon was wrecking on the back straight and the caution had not yet been called, although it came out shortly after Edwards drove past. The Joe Gibbs Racing freshman is going to speak with other drivers this week, as he feels this is a serious safety concern.

Kasey Kahne was fast just like the rest of the Hendrick contingent at Talladega but he didn’t get to wait until the final lap to be caught in a wreck. Kahne was involved in the lap 48 ‘Big One’ and had to spend several laps behind the wall for repairs. As a result, he came home with a 34th-place finish. At this pace, 2015 is going to unfold much like 2014 for Kahne and he may be facing a late season win-to-get-in situation as he did last season to make the Chase.

Who is happyRyan Blaney is running a limited schedule for the Wood Brothers this season and had poor results in two of his first three starts thanks to engine failures. Blaney not only ran the distance on Sunday but he crossed the line in fourth place. He was in position to try and make a move on the final lap to win the race but Denny Hamlin beat him to the punch and caused the youngster to have to play catch up on his run to the finish line.

Paul Menard is getting used to his new crew chief Justin Alexander. He is still laying down his typical early season strong run, sitting in the top 12 in points. However, he only had one top 10 coming into this weekend. That run was also a top five at Fontana. Menard made some of the few moves of anyone on the final lap at Talladega and the result was a podium run. Menard is currently Chase eligible but he’s been here before. We’ll have to see where it shakes out as the ‘regular season’ winds down. For now, he’s got to be happy with his run at Talladega.

Sam Hornish Jr. is back in the Cup series after a couple of years away and he is trying to find success for Richard Petty Motorsports. To say it has been a challenge would be an understatement. Hornish has two finishes of 40th or worse and two more of 32nd or worse. Hornish held his track position and rolled through the final lap carnage to score a sixth-place finish, by far his best run of the season. Making the transition to a new team, not to mention one of the smaller teams in the series, is a challenge. A run like Talladega for Hornish and his team might swing the momentum in their direction.

When the checkered flag flew

Earnhardt Jr. scored the 24th victory of his Cup career in his 551st start. The win puts Earnhardt alone in 31st on the all-time wins list. The triumph is Earnhardt’s sixth of his career at Talladega Superspeedway. Earnhardt is tied with Gordon for most wins at Talladega among active drivers. They trail Earnhardt Sr. on the all-time win list at the track.

Johnson crossed the line in second for his fourth top-two run of 2015. It is also his fourth straight top-three run. Johnson’s runner-up is his fifth top-two run of his career at Talladega.

Menard’s third place run was his second career top-three at Talladega. As stated earlier, this is Menard’s first top-three of the season.

Matt DiBenedetto came home in 18th Sunday to win Rookie of the Race.

Harvick leads the points by 40 over Martin Truex Jr.

Harvick, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Johnson, Hamlin, Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Earnhardt Jr. all have wins in 2015. Harvick and Johnson are locked into the Chase assuming they attempt the rest of the races or receive an exemption should they miss any events, thanks to multiple wins.

The drivers who are currently eligible for the Chase after 10 races without wins and their standing in points:
8, Martin Truex Jr.
9. Jamie McMurray
10. Kasey Kahne
11. Paul Menard
12. Aric Almirola
13. Jeff Gordon
14. Ryan Newman
15. Danica Patrick
16. Clint Bowyer

Takin’ it to the Bank

Cup winners this year have pocketed $4,400,567 in 10 races, while the last-place finisher has taken home $869,020.

In the Xfinity Series, that amount has been $722,297 for the winners and $152,204 for last place in nine races.

After three Truck races, the winner has $188,425 and the last loser has banked $30,813.

What is in the cooler

NASCAR, FOX and the folks at Talladega Superspeedway trumpet the edge of your seat action that is provided by the giant tri-oval in north central Alabama. Unfortunately, they forgot to tell the drivers about it. The first half of the race had plenty of two and three-wide action but the second half of the race was a snoozefest of epic proportions. Fortunately, there was only one ‘Big One’ during the event so most of the teams don’t have to rebuild racecars before the circuit heads to Daytona for the 5th of July. With that said, thanks to the fact that Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag first, we’ll give it two cans of Budweiser, because no other beer could possibly be rewarded at Talladega.

Where do you point your DVR for next week – After two short-track races and a trip to the longest oval on the circuit, we head back to a mile-and-a-half oval. The 11th stop on the schedule finds the series at Kansas Speedway. The race begins at 7:30 ET Saturday May 9th. It begins a stretch of back-to-back races on FOX Sports 1 as the All-Star Race and Sprint Showdown are on the cable network the following weekend. You can also listen to the action on MRN radio and SiriusXM NASCAR channel 90.

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About Mike Neff

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What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

41 comments

  1. Avatar

    I feel that any disease, big or minor problems can be cured and handled now. Junior won a race a plate race in the deep south. The way the fans are carrying on I feel all is right with the world and everything is possible, yes it is indeed a new day. And that IS NOT A DIG ON JR!

  2. Avatar

    I guess Jr fans enjoyed that race but the single file parade that took place during the last 50 laps was really “must miss” tv. I was expecting more racing based on how things went during the first 100 laps. What happened to drivers that need to win taking a chance?

  3. Avatar

    while everything is right with the world for a day or two cause jr won at ‘dega….

    i agree with bill b about the snooze fest the last 50 laps. what, no one wanted to risk getting in the sucker hole to leave the conga line and try to get a second line going?

    the why no caution for edward’s wreck will probably be debated to death this week. we all know it’s all about what is good for na$car, and jr was leading. would he have won if there would have been a g/w/c? there would have been more dicing for the lead, as it would have been double file restart.

    if johnson didn’t already have 2 wins and a place in the chase, would he have been content to ride 2nd? we all know jr did that years go to help push johnson to the win, but you just have to wonder.

    when jr won first thing i thought of was that i hope he’s legal in post-race inspection.

    we all know that na$car needs for jr do win races and run well. he’s their cash cow. i think they’re banking on his win to carry over to the allstar race to put butts in the seats at charlotte.

    i think dega’s attendance was so good cause it was the first weekend in about a month we didn’t have storms here in the south all weekend long.

    congrats to truex on his top 10 finish, and great run for ryan blaney (eventhough dw said bayne was in the 21 once early during the broadcast), stewart had a top 20 finish and princess sparkle pony had a top 25 finish.

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      It was the last lap – the race would have ended if the yellow came out – no GWC.

  4. Avatar

    Hendrick car leading at the end. No caution. No surprise. Anyone expecting a caution hasn’t been paying attention.

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    The racing in the first half of the race was decent. Plenty of cars were able to make their way to the front. But, parade at the end means the rules package isn’t there yet. Put a wicker across the roof and there will be thunder!

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      I agree with Dennis. Put the wicker back on the roof. I’ve said this for years. I’ve heard they have tested with it. I would like to know what the results were. I truly believe this is the thing to do!

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    (not a Jr. Fan) But, all of the wreckin’ was on the final lap after the white flag had been displayed. Hence, if they throw a caution, 88 still wins.
    I’m OK with no caution, because no one had absorbed a tremendous impact. Yes, Carl has a legitimate beef. But, there wasn’t major contact and the track was clear back to the checkers. Had they thrown a caution, a large number of fans would have fussed because they “threw the caution and gave the win to Junior”

  7. Avatar

    The early part of the race seemed to be a reasonable looking race – a fairly typical RP track affair and I watched for a while before going out to work in the yard. However, whatever that follow the leader deal that went on after Austin Dillon’s car caught on fire, well, that wasn’t racing IMO. I was unimpressed and personally was sorry that I hadn’t stayed outside doing yard work. I guess we should be grateful there was only 1 little wreck there at the end and I had no expectation that there would be a caution flag put out with Jr in the lead. That’s not a knock on Jr, that’s a slap at NASCAR and the games they play these days.

    Shorter races? Well if the races were worth watching, people would be interested. Considering the way Dega played out, 50 laps was too long.

    You are probably right about princess sparkle pony. Yes she’s done better this year in finishes but if she weren’t one of the “most recognizable” faces, she wouldn’t have a ride. There are several female racers in NASCAR that I’d like to see have a decent car in the field but I guess they just don’t have the “it” factor that makes a sponsor sit up and take notice.

    Gee so next week there’s the race at Kansas which IMO is another sleep inducing track. I think it might be a good time to go see the Avengers or Fast & Furious — I’m sure either movie will be a much better way to spend my Saturday night than watching a race on TV.

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      ginav24 – i can’t believe the kansas race is the “spongebob whatever” race. yeah i know chicagoland a few years ago had the muppets, but come on. does this mean there will be people dressed up as spongebob and patrick walking around during mike’s track walk to annoy people?

      i know next saturday will be a night i end up getting a good night’s sleep…..hopefully i’ll remember that this race is a sat night race and on foxsports1.

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        LOL, well, I didn’t realize that was the sponsorship for the race – another good reason to find something else to do IMO. I remember the Chicagoland race when the big orange got away from them in the wind but I have apparently completely forgotten about the muppets. Maybe because for me, Chicagoland is another big snoozefest. Maybe its good racing if you are there and can watch the whole track but on TV, nope, it won’t be worth it.

        I refuse to tune into the pre-race garbage to watch Mikey for any longer than necessary. I started skipping all that years ago and since it is all just blah blah blah to me, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

        Oh and having it on Foxsports1 should help the ratings enormously.

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          Aside from people who make it their big vacation event, or who have never been to a race, I doubt anybody without a financial stake ever said “I can’t wait for Kansas.”

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            We’ve always had a “list” of the tracks we wanted to go to and see a race so we could plan for it. Kansas, Chicagoland, let’s see what other big D shaped ovals are out there – well, they never even made the long list, let alone the short list.

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        Have you forgotten the days of the Cartoon Network? They sponsored a car and a race as well, I believe

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          cartoon network car was cool. they didn’t have people dressed up like cartoon characters. the cartoon network car helped get kids involved in the sport that their parents liked. a car to follow just of their own that they understand. not like viagra could be a car kids would follow. but then they could relate to mark martin’s height size.

          i remember when joe cool (camel cigs) was spencer’s sponsor. they had to remove the camel cause the powers to be in the world thought they were marketinng camel cigs to kids.

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            I remember the Looney Tunes cars and characters, but I don’t remember the cartoon network car? Who drove it? That may help jog my memory.

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            ginav24 – cartoon network car, jerry nadeau and robert pressley come to mind.

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            Jeff Green, Robert Pressley, Steve Grissom when it was the Diamond Ridge 29…Lake Speed and Jerry Nadeau when it was the Melling #9.

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      The Avengers movie was awesome Gina. If you are into the whole Marvel thing I highly recommend it. In hindsight I’d have rather seen the movie a second time than to watch the Talladega race.

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        That’s great to hear. Yes, I’m into the whole Marvel thing, I enjoyed the comic books as a kid – a boy I was friends with was really into it and we spent a lot of summer days being superheroes. I quit reading comics (or graphic novels as they are called these days) years ago but the movies have been awesome.

        If it hadn’t been such a nice day and I did have work to do around the house, I might have snuck out to a matinee to see it.

    • Avatar

      Just to be clear here…If they throw the caution=Jr Wins & if they Don’t throw the caution = Jr still won so what possible difference did or would it make? I’ll be so happy at the end of the year when Jeffy retires & there is no more Gina with her misinformed negative (& always the same whining) from some one who says they don’t even watch the race..(maybe the information would be accurate if she did) ..While Nascar has Many flaws to just keep going with the politically correct negative statements is just a complete waste of time…I guess if you don’t see enough black helicopters you have to write about it. Bill B & Janice you can drool all over another Gina V whether the facts match or not(reminds me of “Never Let the Facts get in the way of a perfectly good story”) & as I’ve read in the past you are also leaving the sport after Jeffy retires so more Negativity will also disappear(impractical negativity any way) …I assume you all sit with Jeff & talk racing due to your overdependent requirement that he must be racing or the sports not worth any thing…Have you heard he’ll probably be doing some media work …To the rest of you Sorry I just couldn’t take another Gina column & her usual band of supporters

  8. Avatar

    It was too pretty to sit inside & watch ‘Dega…and heck, I’m only a couple hours away. Frankly, I’m indifferent to who wins at RP tracks.

    Agree with Harvick that the schedule is stale. NASCAR/ISC/SMI’s drunk on “markets” rather than racing. As mentioned above, the “market” track in KC this weekend is guaranteed to be boring. I’ll either be in the garden or fishing.

    Sounding like a broken record for 10-15 years on schedule. Adding Iowa would be a good start. Bringing back Rockingham & Wilkesboro as well. Losing at least one each for New Hampshire, Michigan, California (get rid of it altogether), Kansas, and Pocono. Oh, I’d ditch Indianapolis as well (the racing sucks and the facility sucks) but make a quick trip to IRP for all 3 series.

    A guy can dream, can’t he?

    • Avatar

      Yes, we can dream. You’d think with the TV money being the lion’s share of their wealth, that they could put races wherever they wanted to. But as long as the sanctioning body owns essentially half of the schedule, they’re not going to move anything. When they proudly state that they are happy with what they call the “mix” of tracks in their Chase, nothing is going to happen.

      • Avatar

        Mike, it was too pretty to stay inside in my area, too so I didn’t. Tim S, yes, that catchphrase that comes from NASCAR and its media that begins “we’re happy with______” always means there will be no change and the fans and drivers will just have to like it or lump it.

  9. Avatar

    For once I agreed with McReynolds and Waltrip. I don’t understand why Blaney didn’t go for it. He had nothing to lose, and he could’ve spiced up the parade at the end that was the Junior Show. And for that matter, why would anyone wait for the end when it’s so hard to get these cars to make a move anyway? Seemed like the guy in front was in control, just like the Dull D’s.

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      On the contrary he had everything to lose. That team hasn’t had any success since Daytona, how many years ago? And Roush is despite the brave talk a sinking ship. No the smart play was to take the good finish and walk away. He wasn’t going to beat the two cars ahead of him.

  10. Avatar

    I will agree that the last half of the race wasn’t quite as exciting as the second half, but at times there was decent racing mid-pack right up until about 20 to go.

    Not throwing a caution on the last lap was actually NOT in Junior’s favor. As Budsuz pointed out, the white flag had flown, and Junior would have been the winner if the yellow had come out. As it happened, Junior had to hold off Johnson all the way to the checkers.

    I don’t have a problem with shorter races in some instances, especially at intermediate tracks. If all races were 500 miles (or laps) of fender-bangin’ lead changes then maybe I’d feel differently, but with what passes for Nascar races these days, I’d rather have a little more of my Sunday afternoon for other activities.

    I enjoyed watching the drivers race to the finish, but I couldn’t tell if the wrecked cars were in harm’s way or not. If there was a safety issue, and it sounds like there was, Nascar should have thrown the caution. Of course, every conspiracy theorist out there would have said that Nascar did it to assure Junior got the win.

    I wioll point out once again that Jimmie Johnson is back at the top of his game. Another top-two for the #48 team… these guys are hungry. That can’t be good for the rest of the field.

    Danica is back in the top 16. Birds are singing and butterflys fill the skies again. But can she stay there?

    • Avatar

      In my opening sentence, I meant to say “I will agree that the last half of the race wasn’t quite as exciting as the FIRST half.” Monday and/or old age strikes again.

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      I agree Carl. The 48 team is back on their game and everyone else is just racing for second. Look at Gordon. He practically has one placed in his lap and still can’t win it. Been a Gordon fan from day one but looking forward to next year when he won’t be racing. Then I won’t be watching and frustrated with his screw ups and listening to him say “we had a good car but……” at the end of most races. And I won’t have to watch Johnson and the 48 team make a fool out of the 24 team. Last year I almost thought that there was a downturn coming with the 48, but I think it was just wishful thinking. Yep that 48 team is going to have to be reckoned with for several more years. Again, if the 48 team stays together everyone else is just racing for second.

      • Avatar

        Dan, I was banging my head on something hard after Gordon got that penalty, too. I found it hard to believe.

        Like you, next year, I won’t be watching, although personally it makes me feel a little sick to think of the 48 winning another chase trophy.

  11. Avatar

    I’m glad I used the DVR so I didn’t have to fight off sleep for those last 50 laps. Anyone who thinks the caution wasn’t thrown on the last lap because NASCAR wanted to make sure Junior won needs to read the GWC rules. A caution on the white flag lap would have froze the field and Junior wins anyway.

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      I agree, I thought the same thing, once the 88 took the white flag, it didn’t matter if the whole field wrecked behind him. I’m glad they didn’t.

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        I believe the rule states that the driver leading when the caution flies wins the race. With Johnson behind Jr. that’s wasn’t guaranteed. Brian had to be sure Jr. was leading if the yellow came out. I thought they would throw the flag because Jr. was ahead.

  12. Avatar
    Kevin in SoCal

    Dale Jr won? Worst race ever! hahaha

  13. Avatar

    Yesterday may have marked a turning point in my NASCAR fandom. Because of a family commitment, I didn’t see any of the race. Five or ten years ago, I would have made every attempt to back out of it first of all. Or I would have been ducking out every so often to check on the race while it was going on. Strangely, the race never entered my mind until late in the day when I was driving back home.
    Maybe it’s being jaded, but I guess I’ve seen a enough Big Ones that missing another one didn’t phase me.

    • Avatar

      I hear you. I watched the last three laps which is really the whole race where plates are involved. There are of course the added benefits of not wasting an entire afternoon on five minutes of racing and not having to watch the next driver die because NASCAR thinks the entertainment value of The Big One greatly outweighs the risk of losing a few drivers.

  14. Avatar

    If Blaney would have pulled out Johnson would have jumped in front of him any way. Who would you rather win? I’m sick of seeing the 24 & 48 win period!

  15. Avatar
    Doug in Washington (State)

    I think everyone was waiting for the normal caution with 3 laps to go and a GWC before they made a move. When the white flag came out, it was “oh crap we waited too long” time.

    At least Stewart was trying the whole last run to advance.. But every time he got out of line, few would follow. Newman stuck around long enough to gain one position before ducking back into the lemming line.

    As for 500 miles for every race, I can just imagine 7, 8 HOURS of Martinsville. You’d need relief drivers. And brake changes.

  16. Avatar

    Thanks for the info on the drivers of the cartoon network car — it won’t let me “reply” for whatever reason so I am just adding my comment about it here instead.

  17. Avatar

    If drivers need to have the caution come out to tell them to slow down with cars wrecking in front of them, Nascar should be deeply concerned.

    Once again golf was more entertaining than the Nascar race this weekend and there were only 4 people playing. And it doesn’t look to be any better this weekend. I’m not sure what kind of changes nascar has made for the plate races over the past few years, but the racing has become terrible. They need to go back to what used to work…and I don’t mean the tandem racing. The package they had a few years ago produced 2-3 workable lines of racing. Sunday’s race was more of a parade.

    • Avatar

      Define “wrecking in front of them”. If you can get by at full speed then they weren’t “in front of you”. Lot of money involved, lot of points. Provides an incentive to throw caution/safety to the wind. That’s why it’s NASCAR’s job to be the police and enforce laws saving people from themselves.