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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2015 CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega

Who’s in the headline – There are a few headlines coming out of Talladega, but the top story is Joey Logano sweeping the entire second round of the Chase. Logano led the race twice for 20 laps and survived an unsuccessful green-white-checkered start and then a very short run after a restart before the caution flag flew to give him the victory. The hottest driver in the series is now the leader in race wins and on top of the points standings based solely on the tiebreaker going into the third round of the Chase.

What happened – The green flag flew and the race stayed stayed green for 133 laps until Justin Allgaier done blowed up. Denny Hamlin had issues with his roof hatch that ultimately dropped him two laps down and all but eliminated him from the championship before the midway point of the race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. got hit with a pit-road penalty and nearly fell a lap down, but was saved when Allgaier’s engine grenaded. The No. 88 appeared to be the strongest car on a plate track again, but circumstances prevented him from coming home with the win. Greg Biffle was set to steal the win by running 50 laps on fuel to the end but was thwarted by NASCAR running unnecessary laps when they knew it would take several laps to clean up the track on the second caution of the night with three laps to go.

After Jamie McMurray‘s engine also bought the farm in the middle of the pack, and he was somehow avoided by every one behind him, Kevin Harvick‘s engine also began to fail. As the field came to the restart, Jimmie Johnson lost control of his car off of the front bumper of Martin Truex Jr.‘s and spun before the leaders crossed the line, so it was not called a start. The field bunched up again and attempted a second restart for the GWC. Harvick pulled out of line because his car would not get up to speed. When the green flag came out again, Harvick hit Trevor Bayne, turned him sideways and triggered the Big One. Hamlin’s car caught fire so NASCAR had to throw the caution. The field was frozen and Logano was declared the winner.

Why you should care – Everyone has their opinion on Talladega being an elimination race. NASCAR’s decision not to count the first restart as a start because of the caution flying so quickly, then holding the caution the second time was questionable to begin with. The new rule that only one GWC would take place was also a factor as Harvick appeared to turn Bayne on purpose due to his car most likely not being able to be complete the distance. Mike Helton absolved Harvick of any guilt in the incident after the results were announced. The result is that the second-winningest driver of the year, Matt Kenseth, is now out of the Chase along with Johnson, who is one of the top four in wins.

What your friends are talking about – Whatever side of the fence you are on, one thing is for sure, the end of the race on Sunday left nothing but a bad taste in the mouth of any fan who isn’t a Logano fan. The failure to call the first GWC a start was confusing but somewhat explicable. The second restart, which did a far bigger amount of damage to cars than the first, took longer to throw the yellow flag. If the first one deserved a caution, the second should have seen the caution much quicker.

Speaking of the GWC, all of the drivers are publicly backing the idea of a single attempt being a good choice for the rule. You can bet none of them anticipated a mess like we saw on Sunday. In the end it is probably a wise choice but the unintended consequence of someone causing a wreck on purpose to end the race is something that is very real. While it was announced that Harvick did nothing intentional, it certainly looked to many of the drivers around him that it was on purpose. NASCAR will have a very tough position in the future, on plate tracks, if other drivers choose to follow a similar strategy.

The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule is proving to be eerily similar to Bigfoot. There are credible sightings and pieces of evidence that point to its existence, but there is no physical proof that it truly exists. As more and more tracks confirm their dates, the holes in the schedule become smaller and smaller. Knowing there won’t be any stunning developments, as far as new tracks on the schedule, the delay in release is becoming quite amusing.

Speaking of Bigfoot comparisons in NASCAR, the medallion, franchise, charter system is still in the development stages and owners in the series aren’t sure what form it is going to take. The stories circulating about teams not being able to expand and the vast majority of the field being locked in are among the questions everyone would like answered. It would seem that teams would need some kind of answers in the not too distant future. Perhaps it will come out shortly after the schedule.

Who is mad – Biffle was playing a perfect strategy call that was going to put him in the winner’s circle. When McMurray blew up, the race should have been immediately red flagged so the oil could be cleaned up. Instead they ran around under caution to ensure the first restart would be a GWC which meant that Biffle was about to run out of gas as the field came to the green. If they had thrown the red, Biffle still wouldn’t have most likely won but he would have had a shot, which their lack of a red eliminated.

Hamlin chooses to run the roof hatch at plate tracks to allow for an alternate escape route in case of a wreck. The hatch had a hinge fail which ultimately cost him two laps as his team tried to fix it. In hindsight his team might have been able to run with the hatch as it was rather than coming down pit lane to try and fix it a second time. The end result was he was out of contention early in the race and that had to make for a long run on Sunday.

Earnhardt Jr. led the most laps on Sunday and would have been in the lead and won the race if the caution had flown 100 yards later. Earnhardt had his team’s back during post-race, but it has to be frustrating for him after a miscue by his front tire carrier cost him track position in the middle of the race. After loose wheels and other self inflicted issues in the Chase, Earnhardt has every right to be mad and probably is, but he also needs to be the good team player to keep his troops on board for 2016.

Who is happy – Harvick should be happy for multiple reasons. Making the next round of the Chase when his car was about to blow up coming to the final restart has to be a relief. Being accused by somewhere around a dozen other drivers of intentionally wrecking Bayne but being absolved of any wrongdoing by Helton, which means no worries of a Truexesque dismissal from the Chase, has to put an even bigger smile on his face. We’ll see if he’s still happy after Martinsville.

Kyle Busch was outside of the Chase looking in when the field came to the aborted final resart. Thanks to Johnson and Kyle Larson wrecking, along with Harvick’s engine issues causing him to drop behind Busch, afforded Busch enough points to advance to the next round. Since the final wreck happened behind him he moved on to the final eight and we’ll see what this round holds for him.

Jeff Gordon has four top-five finishes this entire season, but he’s still in the hunt for the title. Kenseth and Johnson are out after they have won a combined nine races and scored 24 total top fives. Gordon’s relief is palpable but he also has to be feeling some sense of Karma smiling on him after losing two or three titles to this Chase format. It will be quite appropriate if Gordon ends up winning this title without a win and less than six top fives for the season.

When the checkered flag flew:

Logano notched his third consecutive win at Talladega for his 14th Victory in 251 career starts. This was Logano’s first career triumph at Talladega. Logano has six victories in 2015 to lead the series. On the all-time win list Logano is tied for 53rd with Dick Hutcherson and LeeRoy Yarbrough.

Earnhardt Jr. crossed the line in second place for his fourth top-two finish of the season. Earnhardt has finished runner-up at Talladega five times in his career to go with his six wins. This was the 28th time in his career Earnhardt has run second. That is 27th on the all-time list, tied with Hall of Famer Joe Weatherly.

Gordon came home in third for the third time this season. Gordon has run top 3 at Talladega 10 times in his career. For his career, Gordon has 229 top-three finishes. That ranks fourth on the all-time list, 14 behind David Pearson for third.

Matt DiBenedetto was the Rookie of the Race.

The second round of the Chase is in the books and it was all Logano all of the time. Winning all three races in the round ensured Logano was the only driver to be guaranteed advancement to the third round. The remainder of the third round was filled out after the video review from the botched GWC finish. Kenseth, Earnhardt Jr., Hamlin and Ryan Newman did not advance. The remaining eight and their points positions are:

  1. Carl Edwards
  1. Jeff Gordon
  1. Kurt Busch
  1. Brad Keselowski
  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  1. Kevin Harvick
  1. Kyle Busch

Takin’ it to the Bank

Cup winners this year have pocketed $10,676,337 in 32 races, while the last-place finisher has taken home $2,468,868.

In the Xfinity Series it has been $2,061,912 for the winners and $377,115 for last place in 29 races.

After 19 Truck races, the winner has $936,129 in his coffers and the last loser has banked $177,661.

What is in the cooler

People complain all of the time about the giant packs on plate tracks leading to big wrecks. The best stock car racers in the world managed to go 133 laps without a caution. There were 20 lead changes that took place before that caution flew. 185 laps passed with just that one caution. It was setting up to be a great race that was totally ruined by the fiasco that was the GWC debacle at the end. As a result, the rating is three cold Budweisers, two of which were thrown on the track at Logano. The new GWC rule was designed to minimize carnage and improve the safety of drivers. At this point it is unsure if that was achieved.

Where do you point your DVR for next week – After the biggest track on the schedule the series heads to the shortest track on the schedule in Martinsville, Virginia. The half-mile paperclip will most likely see some retaliation for grievances over the last few weeks, or it may not. We’ll see at 1:15 on Sunday, November 1. You can see the action on NBC Sports Network and hear it on your local MRN affiliate or SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. You can also stream it on NBCSports.com/liveextra.

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kb

Despite the mess that NASCAR created, I felt they held on a little too long to make sure that Junior did get the lead, and as the carnage piled up behind them, they gave Junior every opportunity to win. Let’s face it Logano a “Yankee” winning at that track is not in the best interest of Nascar, but he did best him two for two. Despite the protests to the contrary.

JohnQ

What have we come to when fixing a race has become so difficult?

rg72

NASCAR is so inept now, they can’t even pull off a fix in spite of stacking the deck for the 88.

kb

God this format sucks……

Carl D.

… said almost everyone.

GinaV24

boy do I agree

Bill B

Personally, I don’t think it sucks. I think it blows. LOL

russ

But if you think about it its working. Remember the old adage “any publicity is good publicity”? We’re debating it aren’t we? And they are laughing all the way to the bank.

GinaV24

russ, I don’t know that I’ve ever believed that adage about “any publicity”. Yes we are talking about it but at some point the negatives outweigh the positives.

In past years (before the playoffs), we’d probably still be talking about the GWC and the end of the race but somehow I think less people would be talking about NASCAR in the same negative way. Just my opinion. To me, NASCAR has jumped the shark.

Bill B

Russ, although fans are talking about it, most of the talk revolves around whether or not NASCAR is still a legitimate sport and that can’t be good for anyone.

Chuck

Don’t forget, there are penalties to come to all four SHR cars for failing to pass pre-qualifying inspection. Who’s willing to bet there isn’t a big enough points penalty to move both the 4 and the 41 out of the round of 8?

Richie

One thing that needs to be considered… If, IF, such a penalty were to be enforced, who are the 2 drivers in 9th and 10th that would move up? And, no, I’m not taking your bet!

Bill B

They won’t move anyone up for those penalties, the points will be assessed in the next round. I believe that has happened in the past (either Bowyer or Kesolowski had penalties where their cars failed inspection and that was how it was handled).
Now if NASCAR decides Harvick wrecked the field on purpose then we could have a fiasco similar to 2013 where anything is possible.

Bill B

I don’t know what to say about that race, the chase and what a ridiculous farce it is. Two things made me happy yesterday. The first, most obviously, is that Gordon survived the cut, the second is that I will never again have to sit through a restrictor plate race worrying about my driver being taken out by the big one because I will no longer have a driver and refuse to get involved with another.

There is no doubt in my mind that Harvick intentionally caused that wreck. It was his only chance and desperate people do desperate, dirty and selfish things. This is what is so stupid about this championship format. A race where your finishing order is somewhat arbitrary decides who is still in the hunt and who is out. NASCAR can not officiate a mess like this. It is unmanageable and rife with opportunities to do something unethical to make the cut and affect the championship. Newman did it last year by wrecking Larsen and Harvick took out half the field for his own benefit yesterday. In my eyes he has always been a punk and he continues to reinforce that view with each passing year. If there is justice he will not be the champion this year. Never liked him and never will.

Damn, Logano wins all three races in a segment. That is impressive even though he only truly dominated Charlotte. At Kansas he had a top 5 car but opportunity presented itself and he capitalized on it. As for Talladega, we all know that’s a crapshoot and it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. If performance was the most important factor in winning the championship, I’d say he was the favorite but we all know luck, circumstances, and NASCAR’s heavy hand and wacky rules now determine the championship and those factors all weigh more heavily than performance.

Four more races and I’m done caring.

Carl D.

Damn straight Harvick is a punk.

While I’m a Keselowski fan, I wouldn’t mind seeing Jeff Gordon win the Chase if Brad can’t do it. With Junior eliminated, HMS can focus solely on Gordon for the rest of the season. Maybe that will bear fruit.

JohnQ

I don’t watch plate races. Not just because the skill/luck ratio is out of whack but mostly I just do not want to see a young man die a very preventable death. Plate racing is boring and deadly, mind boggling.

Richie

Once again, I was reduced to yelling at the TV yesterday afternoon. I thought it was pretty obvious that NASCAR stretched the caution out to eliminate Biffle’s stragety (ode to Bugs Bunny). And, then things just descended into all kinds of fail after that. I was very surprised the call for the winner wasn’t awarded to Jr.
And, speaking of Jr. the only person he should be mad at is himself. He was the leader coming to the final pit stop and smoked his tires coming on pit road, forcing his crew to change tires while everyone else took fuel only. Had he come to pit road under control, he’d have very likely resumed with the lead and had control of the so-called restarts on the GWCs.

Gary

agree

janice

after yesterday, i don’t care any longer.

i hope jeff gordon wins the championship….this earnhardt sr thought she’d never say that.

if you can’t go, get out of the way…but no selfishness caused that mess. he knew how many cars had to go in order to make it in the field. i don’t care what he says. just think in 2017 stewart/haas will be full of cheaters and manipulators.

for the life of me, with dale jr being the plate racer he is, why on earth can’t he enter the pits without lighting up the tires? he screwed himself out of a win cause of that final pit stop, he was on the brakes too hard and had to get tires while everyone else around him on the track just needed fuel.

what a mess na$car is. hope they’re happy. hope the new fans will stick around and support your shenanigans for 30 years.

GinaV24

Being a long time Gordon fan, obviously I hope he wins it, too.

I think that the chances of the new fans being as devoted to NASCAR for as long as many of us were is pretty slim.

It will be interesting to see what the ratings are. It did look like the stands were full. I was somewhat amused at the beer cans flying at Logano. Reminded me of the year that Gordon won under caution over Jr and the fans went crazy.

janice

i was on phone with a friend and asked “why aren’t the beer cans flying”…the fans in the stands must we way drunk to pitch their cans over the catch fence.

dh

i came back in the room to a melee of cars, which unfortuantly were spurned my my favorite driver, and said to my wife “beer cans are flying, i’m guessing Junior didn’t win…” HAHAHAHHA

BTW – this is why restart zones suck as well. There wouldn’t have been a wreck COMING TO THE GREEN if people just started gassing it when they got to the start finish line (IMHO)

brokenarrow

Janice and Gina, I have been a fan since the 1980’s and I have seen all iterations of the championship mess, and I still stick around. The old system was flawed in not rewarding wins at all; the new system is flawed in leaving too much up to chance and manipulation.

I think Gordon fans spend just a little too much time patting themselves on the back. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Bill B

Not sure what that even means brokenarrow…. “patting ourselves on the back for what?”

In case you haven’t noticed it’s not just Gordon fans raging against the chase, it’s fans of many drivers and it’s been going on for years.

Tell you what, I won’t let the door hit my ass on the way out if you will turn the lights out when you are the last to vacate the building.

brokenarrow

“I think that the chances of the new fans being as devoted to NASCAR for as long as many of us were is pretty slim.” Quote from GinaV24.

Patting yourselves on the back for being the “best” fans in NASCAR. Single-driver fans are not NASCAR fans.

GinaV24

brokenarrow, I stopped being a fan of NASCAR some time ago, when they jumped the shark and stopped concentrating on being an organization that was about racing and focused on the “show” and the entertainment.

I’m not patting myself on the back about anything. I make no bones about it that I am a Gordon fan and that is the only reason I have continued to follow what IMO has become a shadow of what used to be a sport.

brokenarrow

Also, I am not a big fan of the Chase, but the Latford system was flawed in putting no premium whatsoever on winning the race. Leaving the old system as it was, BUT adding 5 or 10 bonus points for winning would have been my choice.

But just as golf’s FedEx Cup is contrived, so the NASCAR points championship has always been contrived. Individual sports should come down to wins and wins in the Big Events. Gordon fans should be satisfied with their boy for accomplishing both and stop whining.

Bill B

Ok that makes sense brokenarrow although I think that sentiment wasn’t meant to apply to only Gordon fans but all fans that predate Brian’s goal of attracting more casual fans by tearing down what the hardcore fans loved about the sport and reimagining as a reality television show.

BTW, I think they could have added as much as 25 points to the winner using the old Latford system and it would have still been OK. I’d have given more points for 2nd as well and maybe 3rd (i.e., podium finishes). The thing that bothers most longtime fans is the fact that it isn’t a season long points system anymore. I think most fans could have lived with any points structure as long as all 36 races count equally.

janice

brokenarrow – i was a dale sr fan. what’s become of this “sport” or circus over the years is horrible.

i want gordon to win so that at the end of the banquet, he can take his trophy and check and ride off into the sunset…no crap about defending champion.

i was a fan of na$car in the 70’s…..2001 all but finished it for me, but i’ve hung around. i’m not hanging around any longer. raceday is no longer important in my day.

Jim

Not a particular fan of the #4 and although I think he punted Bayne on purpose, I don’t see the big deal. If indeed he clipped Bayne on purpose, this was the millionth intentional wreck in NASCAR history. While most have been for retaliation purposes, I don’t know that the Chase format had anything to with it.

If you look at the Classic points you’ll see Harvick is now 49 points points behind Logano. If Harvick had a mind to wreck Bayne to get into the next round, don’t you think he’d have a mind to wreck him in order not to fall to 60 or 70 points behind had we still been running under the old format?

Bill B

Yes but that wouldn’t have affected Kenseth, Jr, Newman and Hamlin’s chances to win it. In this format you are not just saving your chances but ruining someone else’s chances. That’s why it’s so effin stupid.

babydufus

i fail to see how what harvick did really differs that much from “spin-gate.” They both manipulated the outcome of a race having “chase” implications. Granted one was for the benefit of a team mate and didn’t cause a smoking heap of destroyed race cars. While the other actually hurt a team mate and has left a pretty bad taste in many mouths. ( I wonder if nascar will magically un-eliminate jr?)

I think most local tracks might have relegated a driver making a similar move to the back of the finishing order. On a dirt track it would probably earn you a suspension… wait a minute… didn’t nascar suspend???…. naaaah… i must not be remembering this correctly.

GinaV24

I’m so glad that race is over. Obviously I was happy that Gordon finished well and is moving on to the next “round” and survived that mess unscathed. I’m also very happy, like Bill B, that I’ll never have to watch another RP race worried about my driver being in a huge wreck.

My second thought is what an absolute mess NASCAR created for itself. It was pretty obvious that they ran the caution long to get Biffle to pit and give Dale Jr another chance to win. Yes I can see where the 1st restart wasn’t really a restart but again, it was pretty pathetic that they held that 2nd caution flag to do their darndest to have Jr be in front. I was very surprised that the call didn’t come down that the 88 was the winner. I fully expected it.

Based on a lot of the driver’s post race comments, it seems that many of them have come around to the same thinking of the fans who don’t like the chase or at least this format.

I’ll be happy to be a casual fan next year and not give a rat’s patoot what the heck NASCAR or other drivers do.

While it is obvious that Logano is on a roll, I’m still hoping for Gordon to take the big trophy home this year, but that’s just a personal thing for me.

Paul

Jeff will be the 2015 Champion and will retire on top, you heard it here first!

GinaV24

I hope so, Paul. I really do.

brokenarrow

The only way the GWC rule makes sense is to do single file restarts. The double-file restarts at non-plate tracks offer too big an advantage to the leader, both in choosing restart lane and deciding when to go. At plate tracks, GWC’s insure that there will be a wreck well before the white flag. Ironic that the whole GWC nightmare started with fans pelting Jeff Gordon’s fans with beer cans after beating Earnhardt and now they are pelting Logano’s car. Says a lot about the quality and sportsmanship of Earnhardt fans, as well as NASCAR’s desire to cave in to them.

Bill B

brokenarrow,
What people rarely are willing to discuss regarding the double file restart and GWC isn’t who ultimately wins the race but how it impacts the finishing order right down the line. There are tracks where it is better to be on the inside or the outside on a restart and the double file restarts are very unfair to those who happen to be in an even or odd position. Take Martinsville for instance. The inside line is the preferred line and has a huge advantage. So driver X is driving along in 6th with 10 laps to go. You have been in 6th for the last 70 laps and then a caution comes out. Assuming you don’t come into the pits and no one in front of you does, you now line up on the outside of the 3rd row. There is a good chance by the end of the first lap after the restart you will be somewhere around 12th to 14th unless someone is nice enough to let you in (fat chance with 5 laps to go). And that happens all the way down the line.
So I ask you, from a competition stand point, is that fair.

JohnQ

Bill from reading your posts I have to concede that you are a more knowledgable fan than I. But I contend that it is increasingly more about a better show than a fair competition. Find a gentler word if you like but consider that NASCAR attempts to fix the races to assure what they consider a more entertaining outcome. The very nature of the Chase values entertainment over and semblance of fair competition.

Bill B

I’m not sure about being a more knowledgeable fan JohnQ but I know exactly what you are saying. It is the constant tipping of the scale from the entertainment side at the expense of the competition that I have been raging against NASCAR since Brian took over. Walking away was not an option due to my loyalty to Jeff. Of course that is coming to an end thankfully. I have to find my way to being a divested, casual fan if I am going to stick around otherwise I’m going to explode. I guess we’ll see how that works out next year.

GinaV24

Bill, I’m kind of looking forward to being a casual fan. I figure that will be way more fun than the last few years have been trying to justify all of the craziness that BZF has visited on the sport because it mattered to me that Jeff was still racing.

Kevin in SoCal

Dale Jr fans are not NASCAR fans, they’re only Dale Jr fans.

And their tears are delicious.

Upstate24fan

I’m not upset about the red flag. There were 5 to go when McMurray’s engine detonated. Even with a red flag, once they go back yellow they have to run through the pit cycle. I doubt there would have been more than 2 laps remaining at that point. The whole GWC thing was a debacle of the 1st order. I have a feeling Harvick will be driving with a bullseye on the back of his car the whole eliminator round. That ending ruined a really good race up to that point.

Dan

How could we have expected anything less from Harvick? Being the the bonehead that he is.

Dan

How could we have expected anything less from Harvick? Being the bonehead that he is.

russ

Gina and Bill B, I happen to agree with you and most of the others. I used to be a huge fan, but as life moved on so did I. Now I try to accept it for what it is and concentrate on my life.

That said I can’t resist taking a shot at some of the silliness both of Nascar and those who haven’t figured the scam out. Remember the great line in “The Princess Bride” — “Have fun storming the castle boys!”

Jim

Because I like the Chase, I guess you are taking a shot at me….all good, I have no problem with it.

But, if you knew me, you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger cynic than myself. I know that caution flags are thrown to bunch up the field, NASCAR has their favorites and Mr. France is almost the worst Commish in sports (right after Goodell and Bettman). But you know what? I don’t care about any of that.

I have sat through pre-Chase years when nobody had a chance other than the leader by this time of year all of this contrivance gives me a reason to watchtrivance. And even if the race is boring, I still enjoy the points implication and the strategy of every race that I watch. My only issue is that the racing is frequently not good, and hope the racing improves next year with the new rules.

Just because there are some of us that like the Chase, it doesn’t make us dumb, we just like different things about watching the race.

MPM

Here’s the funny thing. I’ve been following NASCAR a long, long time. And some of the best racing I’ve seen takes place after a driver clinches a title or is in a situation all he has to do is finish each race to be champion. After that drivers are out there just gunning for wins and pride, not points racing and worried about the end of the season implication of a potential title.

I suppose what it comes down to is what you sit down to watch on Sunday. Do you want to see a stand alone race that exciting, the reason you chose a Cup race over the local NFL game and a myriad of other entertainment options open to you on any given Sunday? Or do you sit down to see Act One of a Five Part series between now and Homestead not really caring as much about who is running up front but how the Chasers are running? The bad guys always score big wins in the first reel of a Western. Count me among the former group. I want that race, that day, to be exciting. I’ll figure the points out afterwards. If that’s all you care about you can probably get by watching a five minute highlight reel of the race on You-Tube and going to the stats page at NASCAR.com.

GinaV24

Agreed, Matt. It used to be fun to watch each race, instead of all the focus being on moving on to the next “round”.

russ

Have to agree. Never attended a race to see who the points leader at the end of the race was.
Only time I ever really cared about the points was the one season I ran for the points. Even then it was more for the money because, well just because.

russ

Jim. No shots at anyone in particular. Live and let live, I could care less about the Chase. My cynicism is more about people who fail to see that $$ drive virtually all of Nascar.
So no not you my friend.

Don in Ct

After that farce yesterday, does anyone really care any more? Other than the Waltrips and Brain dead France that is.

Chris

Have to admit that like most others here I figured on the last restart that NASCAR was waiting on Jr. to get to the front before they threw the caution. I’ve nothing against Jr. but I did find what I was watching to be appalling as it seemed pretty obvious what NASCAR was hoping for. In fact I’d hesitate to add that if you switched Jr. with Gordon or one of the other Chaser/Play-Off Greats you may have seen the same outcome. Now if you swapped Jr. for a non Chase driver I’m guessing that the caution would have come out a lot faster.

I have to say that watching the post-race coverage was a bit interesting as you had Kyle (and to a lesser degree Dale) basically saying that NASCAR had some explaining to do to on the restarts. They did say the whole NASCAR party line of the cars not passing the start/finish line on the first restart verses the second but they also stated that as a driver a flag waving in the air is pretty much what drivers would go by and therefor both restarts were the same. Had to give them credit for that. Also had to give Longo credit for asking about the well-being of all the drivers involved in the final restart crash at the beginning of his interview.

Mathan

Questionable finish…at best. Harvick kept his dying race car that couldn’t get up to speed in the middle of thr pack that could.

Idiot.

Great race until that, mind.

Anyway, judging by the level of complaining again, I should expect that this board will be empty next season as all of the disgruntled fans will be leaving…again. ;)

J. Smith

I would be mildly interested in seeing the data from Allgaier’s 51 engine the seconds before he done blown up. With my Reynolds wrap underwear in place I say; it sure was a timely caution for the 88. Squirrel, gotta go.

Gary

Harvick is a dirty racer and it was intentional, duh. Chase sucks. Support your local track and have more fun than watching this stuff. Glad the Packers are done with their bye week.

X

2 things. 1st. why not get rid of points all together. Make the champion the one with the most wins. If that is a tie then the tie breaker is the next with the most 2nds, then 3rds if necessary and so on down the line. That way they have to race every race. No morejust riding around for a good points day.
2nd. What the hell is the difference between a double file restart of a race and the double file start of the race to begin with? If you can start a race that way what the hell is the problem with it during the race?

Bill B

Well for one, if you are in the undesirable lane (once again let’s say the outside row at Martinsville) you are at a disadvantage and will probably lose positions before you can get to the preferred line. You have the entire race to make up for that disadvantage. That isn’t the case with a late restart. Another argument is that many times one driver has a huge lead (let’s say 5 seconds) and then a caution comes out. When the race is restarted that driver doesn’t even get the advantage of having a car length lead which seems unfair to me. And this isn’t just about the leader it’s about every other driver that has fought hard for 100 laps to work their way up. Then they get shuffled back because they are in the bad lane or someone else gets a slow restart and everyone gets their position jumbled.

No one has a problem with double file restarts. There were always double file restarts. The difference is that until the last decade one lane was for lapped down cars and the other for the leaders. This gives the driver that has dominated the race a fair chance to maintain their position. So they went from a 5 second lead to a one car length lead but at least they get some advantage. As we have seen getting to be the car the theoretically gets to control the restart isn’t that big of an advantage.

So, once again it’s all about what you want to see. A fair competition where those that have done well the entire race get rewarded with the position/finish they deserve or mayhem and a crapshoot where everything changes drastically with each restart and what you did for the first 3/4 of the race is erased. Once again using Martinsville as an example, if there are three cautions in the last 50 laps (not uncommon) and you start on the outside for all three, you could lose 6 positions on each restart. Is that fair and will it result in a finish representative of how you have run all day?

GinaV24

Well said, Bill B.

kb

I agree they really tried to get Junior to the checkers, to me it was obvious. And it didn’t work out for him or Nascar.

Overra88ted

Well I see 11 years after Gordon beat Jr. at Talladega, the low IQ Jr. nation idiots still haven’t matured or grown up and are still throwing beer cans on the track.

Steve

I couldn’t help but laugh after the race. Nascar can’t even get their race manipulation right in order to get Jr in. Just had to wait about 5 more seconds to throw the yellow and he would have been up front. I wonder when it will come down that Logano failed post race and Jr is declared the winner and on to the next round.

When it was known the Harvick had no power, Nascar should have black flagged him and sent him to pit road. After all Nascar cares about safety above all else right? Instead, they let him stay out and not only does he take out half the field, he also ruins Trevor Bayne’s day which was setup to have a nice finish for one of the underdogs. Of course Harvick will get away with it being one of their golden boys and all. And just to clarify what the author stated, Harvick did not pull out of line to get out of the way. He made everyone else avoid him.

Interesting how Logano has won 3 races in the Chase and more than likely won’t win the championship. I’m afraid he is peaking way too soon. His team has been flawless thus far with very few mistakes. Nothing against him but its going to be tough to keep that going the remaining 4 races. And of course under the ridiculous system Nascar uses, all his wins mean nothing now and everyone is back to square one again.

So the first GWC finish attempt was not an attempt. Wonder if Jr was leading if they would have said the same thing? Even the drivers know these races are manipulated. Logano even called them on it.

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