Race Weekend Central

3 Things the Weekend of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 Did Not Teach NASCAR Fans

For my part, whenever the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series heads to a road course, I do a little dance of joy.  Even if the leader will take off in the clean air like the cookie-cutter tracks, there is so much action in the pack that I’m never bored.

Sunday’s show at Sonoma was no exception. While DW and Gordon were practically babbling over all the excitement, there were a few items that came to light this week of that we probably didn’t need to be reminded.

Kevin Harvick Can Win a K&N West Race

Seriously?  Harvick thought it would do him good to go head to head with some local boys trying to grab their minute of starlight by entering into the Saturday feature? Of course he won. Why wouldn’t he? When the Cup veterans decide to stink up the regional races, I’m always wondering if the track didn’t pay them in order to help boost ticket sales on qualifying day.

Stewart-Haas Racing Has Got it Together

Tony Stewart’s final win of his career occurred last year at Sonoma.  While he hadn’t won a Cup event since 2013, after a stalwart performance, his final bump and run on Denny Hamlin simply topped off an exciting afternoon.  Therefore, it should have surprised nobody that the winning chassis from 2016 finished second in 2017 under the direction of Clint Bowyer, just a few seconds behind the rocket ship that Kevin Harvick was driving.

NASCAR fans are well aware that the functional differences between Ford and Chevrolet at the track are about zilch. Yes, SHR had a sterling afternoon.  No, it should not surprise anybody remotely acquainted with the sport.

Every NASCAR Driver Only Sees Debris When It Is Convenient

During post-race interviews both Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. commented on the restraint NASCAR officials showed when a variety of teams started seeing massive piles of debris around every corner of the twisting track. However, this tactic isn’t anything new and both Tony and Junior have cried wolf many times over their careers when a caution could have provided a valuable trip to the pits without harming their track position. Next week when their cars fall out of position due to bad luck, their spotter is going to be reporting debris to race control.

Perhaps it’s the atmosphere of fake news that is coloring our perception of every headline reported in politics or sports. Whatever the case, it would be nice if we could hear some reports about something truly surprising from time to time, instead of trying to manipulate our emotions into thinking something amazing happened when it simply didn’t.

SOMETHING SHINY

FoxSports introduced a new camera angle with a Visor Cam mounted on Danica Patrick’s helmet.  The true driver point of view gave as close to a real-life perception of the cockpit as possible.  Check out this footage of the wreck involving Dale Jr. early in Sunday’s race.

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