NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2019 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

The Headline(s): Martin Truex, Jr. quipped that he did his best work after 10 p.m., and that proved to be the case during a marathon Coca-Cola 600. Capping a dominant performance over the last 150 laps of Sunday’s race and capitalizing on a controversial pit cycle that saw Truex dump backmarker Bayley Currey only to take the lead under the ensuing yellow on pit stops, Truex navigated a four-wide frenzy on a lap 396 restart. He held off a hard-charging Joey Logano to score his third win of 2019 and 35th career NASCAR national series victory. Logano, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. rounded out the top five.

TYLWALK: MARTIN TRUEX JR. SURVIVES LATE RESTART FOR COCA-COLA 600 WIN

How It Happened: Polesitter William Byron held off an early race charge from Aric Almirola and led the first 23 laps before the first of many yellow flags would fly on Sunday evening. Erik Jones brought out the first yellow when he pounded the turn 4 wall, the first of myriad tire problems for the Toyotas in the field. 

ALLAWAY: TOYOTA SUFFERS EARLY TIRE ISSUES IN COCA-COLA 600

The ensuing pit cycle handed the lead to Kyle Busch, who held off Kevin Harvick until a lap 48 caution for Matt DiBenedetto hitting the turn 2 wall with a cut tire. Harvick would seize the lead on pit road, only for Kyle Busch to take it back on the ensuing restart on lap 55. Harvick would take the point again on lap 60, until Truex emerged as the leader with a backstretch pass on lap 63. Truex ran away from the field until around lap 74, when he brought out the yellow himself scraping the turn 4 wall.

With tire conservation on teams’ minds, Daniel Hemric led a pack of seven cars that stayed out on old tires for the lap 79 restart, but only held that lead until lap 82, when Brad Keselowski sliced to the front. The yellow would fly again on lap 86, when Kyle Busch spun Stenhouse (unintentionally, video replay showed that Busch made every attempt to stay off a loose No. 17 car). Though Harvick would briefly take the lead back on a lap 91 restart, a trigger-happy NASCAR threw the yellow that same lap when Hemric got out of shape and kissed the frontstretch wall. Keselowski would prevail on the lap 96 restart and go on to win stage one.

On the ensuing lap 108 restart, Denny Hamlin used a push from Harvick to take the lead from Keselowski, which he would hold until a lap 127 caution when Chris Buescher hit the wall. Keselowski would take the lead back on pit road only to lose it to teammate Ryan Blaney on the lap 132 restart; he retook the point on lap 134. The yellow would fly again on lap 161 when Hamlin became the latest Toyota with tire troubles, scraping the turn 2 wall. Polesitter Byron retook the lead on pit road for the lap 167 restart, only to lose it to Keselowski on the next lap. Keselowski would maintain the lead through a lap 189 yellow for Ryan Preece hitting the fence with tire troubles, and on the final restart of stage 2, passed Alex Bowman and Byron (who stayed out on old tires) to win stage two.

Kyle Busch cycled through to the lead on lap 209 and dominated the first half of stage three until the caution flag flew on lap 252 for Truex brazenly dumping Currey exiting turn 2 (more on that later). 

The ensuing caution flag pit stops put Truex and his teammate Kyle Busch at the race lead, and after the two briefly battled between laps 259 and 261, Truex would drive away from the field to win stage 3.

The final stage went green on lap 308, with Elliott prevailing over Truex on the restart only for the yellow to fly once Kurt Busch spun into oncoming traffic on the frontstretch (credit to Harvick for an amazing evasive move that prevented a major accident). The wrecks weren’t done though, as the backstretch would become calamity central on a lap 315 restart that saw Kyle Larson get out of shape and into a hard wreck with Austin Dillon.

ALLAWAY: KYLE LARSON, AUSTIN DILLON ELIMINATED LATE IN CHARLOTTE

Elliott would hold the lead when the race went back green on lap 324, holding off repeated challenges from Truex until lap 345. Once out front, Truex would successfully navigate several additional restarts, the last coming on lap 396; starting on the second row behind David Ragan and Ryan Newman (who were on zero and two tires, respectively), Truex prevailed in a four-wide run down the backstretch that saw him get the better of Logano, who stalked him for the final 39 laps. 

(Why) Should You Care: Considering this race was a five-hour marathon that could also be argued to be the first NASCAR race with a halftime show (no matter how well-intentioned), the debate over whether a 600-mile race remains a necessity for NASCAR in the attention-deprived 21st century was raging aplenty, even during a race that was arguably the most eventful 600 Charlotte has seen since the 2005 levigation disaster. And Sunday night delivered a decisive answer: Yes, the World 600 is still a necessity.

Look at the races NASCAR is competing with on this most hallowed day of motorsport. There are very few racetracks/courses in the world famous enough to put on crown jewel races despite being nearly impossible to pass on, and the street circuit at Monte Carlo is one of them. It doesn’t matter that the polesitter has about a 90% chance of winning the Monaco Grand Prix every year, and it doesn’t matter that Lewis Hamilton’s masterful drive didn’t translate into a thrilling race to watch (the commentators even admitted driving slower was in his best interest)… it’s Monaco.

LADNER: LEWIS HAMILTON CLAIMS TAME MONACO GRAND PRIX

Then there’s the Indianapolis 500, a race arguably bigger than the championship, it is a part of (in terms of crowd size, it’s not even arguable). Despite having a field full of unpronounceable names that year after year relies on up to a dozen part-time entries scraping deals together to fill 11 rows, and despite being a raceday experience where 90% of the folks in the grandstand can’t name 90% of the starting field (or see 90% of the race track itself), the Indianapolis 500 remains the largest single-day sporting event in the world. Even in its heyday, the 600 could never match its scope. There’s some truth to stock car racing’s being deluded about its place on this day:

Which leaves NASCAR in a position where its Memorial Day event needs something unique to distinguish itself. Concord, NC is not Monte Carlo, and Charlotte Motor Speedway is not the Brickyard. But the 600 is something neither of those races can boast, arguably the harshest test of man and machine that is competed on this Sunday. It dwarfs any open-wheel race in the world in terms of duration. It boasts a challenge in changing track conditions that no race on either the F1 or IndyCar circuit offers. And in terms of the stock car racing universe, it’s a true crown jewel because it’s 600 miles. Otherwise, the former Bank of America 500 would have been a far more coveted trophy. 

The racing product spoke for itself this Sunday: Between tire strategy, comers and goers (Keselowski went from 21st to win the first two stages, dropped like a rock in stage three, only to be battling for the top five again before cutting a tire in the closing 10 laps) and demanding conditions that had veteran crew chief Chad Knaus having to tell his young driver Byron “eat something!” under yellows, the Coca-Cola 600 was a marathon with twists and turns worth watching. 

But more than anything, the 600 remaining the 600 is important on a day where F1 and IndyCar shine brightest because they stick to tradition, no questions asked (though Simon Pagenaud did throw off victory lane with his impromptu stop on the yard of bricks after the Indy 500).

TYLWALK: SIMON PAGENAUD WINS WILD INDIANAPOLIS 500

Sure, it was created as a Humpy Wheeler production that decided “if we can’t get bigger we’ll get longer,” but it is stock car racing’s tradition now. It’s our longest race, it’s a freaking marathon, and it goes day into night. That’s what we do. 

It’s one of the few “that’s what we dos” stock car racing fans have left.

Drivers Who Accomplished Something

Logano got Team Penske’s No. 22 within one spot of sweeping the Indianapolis 500/Coca-Cola 600 for the first time ever despite running like junk for 500 miles on Sunday.

Kyle Busch didn’t come close to replicating his 2018 dominance in this race, but recovering to finish third after incurring damage in a collision with his brother Kurt on lap 310 was impressive nonetheless.

Buescher rebounded from heavy contact with the wall on lap 127 to crack the top 15 by lap 325, and by race’s end to score a season-best sixth-place finish that was also a career-best at Charlotte. Comeback kid of the race, no questions asked.

ALLAWAY: CHRIS BUESCHER HITS WALL TWICE, RECOVERS TO TOP 10

Hendrick Motorsports may not be back to calling Charlotte “their house” again, but between Byron winning the pole, Elliott giving Truex a spirited battle for the race lead in the final stage and the organization putting four cars in the top 10 for the first time ever in the 600, it was a convincing performance. If there’s any organization missing the fall oval race at Charlotte, it’s HMS.

The 600 always tends to produce some left field good finishes, and Corey LaJoie got to wear that crown on Sunday. Finishing 12th was only the second top 15 of the 2019 season for the No. 32 team, and was by far the best finish at Charlotte that Go FAS Racing has ever enjoyed (their previous best was 23rd). 

ALLAWAY: COREY LAJOIE SCORES CAREER-BEST INTERMEDIATE FINISH

Quin Houff’s 28th place finish may not look flashy, but it was a career-best finish for the Virginia youngster. What’s more, Houff did not incur any wrath as a lapped car over the course of a five-hour race (at least none that I heard or saw reported), and in finishing four laps down, came the closest to a lead lap finish that Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 car has in 2019. 

Ragan faded within a lap after staying out on old tires on the final restart of the race at lap 396 but did several things well. One, despite being a sitting duck, he raced the field clean and brought home a top-15 finish on an evening where Front Row Motorsports was not on its A-game (the Nos. 34 and 38 teams incurred pit road penalties, while Matt Tifft’s No. 36 experienced its third crew suspension for inspection failures since Richmond). But more importantly, his crew defied the most entitled, whiny driver racing in the Cup ranks today by refusing to move to the rear for the final five laps.

That driver is Truex, who accomplished a great deal this Sunday. For one, he weathered challenges from some of the sport’s hottest drivers in Elliott and Logano to win his second 600 in the last four years. But on another note, Truex has potentially topped his teammate Rowdy for being the most petulant, arrogant, entitled driver in the Joe Gibbs Racing stable. That’s no small accomplishment. After moaning and groaning for the better part of a month about every lapped car on track, Truex scored a win for Goliath when he brazenly dumped Rick Ware Racing’s No. 52 car into the backstretch wall (conveniently, at a time where his No. 19 team needed a yellow flag). Truex incurred plenty of social media wrath when he passed Elliott for the race lead on lap 345, twice making contact with the No. 9 car that many viewed as unnecessary. And then came lap 396, where Truex’s team had the gall to ask Ragan’s team, a lead lap car that was leading a Cup race with five laps to go, if they planned to pull over to let the big boys race for the win. It’s a good thing NASCAR went overboard with the honor and tributes during Sunday’s race because the race winner was down a couple quarts by the time he got to Victory Lane.

Drivers Who Accomplished Nothing

Between winning the first two stages and giving teammate Logano everything he could handle in a battle for the podium after a lap 366 restart, Keselowski and Blaney both showed how potent the entire Penske organization was on motorsports’ biggest day. However, synchronized tire failures that brought out the final yellow on lap 391 deprived both drivers of decent finishes.

The Richard Childress Racing organization saw the night and day difference between Xfinity and Cup racing this weekend; one day after Tyler Reddick again willed his No. 2 team to the win, it was barely 100 miles in before Hemric had hit the wall. As for Austin Dillon, a strong race ended in a dramatic crash that saw the No. 3 left with nowhere to go when Larson got out of shape on lap 315 and triggered the most violent wreck of the day:

Since Dillon’s 2017 victory, no RCR Cup car has scored a top 10 on the Charlotte oval. 

Speaking of Larson, he had actually staged a comeback of his own prior to that lap 315 wreck (the No. 42 hit the wall for the first time only 11 laps into the race, battling back from outside the top 20 into the lead pack). However, Sunday’s race ended as so many others have for Larson this Sunday — with bent sheet metal. What’s more, this wreck was entirely of his own making and derailed any momentum the No. 42 team had from their All-Star Race win last weekend.

ALLAWAY: KYLE LARSON, AUSTIN DILLON ELIMINATED LATE IN CHARLOTTE

Another week, another problem for DiBenedetto and the No. 95 team. DiBenedetto’s day ended very early as part of the spate of tire problems that gripped the Toyota camp. I guess LFR can take solace that their problems are the same that JGR corporate is having?

The most mechanically challenged driver and team on the Cup circuit in 2019 goes to Landon Cassill and the No. 00 team, who parked with an engine issue soon after the first stage ended. Cassill and crew have finished more than 30 laps off the pace in three of the last five races despite only having one DNF in that span.

Insights, Opinions and Fake News

I spent much of my last Thinkin talking about cool weather and its impact on the package. Then NASCAR comes to Charlotte for the third-hottest 600 on record, and the package puts on a great show. I’ll gladly eat crow if it means we get more races like Sunday’s and can get them on slick tracks in daylight. I’d prefer that crow pulled with vinegar though: We are in the Carolinas, after all.

Since NASCAR was back in the Carolinas, I got feeling nostalgic Friday night and watched an old Xfinity Series race from Rockingham, circa 1995. Though the lack of an in-race ticker is an adjustment in watching old races, what struck me in watching the old TNN broadcast was how their pit reporters somehow managed to interview every… single… driver that ended up behind the wall with an issue. Given that TNN could do it, I’m baffled that the mighty FOX network couldn’t scrounge up a reporter to go to the care center to interview Currey, especially seeing as how his wreck dramatically altered the course of the race:

The race winner hit the wall. Buescher scored a season-best finish after hitting the wall. Bowman and Jimmie Johnson both scored top-10 finishes despite hitting the wall. Larson was battling for a top-five position after hitting the wall, and before triggering the lap 315 wreck that ended his day. Kyle Busch finished third despite getting tagged by his brother in a lap 310 incident. For all the talk of how the Xfinity Series’ composite bodies are tough, it seems the Cup cars themselves are also plenty durable. Which honestly makes me frown on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s installation of artificial turf on the infield. I get that in the splitter era, such turf will prevent catastrophic damage to spinning cars, and I also get that today’s race cars are not anything like the ridiculous COT styrofoam blocks that allowed Kyle Busch to win the 2008 Southern 500 while literally knocking down walls. But at the same time, spins and wall slaps need to have consequences. Motorsports don’t need to become esports. 

One consistent in Sunday’s race: No matter how hard Hamlin tried, he kept finding trouble, experiencing two tire failures before ending the race with a headfirst wreck that totaled the No. 11 coming to the checkers. What was inconsistent (but so consistent for NASCAR) was how the failures were officiated. On lap 161, when Hamlin slapped the turn 2 wall, NASCAR correctly waited to throw the yellow flag for nearly half a lap until it was obvious that Hamlin’s tire was disintegrating and throwing debris on the racing surface. I even gave the officials credit for that one:

https://twitter.com/BryanDavisKeith/status/1132804447095205892

Fast forward to lap 361, when Hamlin’s second tire failure brought out the yellow. Not only did Hamlin not hit the turn 2 wall when the tire went down, at no point did said tire disintegrate and throw debris. Despite that, NASCAR threw the yellow in the midst of a green flag pit cycle, trapping contenders Keselowski and Harvick a lap down. Maybe the coffee in the tower ran out?

It’s somehow escaped serious analysis that by breaking down the 600 into four stages, more playoff points are distributed to this race than any other on the 36-race tour. Now, I’m not opposed to the notion that crown jewel races should be subject to additional points, as such a practice is commonplace at race tracks across the country, both dirt and asphalt. But there needs to be an actual scheme in place, rather than the current “it’s the longest race, so we need more TV breaks” scheme. As of right now, the World 600 is the most valuable regular season race, despite both the Daytona 500 and Southern 500 also being regular season races. That’s… just… wrong.

Lastly, speaking of those TV breaks, possibly the most talked about part of Sunday’s race was the “moment of remembrance” held at the end of the second stage. It wasn’t nearly as choreographed as I was expecting; the cars came down to pit road and shut their engines off for a moment of silence while the remembrance flag was unveiled on the infield grass (er, turf). Seeing as how a second stage break was going to happen with or without said moment, such a moment was about as well-intentioned a use of a stage break as can be conceived. But, I have to agree that the moment came off a bit artificial:

I do know that in doing said “moment,” NASCAR was trying to recapture what I would consider one of its finest moments in 2009. I was in the grandstands at Charlotte for the rain-delayed 600, which was run on Memorial Day Monday. In what was a truly spontaneous decision, NASCAR decided to stop that race to honor the already scheduled National Moment of Remembrance. And though Dave Blaney sat on the frontstretch for nearly a full minute with the engine on before they shut it off (it was the first time he went the distance with Phil Parsons’ glorified start-and-park team that year, he was understandably off his game), that moment came off sincere and dignified. 

Manufacturing such a moment the day before the actual holiday is a bit gimmicky. And though the imagery was certainly dramatic (going from 20,000+ raging horsepower to silence is striking), such a scene did serve almost as a distraction from Charlotte’s widely known (and lauded) pre-race military display. The annual 600 pre-race show is as pro-military and moving a pre-race/pre-game as any sport has to offer. It’s truly breathtaking. Let it stand on its own merits. 

More concerning, again, no matter how well-intentioned, this 600 may go down as the first NASCAR race with a halftime show. Brrr …

Author’s Note: There was WAY too much political bantering going on NASCAR Twitter this Sunday. It’s Memorial Day. Remembrance is not advocacy, nor is it political. Wave a flag, thank a veteran, do both or do neither. Just be respectful about it for God’s sake. And on a personal note, I’d like to say thank you to my uncle Franklin Payne for his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and his continued patriotism.

Participation Trophies

Best Paint Scheme(s): Rick Ware Racing. Given that they endured a rough day on the race track (and feel constantly maligned by the collective Frontstretch staff) credit goes out to the RWR camp for A-grade paint scheme game. 

Special shoutout to Cody Ware’s No. 51: That Flying Tiger scheme was badass with a capital B.

Bryce Harper Batting Award: Stenhouse. For the biggest swing and a miss I can remember seeing at any race track at any level of racing. Ever.

Daenerys Targaryen Lifetime Achievement Trophy: Truex. It wasn’t enough to win. The little people needed to be stomped on as well.

What’s the Point(s): Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Truex, Hamlin, Logano and Elliott have all locked into the playoffs with race wins. If the playoffs started today, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Bowyer, Blaney, Bowman, Almirola, Daniel Suarez, Johnson, Byron and Larson would point their way in. Larson currently holds a tiebreaker over Jones for the final playoff spot.

Where It Rated: It didn’t have the finish the Indy 500 boasted, but on a day where the Monaco Grand Prix was a tame affair, NASCAR’s longest race was also the best race run on motorsports’ biggest day. 

Dust Off the VCR: The Cup Series next heads to the Pocono Raceway for a short 400-miler in the mountains. Coverage from the Tricky Triangle goes on-air at 2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

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Carl D.

Not a bad 600 at all. And when it was over, Kyle Busch didn’t whine about the car or the rules package, Harvick didn’t throw his crew under the bus, and Bowyer didn’t want to bitch-slap anyone. There were some hard hits into the wall, though… glad everyone walked away. As usual, best pre-race of the season.

I heartily endorse keeping the race at 600 miles. For better or worse, it’s what makes this race unique, along with crews figuring out the transition from day to night. And it’s tradition.

Bill B

I thought the race was surprisingly good and held it’s own in comparison to the F1 and Indy races. It might have been the best 600 in the last decade. I think that was because there were more cautions which bunched the field up for more restarts and, combined with the limited sets of tires created varying strategies which kept the cast at the front of the field changing throughout the race. Let’s be honest, we need some wrecks and the cautions and attrition that goes with it to make races interesting.

Sol Shine

F1 race was drek, as they usually are. Only fun part was watching Mad Max going after Lewey even though it was pointless. And Indy was great, other than the part where they kept the pace car out for 10 laps or so for a simple spin in pit lane, which coincidentally wiped out Pagenaude’s fuel mileage deficit and basically put him back in contention for the win. Not cool.

DoninAjax

So Batty Matty slams the side of Elliott’s car and spins a car for no other reason than his feeling of entitlement and wins the event and got mad at Joey for a bump? Seems reasonable to me, considering who it is.

Bill B

Matty ????
WTF is that about?

DoninAjax

It sounds better than Barty Marty. And it’s close enough for me.

Bill B

I would have opted for Farty Marty.

It is both funny and rhymes and makes more sense (it may even be true for all I know).

Sol Shine

Well given the Elliott is the new Earnhardt Jr naturally all of the follow the leader fans would be upset if Truex or anyone else for that matter even got close to him. This whole fan favorite guff is such nonsense. What should speak is wins, not a popularity contest. Is this racing or a prom? And did Truex dump Ware’s car or was it just the damn thing was so slow he couldn’t avoid it? From my view it could have gone either way. Full disclosure, I’m not a Truex fan, never have been and never will be.

iceman202290

Could go either way but this is the second time I can recall off the top of my head where he has needed a caution and gotten his bumper into the back of a slower car. I’d say if it happens a 3rd time, he should lose the benefit of the doubt.

I am just glad Elliott wins, cause when NASCAR was shoving Elliot down our throats as a face of NASCAR he wasn’t winning at that time. At least now he has several wins so I can’t fault a lot of fans going that direction.

Echo

Great to see the media realize matty is a huge whiner. I was wishing Joey would have bumped him in the corners because i like hearing him whine.

iceman202290

Really wish Joey wouldn’t have changed his driving style after that classic Martinsville bump and run for the win. Didn’t do it a Richmond and again didn’t do it at Charlotte, albeit, would be hard to pull off in these cars at Charlotte.
Have to think he is thinking long term playoffs. Doesn’t want to take the chance of moving someone to get a win now when he already has one and risk having them retaliate in the playoffs. Would just add another reason to why NASCAR needs to dump the playoff system!

Echo

Just read a good interview with o l DW taken in r Ick Hendricks office. DW admitted that FOX took his broadcasting job away from him and said they would find a lesser job for him. So DW didn’t decide to retire, Fox retired him. DW said, when you start at the top of the mountain, why would I want to drop down the mountain to work. Fox said enough nonsense, your done. Lol

Bobby DK

NBC did a great job with coverage and commentation on the Indy 500. Then I started with the 600 and had to press the mute button. Can’t wait for July when FOX is done. Hope NBC takes a hard look at their NASCAR coverage and realize less is a lot more. Let the event speak for itself.

Kevin in SoCal

I’ll take 100 of Darryl Waltrip over Dale “mumble-mouth” Jr. *shrug*

kb

Martin Truex whines all the time, has whined all the time, will whine all the time. Bout’ time some people with brains are a cachin’ on! Totally unlikeable ass wipe. Never cared for him when he was a back marker for over a decade complaining, can’t stand him in clean air complaining. He is an entitled whiner. Just is, always will be. Nasty. He his crew chief, and the Coo Coo for Coco Puffs spotter. My two cents. And the “long suffering” attention seeking room mate too, yawn. IMO.

kb

DONIN, I agree completely. What a nut job of hypocrisy and stupidity. My words. To me he always looks fried or drunk, that is the only reason I can think of why he is so super hypocritical, seems to suffer from amnesia and is just plain nasty. The entitlement thang’ is rampant with him, always has been. COLE PEARS and the unstable spotter. IMO. But who doubted for a minute their entitlement and whining would not fit like a glove at Jesus Joes place!!!!!!!! :) :) :).

This trio is so bad, they might start making Kyle look like an amateur in the WHINE AND ENTITLEMENT DEPARTMENT!

JGR IS A HUMILITY FREE WORKPLACE!!!!!!! LOL.

kb

The lie of MARTY being “TOO NICE” has been part of his PR for over a decade and an excuse for his lack of stellar performance actually racing and banging with a driver, any driver. The lie and myth that MARTY raced “clean” at Martinsville is just that. Again nothing wrong what he did at that race, but his car was banged up, and beat up at the end of the race. The loons made it sound like he ran from the back of the short field cleanly and LOGANO did the dirty. No, he bumped and bang to the front and hit Logano along the way. Logano reciprocated in the most delicate and effective way for the win. Marty if not listening to his insane spotter saying “WRECK THE MOFO” or whatever, might have pulled it off, his misplaced testosterone got the better of him. And he had the flucking nerve to whine as if HE WAS WRONGED. I cannot stand that whole crew. Disgusting manipulating liars.

Charlie

It was a great 600, as I have attended them all since 1965. You have to develop a taste for the extra 100 miles, and, if we can’t stop a sporting event for 30 seconds to honor the people who died for the Country, then maybe you need to hang out someplace else.
The only thing I didn’t like was DVRing the Indy race and there was Danica “Rogers, Stenhouse,” Patrick. What, exactly, is NBC thinking. They usually have been spot-on, but this was on par with putting a Waltrip in the broadcast.
Maybe for the Cup races they can pair John Saunders with Loy Allen, Jr., or Buckshot Jones.

Brian

Lots of good points, especially those made of the yellow flag happy officials over cars scraping the wall and continuing on.
It is however all part of NASCAR’s overall scheme to lay claim to how the racing is at its best because look at all the cars on the lead lap, “green flag” passes for the lead, etc.
Here’s hoping the Truex or JGR writes Rick Ware a big check for wrecking one of their cars. I personally believe it was intentional as the situation was completely avoidable on Truex’s part. Initially I thought the 53 came down slightly but replays confirmed the opposite where Truex went up into the 53.
The whole even asking the 38 if they are moving to the back is one of the most unsportsmanship-like things I have ever encountered. The team was trying to get a better finish, did not but… and a powerhouse team has the audacity to ask them that question. JGR reputation likely took a huge hit with that ill-advised b.s.

BJ

I, personally, don’t enjoy how Truex spun Bayley Currey to get a caution that would force them to pit under yellow. He went on to win because of that. It really makes me irked when drivers that used to race for smaller, less popular teams do something stupid and brush it off just because they’re in superior equipment. I would just love to see the Kyle Busches of NASCAR drop down to less-funded teams and see them struggle for top 25s. Clint Bowyer couldn’t even muster top 30s with HScott Motorsports and Kurt Busch could barely get top 30s in 2011 for Phoenix Racing. (If you really want to hear some good Radioactive check on those two scanners.). Plus it’s not like Currey is that bad of a driver either. In Xfinity, Currey is able to qualify and run decently (Top 25) in Rick Ware’s #17 entry before Ware usually parks the car. Sucks that RWR probably won’t field a 3rd car after Charlotte because of Truex and his eagerness to win every race.

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