Monday, April 13, 2015
Green Flags and Blue Bonnets
I'll start first with the Xfinity race. I'm always bitching about the Cup drivers snagging all the wins from the series regulars so it was great to see 18-year-old Erik Jones prevail in this one and it definitely wasn't a fluky victory either. He flat-out earned it. Congratulations to Erik! I will say, it is something to be proud of when you can go toe-to-toe with the best, like Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and come out on top.
And, wow, NASCAR already had an abundance of youthful riches coming up through the ranks with Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, the Dillons, Bubba Wallace and others. I don't think I have to worry about any lack of racing entertainment clear through my years at the Old Folks Home!
Now to the Duck Commander (ugh!) 500. It was an enjoyable race. Well, I admit, any race that ends with Jimmie doing a burn-out is an enjoyable race for me, but even beyond that, Texas is a fun race to watch with lots of spreading out from top to bottom. Pit stops continue to take their toll on different teams. Now that NASCAR isn't monitoring lugnuts, it seems that crew chiefs might want to emphasize to pit crews should behave as if they still do. Better to take that extra second or two to get all five than cause your driver to have to come back again.
NASCAR will hear Richard Childress Racing's appeal this week on the tire tampering allegation. The two teams that rumor had it might be doing this were Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick's teams. It would have given credence to the allegation if they'd both finished far behind their normal result but Kevin was 2nd and Ryan was 12th so obviously if they had been doing it and now they're not, it didn't hurt them much.
I was glad to see the race end without a green/white/checker although that happens fairly often in Texas. I prefer to see the race play itself out normally and not with a sudden up-ending of teams at the very end. That happened anyway to some extent with tire strategy but there were enough laps left for those who'd had the best cars for most of the race to get back to the front, not like when a g/w/c short-circuits the natural finish.
I am really starting to miss Kyle Busch and I hope he returns sooner rather than later. There is something elemental missing when he's not there. Not that I don't think David Ragan hasn't been doing a good job in the 18 because he has.
So, Kevin and Jimmie are even now at two apiece. I think those two along with Junior and the Penske Fords and maybe Jeff will probably be the dominant cars most of the season. (I'd like to add Kasey to that mix but he just hasn't shown it yet).
I'd so love to see Martin Truex, Jr. win a race and make it into the Chase. Maybe he'll be the Ryan Newman of 2015 and get there due to consistency. He's now finished top 10 in all the races so far. I'd rather see him with a big fat W in the win column though.
I'm sorry but I still see Danica and Ricky as the Odd Couple. I don't understand what she sees in him, not that it is any of my business, of course, but that never stops a writer from opinionizing!