Thursday , February 11 2016
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Mirror Driving

Mirror Driving: Final Word On The Brawl, Crawling To A Title And Caution Controversy

*After Sunday's tangle between Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon, and the subsequent fights among crews -- not to mention an obscenity-laden tirade by Brad Keselowski afterward -- are the penalties NASCAR levied sufficient?* Amy: Sufficient? More like over the top. Pattie's fine for not controlling his crew, I agree with, because the way they ambushed Gordon was not cool. The penalties for Gordon and Keselowski were both over the top. Mike N.: I thought the fine for Gordon was too much. I was surprised at Gustafson; I thought he would get some money taken, too. Other than that, I thought Pattie's was fair. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Rating The Restart, Dillon vs. Hamlin And Tough Times At EGR

*Other drivers and race fans were quick to accuse both Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson, respectively, of jumping the final two restarts on Sunday, though NASCAR says neither driver broke any rules. Did either one gain an unfair advantage on a restart... and should NASCAR consider a return to single-file restarts late in Cup races?* Summer: Oh, my gosh _no_ do _not_ go back to single-file restarts. Double-file restarts are the best change NASCAR has made. Also, I watched both replays and I didn't see either of them do anything wrong. They both did what they needed to do. Tom: Well, you know I'm the first to say the double-file, lead-lap restart system is a total gimmick. But in terms of what happened Sunday night... couldn't agree more with Brad Keselowski when he said, "Fair play on both sides." Read More »

Mirror Driving: Offense Or Defense, NASCAR’s Win Starved Vets & Regan’s Rise

*Jimmie Johnson's win at Martinsville propels him into the points lead with three races to go in the season -- will the change from defensive mode to offensive for opponent Brad Keselowski change the outlook from here on out?* Phil: Well, I think they'll both be on the offensive this weekend in Texas. Summer: I've been saying for a few months now that Jimmie Johnson will win the championship and I'm sticking by that. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Progress Or Problems? Make-Or Break Moments And Eldora, 2013

*Kansas Speedway was the latest racetrack to add progressive banking in hopes of producing a more competitive race. Did it work, and are there other ways that tracks and track owners should be looking towards to beef up the competition?* Phil: Not really. There were faster speeds and a lot of wrecking. Overall, it wasn't any more competitive. Amy: There wasn't any more passing on Sunday. Read More »

Mirror Driving: NASCAR’s Unpredictability Week

*A third of the way through this year's championship battle, which drivers are looking like they'll still be there going into Homestead... and whose bid is toast already?* Phil: Well, Matt Kenseth for sure. That dude can't buy a break. I've never heard a sound like the one produced when his track bar broke. Amy: I know, Phil, that was crazy. I could almost hear the conversation at the shop: "Hey, what do you want to do with these weird track bars? Toss 'em?" "Nah, we'll just use them on Matt's car, why waste them?" Read More »

Mirror Driving: Championship Consistency, Regan’s Release and Turning a Blind Eye

*In 2011, Tony Stewart won the championship on the strength of five Chase victories. After two races this year, Jimmie Johnson leads the points after finishing second twice. Will that type of consistency near the front be enough to capture a Chase title... or will it take multiple wins?* Mike: It all depends on what happens around Johnson. In reality, most every year if you can average a top-5 finish you're going to be right there. Amy: I think it will take multiple wins...but will it take five? That's a stretch to think it will go that way again with so many teams capable of winning two or more races. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Who Can Rebound, On And Off The Track In NASCAR

*Jeff Gordon's Chicagoland race was cut short when he hit the wall after the throttle stuck on the No. 24. Is Gordon's Chase bid over already, or is it too early to count anyone out?* Kevin: It's too early to count anyone out completely, I think. But it's not looking good for him. Another race like this, say this week or next... then I'll be more likely to count him out. Mike N.: He's done. I know it seems ludicrous to say that but Gordon's already a full race behind with 11 drivers in front of him. The odds of overcoming that are ridiculous. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Chase Scenarios, Best Of The Rest And Down The Stretch

Summer: Well, for starters I think you have to look at Hamlin. I would say _the_ favorite, though, is Jimmie. Mike N.: You can't ignore Hamlin. He's been on fire the last few races, but Johnson has been strong since Indy and I just think they are poised for another one. The early favorites are Johnson, Hamlin, Kenseth and Biffle. In theory, none of the top 12 can be counted out, but I honestly don't think Harvick, Kahne, Truex or Bowyer have a shot. Read More »