Sunday , February 14 2016
Home / Five Points To Ponder (page 10)

Five Points To Ponder

5 Points to Ponder: Talking NASCAR Trash, Tires and Tracks

Yes, Sunday’s race was far from a classic, with rock hard tires again making track position the sole dictator of everyone’s race strategy. But this one was shaping up awful nice before a communication breakdown between Denny Hamlin and Darian Grubb put the No. 11 car that was the class of the field back far enough in the field that even a brilliant late-race charge couldn’t produce a checkered flag. And there’s not many race tracks out there that can overcome hard tires anyhow...or the mentality that every driver that didn't win had, that they'd win in September...when it counted for something. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Of Drugs, Developing Drivers, Drafting and Daytona

*ONE: The Irrelevance Of The Firecracker 400* Tony Stewart emerged unscathed from a vicious finish at Daytona to score his third win of the 2012 season and his fourth at the World’s Center of Racing. One never would have known just about any of those things listening to Stewart in Victory Lane, sans the fact that victory lane is where he was standing. The same guy who made highlight reels for years courtesy of his fence climbing after winning the same 400-mile summer race in 2005 was remarkably subdued, distracted in talking about Daytona being special, rattling off sponsors as effectively as Michael Waltrip. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: The (Lack of) Legitimacy in NASCAR Racing

*ONE: Letting Wins Stand Detrimental to the Sport* Yes, Austin Dillon’s first Nationwide victory this past weekend at Kentucky was a feel good story on a number of fronts. A proud grandfather got to see his grandson carry on the family name in a big-time performance. The rookie that could served notice in the Nationwide title chase. And the No. 3 was dominant in a way it hasn’t been in over a decade. Having said that, the car was found illegal in post-race inspection. It doesn’t matter that the failure stemmed from an apparent parts failure. It doesn’t matter that, as owner Richard Childress told the Sporting News, that the reduction in height was actually of detriment to Dillon’s machine over the course of 300 miles. None of that changes the fact that the car could not pass post-race inspection. It was illegal. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Newsworthy or Not? Road Racing Ringers and Winners

*ONE: Don’t Add a Road Race to the Truck Series* Both road courses run over the course of this weekend added some much needed flavor to the Nationwide and Cup Series. A standalone trip to Road America broke the streak of Joey Logano dominance, while of all places the road course at Sonoma provided perhaps the best officiated race of the 2012 season, with only two yellow flags flying over the course of 350+ kilometers (and only one of them was unjustified). Nelson Piquet Jr. scored a career-first win while the points race in the Nationwide ranks tightened, while Clint Bowyer scored his first W in MWR colors and Kurt Busch turned heads with his strongest performance to date in the Phoenix Racing No. 51. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Too Many Cautions and Talk, Talk, Talk

*ONE: No Excuse for Multiple Competition Cautions* Competition yellows are enough of an annoyance seeing as how they seem to pop up every time Goodyear brings a new tire, or it rains, or a track is repaved, or there’s the slightest chance that tire wear could play a role in a race. But having two in the same race weekend, that’s just absurd. And that’s exactly what happened on Sunday, with NASCAR throwing one at lap 26 despite having two cautions already slow the field prior to that, and then throwing another one 25 laps later. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Record Speeds, “That” Last Win And A Rejuvenated Racetrack

_Editor's Note: Bryan Keith is off this week. Look for him to return next Tuesday; for this edition of 5 Points, Danny Peters fills in._ It was a beautiful day in the picturesque Pocono Mountains on Sunday, if a little sunny for someone like me with the complexion and skin tone of a ghost. But for NASCAR fans, the sunny disposition was plastered on many faces, whether at the track or on the couch; TNT's six-race coverage got underway while, mercifully, the bombastic FOX Sports was finally consigned to the rear-view mirror. All told, it was a fine day out at the raceway accompanied by some excellent on-track action, which is, without further ado, exactly where we’ll begin this week’s edition of Five Points to Ponder. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Enough with the Whining and Debris Already

*ONE: The Debris Cautions Have to Stop* The fastest Coca-Cola 600 in the history of the race would have and should have been even faster if it wasn’t for the figments of the imagination of Robin Pemberton and his buddies in the race control booth, throwing the yellow multiple times for debris so miniscule, the TV cameras couldn’t find it. These were figments of imagination that either resulted in obstacles that weren’t there… or, even worse, thought that viewers and fans couldn’t put two and two together that the race was being stopped for no reason other than to bunch up the field and provide a TV timeout. Read More »

5 Points to Ponder: All-Star Flaws, All Hail the (Burger) King and Defense Dollars at Risk

*ONE: It’s Time for the All-Star Race to Move…* There is something very, very wrong when a 10 lap heat race is vulnerable to the driver up front being able to storm away, leaving an all but single-file parade in his wake. That’s exactly how the latest misconception of stock car racing’s All-Star weekend panned out; a format that rewarded sandbagging only to yield a final sprint to the cash that was over before it started. Face it, Charlotte is another one of the cookie cutters now, and the race played out just like that...nothing special. The intermediates are far from NASCAR’s best show, and the uniqueness of the Charlotte oval has been gone since 2005. In short, the racing doesn’t justify the steady home for the All-Star weekend anymore. It’s time to move. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: All-Star Race Edition

_After relatively lackluster trips to three of the best tracks in the sport - Richmond, Talladega and Darlington – in the last three weeks, the Sprint Cup circus heads back to the home base of Charlotte for a week of festivities prior to this Saturday night’s All-Star race. And that’s where I’ll start this week’s edition of Five Points to Ponder._ *ONE: Next up – The All-Star Race: No Points, Just One Big Prize.* I’m not even going to attempt to understand whatever format it is this season or how the system has been gerrymandered this year to ensure Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is in the starting field, but I am excited to see some no-points racing under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Saturday night. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Making Moves–Winning, Losing and Surprising

*ONE: Brad Keselowski’s Race-Winning Move Biggest Change to Plate Racing* Talk will undoubtedly swirl until Daytona later this summer about water pressures, engine temperatures and ambient heat proving to make both driving and sustaining a viable engine extremely difficult. The rule changes that NASCAR has put in place to bring back pack racing to the plate tracks have proven largely successful, drastically changing the restrictor plate events from what they were a season ago…a two-car tango. Read More »