Sunday , September 21 2014
Home / Five Points To Ponder (page 5)

Five Points To Ponder

Five Points to Ponder: Keselowski, Road Courses and “Real Racing”

Five Points to Ponder: Keselowski, Road Courses and “Real Racing”

*ONE: Brad Keselowski Speaks the Truth on “Real Racing”* Anyone that wasn’t thrilled with Sunday’s finish likely doesn’t have a pulse. Whether a fan had a dog in the Busch/Keselowski/Ambrose finale or not, the beating, banging, and sheer unpredictability of the last lap was easily the most compelling end to any race NASCAR has seen in 2012, and the best finish the Glen has seen since Kurt Busch and Robby Gordon off-roaded their way to the checkered flag in the 2006 Nationwide race. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Bring Back Racing to the Yellow Flag

Five Points to Ponder: Bring Back Racing to the Yellow Flag

*ONE: Scoring Errors Call for Racing Back to Yellow* Yes, the restart melee that ended up the conclusion of Sunday’s abbreviated Cup race at Pocono was the purest example of mayhem seen on TV since the latest Allstate commercial. That being said, with race cars that are chock full of transponders, TV cameras all over the damn place and officials whose sole job is to manage the ongoing race, NASCAR still managed to create controversy in resetting the running order. Jimmie Johnson triggered the entire wreck and all but spun his car out, yet he got to restart ahead of Greg Biffle, who accurately represented his situation as merely slowing to avoid a wreck. It took nearly a half-hour after the race was red-flagged before NASCAR reset positions 16-19 on the results sheet. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Send the Brickyard Packing (and the Restart Rules…and the Points System)

Five Points to Ponder: Send the Brickyard Packing (and the Restart Rules…and the Points System)

*ONE: The Brickyard Has to Go* Back in 1994, when the Brickyard 400 was an inaugural event, there’s a reason it sold out and was instantly one of the sport's marquee moments. Taking the green flag there was more than tackling a storied oval. It was a story of triumph for how the backwater racers of NASCAR had surged from down south, become prominent in a way open-wheel racing used to be, and brought their beating and banging onto Indy’s home turf. It was the equivalent of planting the flag in the enemy’s capital city. Read More »

5 Points to Ponder: Driver Development Hits and Head-Scratchers

5 Points to Ponder: Driver Development Hits and Head-Scratchers

*ONE: Where’s the Development Opening at Penske Racing?* Yes, Ryan Blaney had a hell of a Nationwide debut at Richmond earlier this spring. Yes, the younger Blaney has all the makings of being the hottest prospect the 2012 season has found yet. But the question has to be asked: Why, exactly, is Penske Racing in the market for his talents? Right now, the team has one seat up top in flux--the beleaguered No. 22 car. Sam Hornish Jr. seems to be all but a lock for the seat the remainder of this season (the chances of ‘Dinger’s test results coming back clean are about the same as Joe Nemechek running at the finish of a Cup race). He's the safe choice for sponsor Shell/Pennzoil and a longtime Penske loyalist that has made his desire to return to Cup racing no secret. Read More »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 »