Monday , March 2 2015
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NASCAR Mailbox: Harsh Comments and Penalties Galore

NASCAR Mailbox: Harsh Comments and Penalties Galore

It’s an unfortunate thing that NASCAR is so impacted by the weather, but rarely do we sit through two meteorological marathons in one weekend. For Talladega, the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series were both either pushed back or set on hold for so long because of rain that the impending darkness at the light-less racetrack became more of a hazard than the inevitable “big one”. It got to the point where we were groaning and saying, “Just END it already!” Read More »

Denny’s Dilemma, Danger, and Drama at Darlington

Denny’s Dilemma, Danger, and Drama at Darlington

It’s called the Lady in Black because more often than not, Darlington Raceway is not kind to the drivers who try to conquer it. One driver who seems, though, to have a good idea on how to handle this so-called lady, is *Denny Hamlin.* And if he ever needed to do it again, that would be now. Saturday night’s race will be Hamlin’s first full effort since his return from back injury suffered five weeks ago in a crash with Joey Logano. Hamlin now faces the daunting task of trying to make the Chase. Since he sits 31st in points, it’s probably next to impossible for him to reach the 10th spot with 16 races left in NASCAR’s regular season. Read More »

NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega I

NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega I

Well, how about that!? It was David and David against Goliath at Talladega and, much like the popular fairytale, David won. At a racetrack that produces unlikely winners, the Front Row Motorsports teammates didn't disappoint, claiming the team's first win and sweeping the top two positions over the powerhouses of Hendrick, Gibbs and others. They said anyone can win at the restrictor plate racetracks, but you still have to be around on the final lap. David and David both avoided multiple big ones, a three-hour rain delay and made the right move coming off turn four of the final lap. Read More »

Side By Side: Should The No. 20 Penalty Be Reduced?

Side By Side: Should The No. 20 Penalty Be Reduced?

There’s no reason why NASCAR should lessen the penalties leveled against Matt Kenseth and Joe Gibbs Racing following their victory at Kansas last month. The No. 20 Husky Tools Toyota dominated the STP 400, leading 163 of the 267 laps (that’s 61% of the event) before being caught during post-race inspection with an illegal engine. Even though the infraction seemed minor--a connecting rod that was about three grams lighter than allowed by the NASCAR rulebook--penalties assessed to Kenseth and Gibbs were major. Read More »

Happiness Is … Status Quo

Happiness Is … Status Quo

Ryan Newman gave a scathing review of racing at Talladega Superspeedway, something that seemed an adrenalized version of earlier criticisms of the track. Since restrictor plates were added to the cars to reduce horsepower, racing at Daytona and Talladega has evolved into, well, take your pick: equalizer; crapshoot; fake racing; 150 laps of racing with a big crash to thin the herd; or an immensely entertaining race product. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, or if you go with a mixture of some of them. Restrictor plate racing is its own entity, and one that sits outside the normal parameters of racing where a talented driver with a strong car can distance himself from the field. Read More »

Did You Notice?… Penske’s Appeal Resolution Still Comes With Unanswered Questions

Did You Notice?… Penske’s Appeal Resolution Still Comes With Unanswered Questions

It turns out that, in the end maybe there was a bit more playing around with the “rear skew,” trying to innovate in a way where the cars will handle better than NASCAR liked. Perhaps one of the most notable comments, Tuesday came from Penske himself who admitted that, had the suspensions been reduced in the initial appeals process he would not have taken the matter further up the chain. To me, that’s an admission of guilt, considering the 25 points lost by Joey Logano may very well keep that car out of the Chase. It’s a potential loss of millions of dollars in marketing, angering your primary sponsor in the process and you’re not going to “keep going” to restore his points? Sounds like a team that knew they were using a gray crayon. Read More »