Did You Notice? That NASCAR mismanaged another late-race issue Saturday night at Charlotte? OK, try and follow me here… a crash by Johnny Sauter with 11 laps to go became an opportunity to throw the red flag, as Jeff Green‘s blown engine left oil splattered all over the racetrack. Clearly, that’s understandable; NASCAR was making an effort to keep the racing surface safe for everyone involved.
However, usually when a red flag is thrown, you stop the cars until the racetrack is ready to go back to green. Well, the cars were restarted with 10 laps to go – and they ran an additional five laps under the yellow flag. In any race, those are precious laps to throw away; why would you cut the red flag short when the whole point of it is to give the fans as much green-flag racing as possible? It just doesn’t make sense to me…
Did You Notice? How much Clint Bowyer‘s Chase mirrors that of RCR teammate Jeff Burton last year? Both had a signature win in the first five playoff races to end long victory droughts, and both were not expected to contend for the title… but wound up crashing the party. So, what’s the reason I’m not fully on board the Bowyer bandwagon yet? In 2006, Burton was leading the standings at this point in the season – and closed with runs of 42nd, 13th, 38th, 10th and 14th down the stretch.
With RCR having so many problems in both the No. 31 and No. 29 camps, it’s hard to ignore the possibility that those issues will eventually filter down to the No. 07… no matter how much Bowyer continues to believe he’ll be the Cinderella story of the season.
Did You Notice? Rusty Wallace’s team – on a plan to move up to Cup in 2009 – hasn’t been sold yet? It would seem like a man who was going to stay on TV for a long time would get that sale out of the way to ensure no conflicts with his ESPN contract… unless…
Did You Notice? How quickly the city of Concord waved the white flag in their fight against Bruton Smith? Not that I disagree with their decision… but boy, that was quick!
Did You Notice? My bonehead mistake of the year? In Monday’s newsletter, I mistakenly referred to Jeff Gordon as the winner in Martinsville this April – instead of Jimmie Johnson. Of course, every casual fan knows that Johnson won that duel in the spring; just goes to show you that writers are meant to entertain you, move you and make you think – but most of all, we’re never perfect.
About the author
The author of Did You Notice? (Wednesdays) Tom spends his time overseeing Frontstretch’s 40+ staff members as its majority owner and Editor-in-Chief. Based outside Philadelphia, Bowles is a two-time Emmy winner in NASCAR television and has worked in racing production with FOX, TNT, and ESPN while appearing on-air for SIRIUS XM Radio and FOX Sports 1's former show, the Crowd Goes Wild. He most recently consulted with SRX Racing, helping manage cutting-edge technology and graphics that appeared on their CBS broadcasts during 2021 and 2022.
You can find Tom’s writing here, at CBSSports.com and Athlonsports.com, where he’s been an editorial consultant for the annual racing magazine for 15 years.
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