Race Weekend Central

Mirror Driving: The Best Of The Best And Make Your Own NASCAR Schedule

*It’s hard to compare drivers across different eras of the sport. But 20 or 30 years from now, which active drivers are we going to look back at as the best of this current generation?*

Summer: I think you have to look at Jimmie Johnson by default.
Tom: Jimmie Johnson is a given.
Mike: Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson.
Amy: Johnson is an incredibly smooth, intuitive driver. Jeff Gordon has been winning for 20 years now and is a certain Hall of Famer. But I still think the best pure talent in the sport today is Stewart.

Mirror Driving: Champions, Challenges, And NASCAR’s Memorable Moments

*Brad Keselowski is the 2012 Sprint Cup champion, and is a bit polarizing with his “Bad Brad” moniker. How do you think Keselowski will be remembered as champion…and how many more will he win?*

Phil: Especially since Brad’s only 28, it’s a little early to say how many he’ll win. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he snags a couple of more.
Mike N.: Keselowski is going to be a great spokesperson for the sport. I believe he’ll be able to effect change, unlike some other champs because he is extremely smart and very introspective. I believe he’ll be remembered for changing the social media aspect of the sport, making it mainstream and speaking his mind. That, and drinking out of the biggest Miller Lite glass he could find after winning.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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?”

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.