Three races into this season, one thing is evident; Jimmie Johnson has not lost his stride. In typical Johnson fashion, he did not have the best car throughout the whole day, but by the end of the race the car was just right. His teammate Gordon dominated the race leading a race-record 219 of the 267 laps and came home third after the team decided to take 2 tires instead of four. That decision most likely cost Gordon the race, but with how good Johnson always is at the end of the race, who knows if four tires would have made the difference. Harvick came in second and looks to be the only threat to Johnson through the first three races. In the first three races Richard Childress is back with the worst finish of 11th between the three teams to start the year.
The race itself I was rather disappointed in. This mainly could be attributed to Gordon?s dominance. Seventeen lead changes is not bad for a race but it seemed like more than half took place during green flag pit stops. The race featured seven cautions but two of which were triggered by some faulty connection in the caution lights or some sort of glitch. Two more of the cautions were from the rookie Kevin Conway, who I really cannot see lasting long in the series. The most interesting yellow was for when the 1 car got into his team Montoya causing both team cars to finish laps down as well as pole-sitter Kurt Busch who was caught up in the mess in Turn 4. No real controversy this weekend in the Cup garage as McMurray took full blame although I do not think it means much to Montoya at this point. Shout out of the race has to go to Joey Logano who came home sixth and showed that he is slowly turning into the real deal.
Switching to the Nationwide series where we saw a familiar face in victory lane and the Danica?s first stint in the series end in the Turn 1 wall with Michael McDowell. Harvick led the most laps and if it wasn?t for his pit crew he would have led more after a couple mistakes on pit road cost him track position earlier on. He?s look good in the first few races; I would say it?s 50/50 that he runs the full schedule for the championship. Cup regulars looked good in this rain and I felt that Mother Nature was going to win the race but the rains held off long enough to get the full 300 miles in. Hamlin, Edwards, and Kyle Busch all had their moments where they looked good but Harvick was able to make up the lost track position at the end of the day.
As for Danica, I know it must have been frustrating since the car looked decent but if she has the attitude she had after the accident all the time in the series she is going to make some enemies I feel. McDowell did take full responsibility for the incident so Danica was right to be mad but I have a feeling that her fault or not she is going to be doing a lot of blaming others when the car gets messed up. As for non-Cup drivers Trevor Bayne had a strong showing as well as Steven Wallace (despite not being able to control his front bumper on one restart) who notched his 5th straight Top 10 in the series. My shout-out of the race goes to Justin Allgaier who ran Top 5 much of the day and if it was not for a late caution could have had a shot at victory lane.
As for my predictions, nothing too good, I shall try better for this upcoming weekend.
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