After watching last night's Food City 250 at Bristol, a few thoughts came to mind.
First, I would like to congratulate Goodyear for bringing an amazing tire to Bristol?one that lays rubber down into the track and allowed for every lane the track had to offer to be used last night. While there were some tire problems early (a melted bead caused Ryan Newman?s right front tire to go down, and Mark Green and Steve Wallace both had tires down at the beginning of the race), the problems subsided. The hard tires allowed for strategy to be used by Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, and Elliott Sadler to each get up front. It was the only shot anyone had to beat Kyle Busch, and they seemed to have a legitimate shot at collectively beating him?until Keselowski was spun off the front bumper of Kyle Busch.
Honestly, I think that retaliation is fine. But a driver shouldn?t be spun in return for a bump on the straightaway. Besides, Brad had no choice but to keep in the throttle, unless he wanted to lose the lead and the race. And it resulted in a mere bump that sent Kyle Busch into the wall. However, the damage Busch sustained in that incident was little compared to the loss of track position and damage to Keselowski?s car that was sustained during his spin. Retaliation should be equivalent to the offense, in most cases. Otherwise, spinning a car out at one?s will is harmful to the sport. The race between Keselowski and Busch at the end of the race would have been much better than any races for the lead that occurred after Brad was spun.
Clint Bowyer has horrible luck. He methodically worked his way to the lead, and once he got there, he received little ?television time? until he ran into a lap car in front of him while slowing down for an accident. And even with nose damage, he recovered to finish seventh.
Ray Evernham is a real asset to the ESPN broadcasting team. He articulates his thoughts reasonably and communicates reasons behind his thoughts, unlike Brad and Rusty, who just blurt out what they think, without any justification. I have noticed that in some of the standalone Nationwide series races, there has been no studio, and the broadcasts were actually improved. When a race is underway, I personally would like to watch the race, and not watch people discuss issues that occurred during the race. Save it for your numerous hours of pre-race coverage ESPN.
And to those of you who still lament the loss of the old configuration of Bristol?tough luck. The new configuration offers much better racing, even if it means less cautions. I?d rather see my favorite driver be able to pass cars than see him ride around in the same position lap after lap for three hours. (Speaking of my favorite driver, ESPN sure had poor coverage of Jeff Gordon?s spin in qualifying. I still have no idea what happened.)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a nice rebound last night. After getting lapped early, I thought it was Danica in the car instead. But with adjustments and strategy he was able to work his way up to fourth and I think with a long run there at the end, he may have had a chance to win. There?s no doubt Jr. had the ability to win races and be competitive, but I don?t think Hendrick is the right fit for him anymore.
And last but not least, Kasey Kahne is one of the better drivers in NASCAR right now. But he just has no luck and lower car quality than any of his competitors. Let?s just hope, he has a good run tonight.
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