Hey guys and gals how are you? I’m hoping its well as I’m doing exceptionally better today than I was last Monday. I won’t go into a ton of details but I had a family member have a serious medical issue that left her in the hospital Saturday Night before Bristol last weekend. They took her to Kalamazoo to Borgess Medical Center, which is about 45 miles away from where I live.
So between driving back and forth and little sleep I just went into shut down mode for most of the week. Thankfully, she’s doing much better and I made a doctor bend over in laughter when asking how high she jumped off the bed during a procedure called “Cardioversion.”
So last week the winner of the Cup race from a rained out weirdness that was Bristol was Carl Edwards. Winning the Nationwide race was none other than the Vettel of Nationwide himself, Kyle Busch.
With all that out of the way, let’s dive into this weekend’s events!
Pre Race Notes: Wait…what? I don’t do a pre race notes section! Well, I do if something major is going on. And that’s exactly what it was. Ten minutes before the race was to begin, FOX showed a shot of Sam Hornish Jr. in his Natiownide uniform climbing into Denny Hamlin’s car. It was followed with news that due to a sinus infection, Denny was not cleared to race and Denny was shown getting onto a golf cart.
Auto Club Speedway has not been kind to Denny the last two years straight now. We all remember the accident that left Denny with major back issues last year at this time.
Tire management and one helluva race later and we have fifth different winner.
Matt Kenseth would win the pole in his manufactures, Toyota’s backyard of Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400. Matt would then lead for 19 laps before finishing 4th. The day on the race track would be dominated by Jimmie Johnson. Well, Jimmie Johnson and tires.
The tire brought to Auto Club Speedway was the exact same tire with the exact same car. However, the changes in ride heights and other things allowed caused havoc for teams all weekend and especially during race day. Kevin Harvick destroyed his left rear, Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost two right fronts and one caused him to pancake the wall. Harvick would finish 36th and Dale Jr. finishing 12th after rebounding from his horrible day.
With just 6 of 200 laps remaining and a 104 laps led, Jimmie Johnson blew his left front tire and had to pit to put on new rubber. At one point the Fox booth counted at least 16 different cars with tire issues whether going flat or causing accidents. This included the 15 of Clint Bowyer who brought out the last caution to bring on a Green-White-Checkered.
In a daring last lap move around leaders Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson would go to the front and battle down the back stretch for the lead. Kyle Busch would hold off the rookie to take his second straight win at Auto Club Speedway.
This was a damn good race to watch. Do I wish the tire wasn’t as big an issue as it was? Yes, and I feel the race would have been just as good as without it. The reality of why these tires gave out is due to the fact NASCAR has new and untested setup allowances for cars. And while I don’t feel it’s anyone’s fault if we are going to point blame then the blame doesn’t lay on Goodyear’s shoulders. It rests with NASCAR.
The Top 5 were: 1st Kyle Busch, 2nd Kyle Larson, 3rd Kurt Busch, 4th Matt Kenseth, and 5th Tony Stewart.
The next race is the STP500 on Sunday March 30th coming to us from Martinsville Speedway. The race will air on FOX at 1:00 PM. The defending race winner is Jimmie Johnson.
2014 Race Winners that are all but guaranteed spots in the Chase: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselwoski, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch.
The 5, 42, and 54 put on a damn good show in Larson’s first Nationwide win
Elliot Sadler would win the pole for the Treatmybloodclot.com 300 and then not lead a single lap. He’d finish top 5 but still somewhat disappointing when your pole sitter doesn’t lead a lap. Joey Logano would step up though and would dominate the race of 150 laps to lead 96.
Joey however, would play second fiddle to the three drivers at the end of the race. In an amazing finish Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick would race to the edge of wrecking each other and pull back just in time before they did.
Larson would hold on in the final 17 laps against the hard charging from the two veterans as he’d take his first Nationwide win. I cannot state how impressed I am with Kyle Larson. The kid is going to be winning a lot of races for a long time if this is just a flash of his potential greatness.
Between the Dillon Brothers, Chase Elliot and Larson, NASCAR is in good hands for the next ten to twenty years.
The Top 5 were: 1st Kyle Larson, 2nd Kevin Harvick, 3rd Kyle Busch, 4th Joey Logano, and 5th Elliot Sadler.
The Nationwide Series is off next weekend. They will return at Texas.
Camping World Trucks
The trucks are back on track this weekend! The Kroger 250 will come to us on Saturday March 29th. It will be live from Martinsville Speedway at 2:30 PM on FOX Sports 1. The defending Race winner is Johnny Sauter.
The IndyCar series will kick off its season next weekend as they will come to us from St. Petersburg, Florid for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The race will air live on Sunday, March 30th at 3:00 PM on ABC. The defending race winner is James Hinchcliffe.
In Random News:
Bill Simpson, founder of Simpson Performance and Impact! Racing was presented with the Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award at Auto Club Speedway. The award is given to individuals every year that make amazing gains for racing in the state of California. Good for Billy.
NASCAR considering reigning back Cup ponies
NASCAR said they are considering reducing the horsepower for the engines in the Cup cars for 2015. According to Robin Pemberton there have been four meetings that included the manufactures and race teams. It appears the manufactures are even in favor of this and offered ideas on how to change it With that said, do you ever get the feeling NASCAR changes stuff just because they get bored?
Jensen Pharmaceuticals joins NASCAR
The partnership with Jensen Pharmaceuticals and NASCAR is done so in effort to help race fans with blood clots. The company is the official cardiovascular partner of NASCAR. Bloody hell, we are desperate for sponsors aren’t we?
‘Big Hoss TV’ unveiled in Texas
Texas Motor Speedway has unveiled the largest HD video board in the world. It is 20,633.34 square feet of pure HDness….Hey good for them finding a new gimmick to freshen up the track. You know what would really help? Cutting one of your boring ass races off the schedule!...Sorry…
Update on Hamlin
When Denny left the race track he was taken to a local hospital to be given a CT. What was reported during race time coverage was Denny had been suffering from headaches to go along with vision impairment. NASCAR evaluated Hamlin before the race and would not medically clear him. There is a growing concern due to the fact his symptoms were becoming more severe as times went on.
This was reported as a very bad sinus infection, but no one is for sure yet until tests results come back. Denny was released and allowed to go home. He will be evaluated further in the week in Charlotte. The plan is for Denny to race on Sunday at Martinsville but everything is still up in the air until we know more.
Random Sports/Non Sports thought:
I hate Weight and Speed Restriction signs on county roads….Anyone in the trucking business will know what that means and will share my pain…
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