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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Martin, Hornaday prove age is just a number

In recent years, NASCAR teams (especially at the Sprint Cup level) and sponsors have seemed to turn their focus to younger talent when it comes to choosing a new driver. That trend has probably been mostly initiated by sponsors looking for younger, hipper spokesmen for their products.

Mark Martin is showing race teams that younger may not always be the way to go, especially if the focus is to remain on the on-track results side of things and not just on a sponsor's desire to target the younger crowd.

Granted, the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup is only two races old, but Martin, the oldest guy in the Chase field at 50 years of age, looks poised to win his first Cup title. And that's after he tied Kyle Busch for most wins during the 26-race "regular season" with four.

In the two races since this year's Chase began, New Hampshire and Dover, the "old man" has a win and a second-place finish and has been the only driver to lead in points so far in the 2009 Chase. Not bad for a driver who is in his first full-time season since coming out of semi-retirement.

"I said in February before we got started that I was, you know, mentally the toughest I'd ever been," Martin said.

Martin isn't the only 50 or older driver getting it done on the national level in NASCAR either. Ron Hornaday, at age 51, is on track to win his fourth Camping World Truck Series title, the most of any driver in the series. It would be his second in three years.

Hornaday already has six wins in Truck Series competition through 20 races, so the driver in victory lane following truck events in 2009 has been Hornaday nearly one-third of the time. With 16 top-10 finishes to his credit, only has four finishes this season outside the top-10 so far this year.

Also worth mentioning, those six wins include a streak of five-consecutive trips to victory lane, the longest winning streak ever in Camping World Truck Series history and the longest in any of NASCAR's national touring series since the 1970s.

While many of their younger competitors may sometime seem to be all business and get stressed out worrying about on-track performance issues, according to Martin and Hornaday, they're just having fun.

"I feel like I’m the luckiest man in the world to compete on this level on this stage and have no thoughts other than I want to strap in that car every Sunday," Martin said.

Not long ago, Hornaday said that traveling from racetrack to racetrack in the Truck Series is like a vacation for he and his wife Lindy. He said the the kids were grown and now he and his wife were enjoying themselves from race to race and week to week.

While 50 is considered over the hill and most other professional sports (except for maybe golf), Martin and Hornaday are proving that they are in their prime since hitting the half-century mark.

To read more from this author, visit:

Louisville NASCAR Examiner

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Penske and Petty doomed from the start?

Did Penske Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports shoot themselves in the proverbial foot and eliminate their chances for a Cup title before the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup even started?

Each of these teams placed one of its cars in this years Chase -- Penske the No. 2 car of Kurt Busch and RPM the No. 9 of Kasey Kahne -- but their Chasers seem to have a lot going against them already.

There appears to be a lot of confusion in the RPM camp since the team recently announced a merger with Yates Racing and a switch to Ford for 2010. As a move of disapproval, the team's vice-president has resigned. Also, several members of the engine shop have already departed, since the move to Ford means RPM will be shutting down its engine program and getting engines from the Roush-Yates group. The turmoil in the engine shop kind of leads to speculation around Kahne's engine woes at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday that resulted in a 38th-place finish, plummeting him to the basement of the Chase points standings.

Kahne's now in a whole, as far as the Chase goes, that will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for him to climb out of.

There are also other question regarding the atmosphere at RPM. It was revealed recently that fellow-RPM driver Reed Sorenson has been racing without a salary for the last few months.

No wonder Kahne is questioning his team's leadership and direction!

While Penske Racing isn't in the midst of a merger or a manufacturer change, the organization has managed to make at least one decision that is sure to hinder Busch's quest for a second Cup title for himself and a first for Penske.

Not long ago, crew chief Pat Tryson announced that he would be leaving Penske at the end of the year. Not long after that announcement, an announcement was made that he would head to Michael Waltrip Racing next year to be Martin Truex Jr.'s crew chief.

In some ways, it's understandable that a team owner not want someone who will soon be moving to another team be privy to technology the team is working on for the coming season. However, with a car in the Chase, is it a good idea to bar the crew chief from the shop except for Tuesday debriefings? I wouldn't think so.

Busch did manage at top-10 finish at New Hampshire Sunday, but that may be because it hadn't been long since Tryson stopped coming to the shop every day. Of course, all Chase drivers want to get as many points as they can whenever they can get them, but the clock may be ticking for Busch and the No. 2 team. It's probably only a matter of days before the effects of not having a full-time crew chief take their toll.

As any Chase competitor or former champion will tell you, championships are hard to come by. Why make the process even harder by putting your team at a disadvantage before the Chase even starts?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Welcome To The Chase Juan

Just a few years ago, the announcement came that made people talk. Juan Pablo Montoya, a successful Indy driver, was going to NASCAR. Many people didn't know how he would do. Some, thought he would make it, some didn't.

When he first started, he didn't make a lot of noise. He started his NASCAR Cup career at Homestead Miami Speedway in 2006, a year before he would race full time. He finished 34th. But, that could have been considered both good or bad, it depended on who you asked. But, it still wasn't enough information to know.

In 2007, his career officially began. He did OK. He did win in NASCAR however. But, it was at a road course, and he has a lot of road course experience. It was a nice relief, but it was almost expected in a way. Over the first season of his career, he had an average finish of 22.7. It was an OK start, but he had a while to go before he would be successful in NASCAR.

His next year, in 2008, was even worse. He had an average finish of 23.9. He didn't win either. It was a step backwards from the previous year, and people started second guessing the team.

But, in 2009, the tone changed. His team merged with another team, DEI. The newly renamed team was Earhnardt Ganassi Racing, and was moved to race a Chevy. And so far, it has worked out well. They have not won any race yet, but they have gotten close to it multiple times, and came up short. He is also in the Chase, for the first time in his career. He now has a pretty good shot at the Championship.

He may not win the championship this year. His team still has a lot more work to do. He has a lot of experienced teams to beat, but one year, he will win it. It may or may not be this year. But there is no question about this: Juan Montoya has succeded in NASCAR. He has lived up to expectations, and then some. And he's not even done yet.

Chase Preview: Hendrick Hard To Beat

The Chase is on. NASCAR's version of the playoffs has now begun. Now that everybody knows who makes it, and who doesn't, there is one more question: Who wins it?

Well lets see, I can probably narrow that down to a few drivers. Hendrick Motorsports drivers. They have the best shot out there, they have won several championships in just the last little bit, more than many teams couldn't even dream of. Now, I'm not saying they are going to win it, they might be beaten. Maybe Tony Stewart might beat him, oh, yeah that's right, he's in Hendrick equipment too. Hendrick equipment also runs through Ryan Newman, so Hendrick stuff is in almost half of the chase field.

Well, we all know Jimmie Johnson knows how to win the championship. In fact, he knows how to win it three times.....in a row. Now, Jimmie hasn't been on a roll like he has in the past years before the Chase, but that doesn't mean anything. I wouldn't count Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus out at anytime, or at least not for long. And they have proved that to us before.

And then there is Jeff Gordon. By the way, he is going for his fifth championship. He has never won one in the Chase format, but this year would be a good year to start. He's only won one race, but it shows that he has made improvement since last year, where he went win-less. If he wins it, he will have a lot to prove about his number 24 team.

And then, there's the old man. Mark Martin. What a phenomenal story. He has never won a championship before, but now, at Hendrick Motorsports, he has the best shot he can get. Although, he will have 2010 and 2011 to win it too. That's right. He just announced that he will return, just a day ago, for two more years. That is a nice confidence booster going into the chase. It also helps that he is leading the points going into the Chase too.

Don't forget Tony Stewart, he has had a wonderful year with his new team. He has proved that he can be an owner/driver and still win. He was the points leader until the end of the regular season, when Mark Martin had more bonus points because of more wins. But he knows how to win championships too, and he's always hungry for more.

So, watch out for the Hendrick boys, and the ones in HMS equipment. There might be another champion in victory lane at the end of the season, like Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Juan Montoya, and others, but they are going to have to win. Because the Hendrick equipment, is pretty hard to beat.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bires And JR Motorsports A Good Fit

It is official. Kelly Bires wil go to JR Motorsports next year to run the Nationwide Series schedule. The details have not been worked out yet, such as sponsorship, amount of races, and even the car number, one thing is for sure, the next rising star has been chosen.

JR Motorsports has always wanted to help out new comers into the sport. That's exactly what happened with Brad Keselowski. Team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr saw the talent that Keselowski had. And he took a chance with him. A lot of people questioned Earnhardt's decision, but no one has regreted the decision after that.

Well, Brad Keselowski went from a nobody to a major contender in both of NASCAR's top series. And the same thing may happen to Bires. If he finds sponsorship for a full time job, then he will most likely make it. After all, he is in Hendrick Motorsports equipment, with a great mentor in Dale Jr.

He is the perfect man for the job. A driver who has showed talent before in less-than-capable equipment, just as Keselowski did. He has impressed NASCAR's most popular driver, which is another plus. And he is someone who has nothing to lose. He just has to go out there, give it all he's got, and things will improve from there.

So now, we just wait. At first, we may not see a lot, as Bires still has a lot to learn. But as the weeks go on, and Bires continues to learn, we will see JR Motorsports in victory lane again, but this time, not with Brad Keselowski. And even more years down the road? Look for some type of deal that Brad Keselowski has for 2010.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whats Up With Junior?

Dale Earnhardt Jr is by far the most popular driver in NASCAR. But there is also no hiding that he has been struggling too.
In the end of May, after a terrible 40th place finish at Lowes Motor Speedway for the Coca Cola 600, team owner Rick Hendrick finally realized that is was finally time for a change. So, the streak ended. Dale Jr. and Tony Eury Jr could no longer work together any more. Time ran out to make something happen, and nothing did.
So Junior went into the rest of the season with chase hopes more than likely not probable with a new crew chief: Lance McGrew. Now, here is where it gets tricky. Have they really improved? Are they getting worse? Is it Dale Jr's driving abilities that are causing the problem? Is it pressure? What is the problem?
Well, as far as I see it, there is no problem related to pressure. The team has a lot of pressure on them already, but that doesn't have anything to do with anything at all. When you work at Hendrick Motorsports, you pretty much have to handle the pressure right off the bat, especially when your the 88 team.
So then what is the issue? Why is it that the 88 team is not performing? Well, the answer is that there is no issue.
The thing is, everybody(or at least it seems like it) expected the team to perform right out of the gate. Why? Just because one person is moved around doesn't mean things are going to change overnight. Jr may be a good driver with a good team, but nobody is that good.
But the thing is, they have improved quite nicely. Sure, they aren't winning. But, you have to be able to finish in the top 10 each week and then the top 5 each week before you can think about consistently winning. Their communication has improved. I have never heard Junior communicating this well with his team before. It shows that he has to learn more too. And he is.
So then you might be asking why they aren't performing now that it has been a while in the season. And my answer is that it takes time. Lance and Earnhardt have been communicating very well and have learned at a fast pace more about each other. But it will still take time. They still need to keep up the good work, work hard, stay patient, stay focused, and be calm to be able to win again. And after last weekend at Richmond, it seems they have. They did nt perform well. But, neither one really lost their tempers as if they would have a few months ago. They just kept working on solving the problem. They are slowly improving, one way or another, and it doesn't have to show that on paper.
And regarding Junior's driving ability? Let me just leave it at this. Someone just doesn't win 18 races in their career by accident. Dale Earnhardt Jr may have been younger, but people can still win as they age, just ask Mark Martin. So just wait. Because one day, Dale Jr will show up in victory lane, and Jr Nation can take a big sigh of relief.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kyle Busch Misses Chase; Still Shows Maturity

Maturity. Something that has been lacked by Kyle Busch for most of this year. He won a lot of races. He lost a lot of races. When he won, he looked like the nicest guy in the world. When he lost, stay away from him, or he'll snap at you. He would always get right out of his car, speed walk away, and you wouldn't hear from him until next weekend. I even felt bad for the pit reporters, who had(or at least try) to interview him when he lost. So when it came to the end of the race at Richmond for the Chevy Rock N' Roll 400, it was official. Kyle Busch would not make the chase. Sitting there watching TV, made me wonder. How will Kyle react to this? Will he flip out, run away, or decline to interview? Well, he actually did an interview. But, not just any interview, he showed maturity, and answered questions very well.

"Well, we did all we could do. We gave it a valiant effort. I'll be looking to win some races the rest of the season and hopefully go out with a bang."

He stayed positive. He stayed calm. Sure, he was disappointed, but any driver would be, it was just how he handled it, unlike he would have in the past. He also referred to the fact that they didn't lose the chase in just that one race. They lost those 8 points all throughout the year, in different spots that could have been avoided. He handled it like a veteran.
So what does this mean for Kyle Busch? It means that he has matured. He has learned that he is not the only one who can control what happens in his season, and during every race. He has learned that there are just some things that are out of his control. And there is nothing he can do about it. He has learned to be a team player, and respect his team. But most of all, he has earned respect. Kyle Busch fan or not, he is learning to become more mature, and he is trying hard, so you have to give him credit for that.

Truck Series Needs Double-File Restarts

The previous race at Gateway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series was amazing. It caused a lot of difference in opinion among the fans. The restarts were crazy, exciting, and out of control. But, I'm not going to talk about the Matt Crafton disaster. But, what I am going to talk about are the restarts in general.
The Sprint Cup Series has double file restarts. The Nationwide Series has double file restarts. So why in the world doesn't the Camping World Truck Series have restarts? I have no idea. But one thing that I do know, they need them.
The Truck Series is a very exciting series. At some times, it can be even more exciting than the Cup race. But the problem is that no one bothers to watch it. And it is a very good NASCAR racing series. So then why isn't NASCAR helping it? As far as I'm concerned, the double file restarts are one of the best things NASCAR has ever done. It just makes since. It adds excitement that NASCAR fans along with NASCAR themselves have been looking for. So, exactly what are you waiting for? Why are we seeing the single file restarts still?
NASCAR made an announcement a few weeks ago that the Truck series would not go the the new restart rule. People were shocked. Fans were disappointed. Even the drivers were disappointed. For some reason, it was going to be delayed.
My point here is that it needs to happen soon. The Truck Series is a very exciting sport. So could you imagine what it would be like if they were racing double file on every single restart? I could. And it would make me watch the Camping World Truck Series a lot more often.

Kyle Deserves Chase Entry

Well, after 26 races the field is finally set for NASCAR's playoffs, " The Chase ", with Mark Martin leading the field of twelve drivers. Martin has posted four victories this year while fellow Chase entries Stewart and Johnson have three, Hamlin and Kahne, two, Gordon, Kurt Busch, and Vickers, one each. The remaining field of Edwards, Newman, Montoya, and Vickers have not taken the checkered flag once this year. Oh, and Kyle Busch has four victories also, but will not be in NASCAR's playoffs this year.
How can a sport whose fundamental goal each week is to take the checkered flag exclude a driver who has done so in 15% of the races? He has as many wins as Chase leader Martin and if he had won Saturday night at Richmond would have taken the top spot away from Martin. We have four drivers in the Chase with zero wins which makes me wonder if they are more deserving than Busch to be in the Chase.
Ok, I understand NASCAR's reasoning here and it is not without some merit. They say, and many agree, that it is all about consistency. The Chase is based on points accumulated in the first 26 races and those drivers who finish in the front of the field consistently obtain the most points. But that, in my opinion, is contrary to the goal of all sports, which is to reward those who win. Really, nobody cares who finishes second or third. I dare anyone to tell me without looking who finished second at the Daytona 500 this year, who was second in the NFC East last year, or who lost the World Series in 2008.
Everybody likes winners and like him or not Kyle Busch is just that. He is arguably the most exciting, most controversial, most goal oriented driver in NASCAR right now. With Kyle it is all about winning and he puts it all out there every week. He views anything less than the checkered flag as failure. In a period of time when NASCAR has been concerned about its viewership they should recognize him and his style as an asset and reward drivers with multiple wins like him with a spot in the Chase.
Why not have a " Wildcar " spot like other sports who offer " Wildcards "? Reward two drivers who do not make the Chase on points, but have the most wins outside of the Chase driver's entry list, into the Chase field. If there are multiple drivers with the same amount of wins then go back to points for the tie breaker. The Chase field can either be expanded to fourteen or trim the entry list to ten to accommodate the " Wildcars". I would favor a larger field as it would make for more excitement.
This year's list of Chase drivers is a good one, but NASCAR has missed an opportunity for an even more exciting end with the absence of Busch. Like I stated earlier you may not like him, but he brings excitement and many thrilling finishes amidst controversy to most of the races he is in. Many watch him in the hopes that he will fail, but negative or not he does bring in the interest and viewership, and that is exactly what NASCAR needs to do during the year and in the Chase if it is to survive.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dale Jr Builds Confidence Slowly, But Surely

Dale Jr has had a bunch of recent good runs in NASCAR lately. And it seems that ratings have also been up lately. But that may or may not have anything to do with it. That's your opinion. But one thing is for sure. Little E is improving, and so is his confidence.
It all started, two races ago. It was at Michigan. A track where his last win was. He was with a new crew chief this time, with a newer style car. He did great. Compared to how he was recently doing, it certainly was special. Jr had an okay car at the beginning, but Lance McGrew and the 88 team made great improvements and charged up to third. It was amazing. Many thought it was a fluke, but the next race at Bristol, proved all the critics wrong.
So Bristol came, which was another one of the race tracks that Jr has visited in victory lane. He made improvements all night, boosting him up in the top 5, but then finshed 9th. The first consecutive set of top 10 finishes of the 2009 season.
And this weekend, Jr is pulling off double duty. Racing in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta, which is another track Jr has won on before. For the Nationwide race, Jr qualified on the pole. That's right, first position. He was going to start in first, something that has not been seen in both series in a while. He backed it up in the Nationwide race too. He had a third place car the whole race, but not as good as the 33 car, a car that lapped every car but the top 5. So the only way to win it was from strategy. So Jr saved fuel. He saved about 5 laps. And he was successful. The problem was that he was caught, by the fast 33 car who had fresh tires. Jr finshed third, where he pretty much ran all day.
So my point? My point is that Dale Earnhardt Jr is back. Or at least, he is getting closer. He is confident. And that is growing every day. Every interview he has, he seems more sure of himself. And with all that has happend in the last few years of his career, that is a good sign. We may be seeing the most popular driver in victory lane very soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Atlanta Was Fast Before, But Now..........

Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the best tracks in NASCAR. It is loved by both the majority of drivers and fans. Something you don't find often. It is also very wide with many grooves, something else that drivers love. Don't run good on the bottom? Run the middle. Not good in the middle? Run the top. Not good on top? Run in between those main three. It is a track with so many grooves, providing drivers with many ways to pass.

But, don't forget the speed. This track is not just a multi-grooved track. It is fast. And I mean very fast. Meaning one of the fastest tracks in the circuit. And that's during the day. At night, when the sun comes down, the speeds will rocket, and the cars will fly.

The Sprint Cup Series usually qualifies at night every time, causing cars to zoom around the track, breaking or getting close to track records. But now, they won't qualify at night. They will race at night. The track is fairly easy to find grip during a hot slick day, but when the sun comes down, speeds will come up, and the grip level will be maxed out. Speeds will be close to qualifying times every lap, cars will have a ton of grip, drivers will choose a lane, drive hard, and put on a great show.

No matter what time of day, Atlanta has always put on a great show, but for some reason seats struggle to fill. Maybe the Labor Day weekend switch with Auto Club Speedway will help with that. But one things for sure. History will be made this weekend, when the sun comes down, and the lights come on.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Menard And Stremme Will Make 100th Start This Weekend

This weekend won't just be an ordinary race for Paul Menard and David Stremme. It will mark their 100th start in NASCAR's top series. This will make the drivers be the 177th and 178th to make this mark in Sprint Cup history.
"It's hard to believe that I'll be making my 100th Sprint Cup start this weekend in Atlanta," Menard said. "I can remember that day I first raced in a Cup series event, and I have to admit, as I think every driver will say, it was a huge day.

"What's really hard to believe is there are guys like Mark Martin still in the sport that just last week made his 1,000 start in a NASCAR event; something like that is an achievement.
"For me, this weekend in Atlanta is more than just a landmark," Mendard said. "It's ironic that Johns Manville is on the hood this weekend, they have been a long time sponsor and good friends of mine throughout my career not only in Cup, but in early days of my driving career."
Menard made his first career start at Watkins Glen in August 10, 2003. Stremme made his debut into the series July 10, 2005, at Chicago. Stremme will be replaced by Brad Keselowski next year.

Why didn't Keselowski Wait?

Brad Keselowski won many races with the JR Motorsports team. Brad Keselowski won three races this year, one of them being at a very tough track, the Monster Mile(above). He even won a cup race for James Finch. He was going slow, but things were good.

But then, for some reason, he just couldn't wait any longer. He made a move from HMS, the best team in NASCAR winning just about all of the races(at least it seems that way). But he still made his move, to a less successful team: Penske Racing.

But why? If he was going to race in IRL or any other non-NASCAR series, then Penske would be a good move. Don't get me wrong, Penske is still a good team winning races every now and then, but when you just came from a HMS based team, it kinda seems like a bad choice.

Now, will he be back at Hendrick? That is a possibility. Rick Hendrick made it very clear that he was going to get Brad back, because he is close enough to do so. Rick made sure that he had dibbs on Keselowski.

But is that what Brad wants? Was his plan to go to Penske and wait? If so, it makes his move more understandable, but not completely. So excactly, why did he do it if he was going back? Wouldn't it have been worth the wait?

And Brad and HMS may have parted ways forever, but something just tells me that that is not the case. But whatever happens, it depends on one thing, how well does he do at Penske? But, all I can do is speculate, I can't answer the question. Talk to me next year during the last race before the chase, then, I'll let you know.

Official: Penske and Keselowski

It is official. Brad Keselowski will be racing for Roger Penske next year. But Brad won't only race in the Cup Series. He will race full time in the Nationwide Series. Something that will be very difficult to do for the 25 year old.

"We are very excited to welcome Brad to the Penske Racing family," team owner Roger Penske said. "Brad has shown terrific success on track the past several years and has quickly established himself as one of the top young stars in racing. He comes from an impressive family background in motorsports. He is a proven winner and a welcome addition to our team."

There is no question that Brad deserves to be in the Cup Series, especially after his win earlier this year at Talladega. But many questioned if Penske Racing was the right move.

"Penske Racing is one of the top teams in all of motorsports and I am honored to join Roger Penske's organization and compete for wins with his Cup and Nationwide Series teams," Keselowski said. "This is a great opportunity for me to continue competing in the Nationwide Series and to run my first full season in the Cup Series with a strong and experienced team."

So, it will be interesting to see how Brad does compared to the Hendrick boys, especially interesting to see him compete against the number 88 Nationwide car for JR Motorsports.

Nationwide Series Race Proves Rain Tires Can Be Exciting

For the second consecutive race at Montreal for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the teams got to put the rain tires on. But this year, they finished the race. Well…..eventually. Like the rain tires or not, the race was exciting to watch.

First of all, Kudos to NASCAR for finishing the race. With 22 laps to go, the rain came. Fans, teams, drivers, announcers, and maybe even NASCAR were not so sure what to do. Would
they just call the race official giving Marcos Ambrose the win? Or would they put some rain tires on those babies and slip and slide till the end to determine the winner? Well, in case your wondering, they went with the second choice.

And man, did they slip and slide. They did that and then some. Just ask Steven Wallace. He spun so many times, that it seemed like his sponsor got more air time than Marcos Ambrose’s sponsor. He wasn’t the only one. Kyle Busch spun around along with many other veterans. Carl Edwards almost wrecked the car at one point. It was certainly something to watch. It may have been long, but it definetly filled the spot of the cup race being gone. In fact, that was longer than most cup races every will be. The race went about one hour past the scheduled stop time. So much so, that ESPN ran out of commercials. Did you notice that there were not any commercials with the last few cautions?

But a lot of air time does not mean that it can be a good race. In fact, it can even make it worse during less exciting races, when commercials are almost a break for the fans as much as the announcers. But, it was a great race. In fact, prabably one of the most exciting races of the year, including both the Nationwide AND Sprint Cup races. It was definetly great to watch. I loved to see all the drivers hanging on to the cars sliding off the course and going 100+ miles per hour on the straigtaways and 40 miles per hour in the courners. And then they put the rain tires on…. Then cars were so out of control that they kept sliding off the track after each corner. There was never a dull moment during the race. In fact, there were still battles for positions. It wasn’t like they were single file and sliding around. They were side by side. Oh, by the way, don’t forget the double-file restarts. They were awesome too.

Now, rain tires can put on a good show, and hey if it doesn’t, at least you get a show. But, does that means they should go to the Cup Series? Maybe, but not yet. There still needs to be a lot of improvements with visibility and other variables to make these big CoT’s run in the rain. Sometimes, they can’t even run in the dry weather. But in a few years, maybe, just maybe, you see NASCAR’s top stars dive into turn one at Watkins Glen, in the rain.