Day three of the NASCAR Media Tour came early in the morning at a hangar at Concord Regional Airport. It might seem strange to have a NASCAR function at an airport hangar, but it was soon to be very clear as the principals of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing took the stage.
Day two of the Sprint Media Tour ended with a trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Chevrolet dinner at the guest hotel. CMS hosted what was called “A Taste of SMI.” With SMI Chairman Bruton Smith holding court, the media was told of changes being made at each of the corporation’s tracks and how all the changes were to make tracks more fan friendly.
On Day Two of the Sprint Media Tour, Michael Waltrip Racing was featured. Waltrip’s team was considered the most improved in 2012, having two of his three teams make the Chase and the third very close. This year, there are few changes at MWR.
Day Two of the Sprint Media Tour began with a breakfast presentation by Furniture Row Motorsports and the driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet, Kurt Busch. Busch commented that he was very happy with the testing of the new Chevrolet SS car.
The Childress drivers were there with their 2013 rides including lame duck driver Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Austin and Ty Dillon, and Brendan Gaughan. Burton was candid in telling the assembled media that 2012 was not what the team wanted, but he looks for improvement in 2013, saying the trials of competition gets my trying as you age.
A couple of years ago, I had to wonder what Roger Penske was thinking. I mean, giving Brad Keselowski a ride in a great car? What was he thinking? Here was the guy who hit everything but the pace car in the Nationwide Series, won a race at Talladega by punting Carl Edwards into the stands, and cussed like a sailor. The Captain had to be crazy. Crazy like a fox.
Phoenix brings back a lot of memories. It takes me back to 1992 when the championship was down to three drivers in many pundit’s opinions—Bill Elliott, Davey Allison, and Alan Kulwicki. All drove Fords, but Allison had the upper hand with a lead and with the Robert Yates Racing team’s stout engines.
Can Keselowski catch him? Immediately one can look at the seven point deficit and notice that finishing four places above Jimmie Johnson in two races, not considering the bonus points for leading laps, is a monumental task.
Did anyone doubt that Jimmie Johnson would lead the Chase points after Martinsville? Earlier in the spring race, he and teammate Jeff Gordon were headed for a 1-2 finish before somebody got greedy and the result was Ryan Newman winning. Never mind that Hendrick Motorsports owns this place, and if for not a strange turn of events, HMS would have won both races at Martinsville Speedway. As usual.