The general consensus is that Atlanta was a boring race. I disagree. Let me share as to why. There is no debate that Kevin Harvick had the best car, that based on performance his was the auto that should have won. However, when drama was needed we had weather and strategy apparently conspiring to beat him. Would it rain? Would Denny Hamlin be in front at the right time when the heavens opened up?
While Harvick led more than half the time, Brad Keselowski was second after holding point for 38 laps. Denny Hamlin was fourth with 26 up front, while Kurt Busch settled for eighth, taking the second stage and leading 52 circuits.
A new season has dawned, the engines roared back to life, and the Clash delivered a...well...a modicum of excitement. If you are a Brad Keselowski fan, it was one hell of a race. If you like Jamie McMurray, it kind of sucked. If you were looking for diving and dashing for the opening, Chase Elliott gave us one or two moments. If you wanted to sit on the edge of your seat, share the chair. This was not one for the ages, I am afraid.
Thirty-six races. A few are great venues that produce very entertaining television events. A lot more are not. Some tracks have two events, and you wonder why. Some have two and you wonder...why not three?
Racing is not foremost on my mind today, but Sunday in Dover early in the afternoon it was all that mattered for a few drivers. Ten looked rather comfortable when they determined which dozen would advance on the championship trail, with six others vying for two remaining spots.
One day they are going to make that movie. It will feature a young Dale Earnhardt Jr. growing up in the shadow of his legendary father. We will see his daddy’s pride as his namesake begins his racing career. That first Tier II win at Texas in 1998. The two Tier II titles that came that year, and the next.
Kyle Larson went back to his home state of California and won at Fontana. A win. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the 24-year old from Elk Grove is not perfect. Sure, he might be leading the standings, but perfection?
Wins mean everything, but doing well in the stages and coming home close to the front seems pretty important also this season. Last week, Matt Kenseth finished ninth, yet lost ground by 30 points to race winner Martin Truex Jr. in Las Vegas alone.