Following Sunday's Daytona 500, Joey Logano and Michael McDowell had a brief exchange on pit road where Logano explained that he believed that had the two linked up, Ford driver to fellow Ford driver, they could have contended for the win instead of Logano finishing fourth and McDowell finishing fifth.
Talladega was sweet. That was the kind of action that captured my attention as a kid, watching Wide World of Sports. As Jim McKay so iconically put it all those years ago, “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition.” That was Sunday at Talladega.
The song ends like that every time. Same for NASCAR lately. Kevin Harvick won his third straight, maybe it was even unencumbered but we will have to wait on that. At least he was not the only car featured. Kyle Busch was strong all day and finished second. Chase Elliott was not, yet arrived later on to matter when it mattered to finish third. Not yet a win, but the result sends him back in the right direction. Denny Hamlin was a factor and, to a much lesser degree, so was pole sitter Martin Truex, Jr. as they completed our Top Five.
The damndest thing happened right after I submitted this for publication. The penalties came down after Las Vegas. Kevin Harvick’s team got hit. Hard. Talk about having to go back to the drawing..er..keyboard.
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?
36. Damn, and I was so looking forward to saying nothing but positive things this season. 36. That is the number of entries slated to run at Atlanta on Sunday. 36. The last time we had that small a field, it was 1996 in Martinsville. Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon were the race winners at that venue. 36.
Everyone is super excited about going to Loudon, New Hampshire for the big event on Sunday. Okay, Alan Gustafson is not. Is not going, that is. Chase Elliott was second in Chicago, leaving him sixth in points. That was then. Now, he is eighth in points. If your car fails post-race inspection, sometimes they take away 15 points, along with your crew chief for a week.
History and tradition. Often NASCAR sells it out for a corporate buck, but the Southern 500 was a race to win long before they went round and round at Daytona, Talladega, or all those generic races on cookie cutter 1.5-mile tracks across the country. It was the race a driver wanted to win. That legacy continued in Darlington, South Carolina on Sunday night at the track too tough to tame, the famed Lady in Black.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway this Labor Day weekend for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. This is the third straight year of Darlington’s throwback campaign and this edition will focus on the 1985-89 era. There are 40 drivers on the entry list and 32 will run retro paint schemes to honor the rich history of the sport.