Now we know why they call it Silly Season. 16 drivers will make the Chase, and we already know that three who have done well enough thus far this season may not have done well enough to save their rides for next.
The early part of the race could be summed up in this fashion. Kyle Busch won the opening stage but came in during the break to tighten a loose wheel and dropped out of the first 30 to begin the second.
Popular. Iconic. A “must be in” race. If that is what you were looking for, you were disappointed. A 37-car field was the smallest in 21 years. Tight, pack racing, the kind that leaves you swooning each and every lap. If that is what you were looking for, sorry, Sonoma is coming up next weekend. No, this week it was Michigan.
NASCAR is losing steam. Surprise! It is not exactly news, but this week comments made by the top brass yet again reminded us of what has been going on for about a decade now. NASCAR got its big TV contract in 2001 to bring the action nationwide. It lost one of its legends in that opening race, then his son became part of a very compelling and riveting story line, and a fad was born.
As NASCAR swings into Chicago and begins the Chase, I can not help but notice that Denny Hamlin, and now Danica Patrick, have made mention that the season is too long. Reduce some races in length, reduce some altogether, run some mid-week are among their suggestions.
At Michigan on Sunday, Kyle Larson punched his ticket with the first Cup win of the 24-year old driver’s career. To say he was pumped would have been an understatement as he jumped into the arms of his crew with checkered flag in hand.
Michigan. A big track, a fast track. Sadly, not exactly a legacy event, like winning at Daytona or Bristol or Talladega or Indianapolis or Darlington or either road course. What it is, is a track where legends have celebrated since 1969. In fact, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Richard Petty, Dale Jarrett, and Bobby Allison have combined for 46 victories there. That is a lot of suds for a lot of Hall of Famers.
It is not always just about NASCAR, as most of us got a chance to check out other things since the boys and girl last ran at Michigan. There was a basketball game in Cleveland I understand of some note. The NHL has an amateur draft this week and it seems you will have yet another reason to go to Las Vegas in the winter soon enough.
Michigan brought us tremendous action. I mean, how could it not? Brad Keselowski tested the new aero package and he was excited about it. In the end, even ole Brad led 10 laps, as did Martin Truex Jr. Chase Elliott led 35, while of the other 145 circuits, 138 of them saw Keselowski’s teammate, Joey Logano, on point.