Some of the changes are interesting. Moving the season-ending event matters not, as Homestead has never become an iconic event in most minds anyway. Adding a third short track is good. Keeping the roval in Charlotte as part of the mix is fine. Adding some tradition with the Southern 500 becoming even more meaningful actually comes across as a fine idea.
We all tune in for the potential excitement, but the storylines set up the race. At Pocono, we witnessed Jimmie Johnson make his 600th career start. We wondered if the Big Three would dominate yet again. We also wondered how the bad boys, and maybe a few bad girls back at the shop, would fare after 13 cars failed post-qualifying tech.
Another race, another win for one of the Big Three. Twenty races down and just seven individual drivers with a tick in the win column. That means, at most, 13 drivers could have a victory by the time they decide who makes the Chase. Something tells me we will not reach anywhere close to that number of winners.
Watching Loudon on Sunday was a whole lot like watching Shawshank Redemption. I have seen bits and pieces of that movie, maybe, a couple of dozen times or more. The first half of the New Hampshire race had me watching nothing but our favorites of this year over and over and over.
Man, Pocono is pretty. It is so green. Watching a race from there is like watching a video on kittens or puppies. You might not be riveted to all you see, but you could calmly drift away to your happy place as you find yourself in the midst of peaceful meditation.
Some things matter. Some do not. Every weekend, no more than 30 entries matter to some degree. The rest do not. Most weekends NASCAR features a race and while some matter to race fans, most do not. Bristol, Charlotte, Darlington, Daytona, Sonoma, and Talladega races matter due to what they deliver and a long history of tradition.
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?
This Sunday, NASCAR action takes us to Kansas. We just can not get enough of Kansas, which is why we find ourselves watching the action from there for a second time this season. If not Kansas, I guess there is always Kentucky, Chicago, Dover, Fontana, or Pocono , but allow me to calm down my beating heart.
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.