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.
There are ways to describe Sunday’s action in Bristol, but to do it justice one would need a blow-by-blow analysis of most of the competitors to figure out what happened, and how it happened. Let us begin with what we know.
Watching NASCAR is very much akin to viewing a bunch of toddlers race each other. Little Johnny might take off early, get within a few feet of the finish line, then that damn butterfly takes all his attention and he swerves right and off the course. Saturday night in Texas was a lot like that.
Martinsville has been on the NASCAR calendar since 1948, the year before John Wayne truly hit it big in Hollywood. Both showcased a great cast of supporting characters over the years, and both have been synonymous with action. Sunday was no different.
Jimmie, and Kevin, and Dale, oh my. Jimmie, and Kevin, and Dale, oh my. Last Saturday night was a good one if you happened to be a fan of one of the above-mentioned drivers. Johnson was the class of the field, leading 128 laps, including the final one.
A week of rest, a week of contemplation, a week for those of faith. I so desperately pray that miracles do happen. Pit reporter Steve Byrnes is back in the hospital in his fight against neck and head cancer. He is in the ICU with pneumonia and a blood clot in his lung.
Over the course of the season, Jeff Gordon was the top driver of 2014. However, NASCAR has not determined its champion using the results of the entire campaign for more than a decade. They want excitement, drama, unpredictability. They want what the other big boy sports have, and when they waved the flag to start the season finale, four drivers had an even shot to claim the prize. Unfortunately, 39 we knew who would not, also were out there.
So, Danica Patrick is not all sweetness and loveliness. Okay, she is the latter, but the fact she is a little ticked or not going along with the company line, has some folks talking. She is upset with Joey Logano, she had a bit of a run in with Martin Truex Jr. at Martinsville and she thinks qualifying at Talladega stinks after her boyfriend got left in the cold. She even is not a fan of NASCAR’s diversity program.
As I peer out my window, I see cloudy skies and snow upon the ground. Even for us in the Great White North, this sucks. Yet, for many NASCAR fans, the skies are blue, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and even that fat little mouse is eager to help Cinderelli build her dress. Life is perfect. Well, almost perfect. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his fourth of the season at Martinsville, but just one race too late to keep his title hopes alive.
What a wonderful race we saw at Talladega on Sunday. It had visual excitement that can only be rivaled by Daytona. We had suspense, as we did not know who would continue in the Chase and who got their hearts broken right through to the final lap. It was everything we could have hoped it would be. Then Brad Keselowski won the damn race and ruined everything.