NASCAR 2010 gets started with rules changes, continued rivalries and crashes
The teams were all on the track today for practice, and like last week with the Shootout practice, Joey Logano had troubles when Mike Bliss got into him and this time, the 4 time champion, Jimmie Johnson was also involved. Also, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski obviously didn't make any New Years resolutions to avoied each other and concentrate on racing, as Denny Hamlin cut across the nose of Keselowski's number 12.
Although it wasn't the worst move made during the day, the history between the two of them make it more noticeable than it might have been, were it two other drivers. It may be nothing and the two may be able to race successfully on the track this coming season without causing wrecks or hard feelings, but with NASCAR relaxing the rules against retaliation and "emotional outbursts", that seems unlikely.
And speaking of rules, it seems NASCAR is changing another one. Fans complained a few years back about races ending under caution, feeling that if they paid the kind of money they were for "races" they wanted to see a race....to the finish. The result was the Green/White/Checkers we have seen for the past couple of years. The rule has been that the teams will get one chance to finish the race under green, but that if there is another caution when that final green falls, the race will end under caution.
Now, it seems, although details are sketchy and won't be officially announced until Thursday's driver meeting, there will be as many attempts as it takes to end the race under green, until the leader takes the white flag. Not only is the rule change being contemplated for the Cup Series, but changes are also being considered for Truck and Nationwide races. The idea is exactly what fans have complained about, too many races end under caution.
More should be forthcoming from Ramsay Poston, NASCAR Spokesman, before the Duels get underway. Not everyone is in favor, but most agree it is worth giving the idea a chance. Dale Jarrett commented,
"As long as we don't get out of hand with it. Obviously these guys know that it would be never-ending until the end so we might not have enough cars to go on the last one."
In the meantime, racing will get underway Thursday, and a number of drivers, including Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson will be in back up cars. And although neither Dale Earnhardt Jr. nor Danica Patrick actually did anything outstanding today, one or the other is still the top story on many sports websites. Go figure.