The main story this week has undoubtedly been the denial of the Hendrick appeal of the fines and penalties levied against the 48 car at Daytona. Rick Hendrick himself immediately announced that they would take the final step in the appeal process and would have a further hearing with John Middlebrook making the final decision. Much has been made by the media of the fact that the two gentlemen are long time friends, but if Mr. Middlebrook sides with HMS without a sound explanation of why he did so, the "black helicopter" drama will once again surface. The final hearing will take place this coming Tuesday.
in the meantime, practice for both the Sprint Cup and the Nationwide races has completed for the day, and Dale Earnhardt Jr was fastest in the first Nationwide practice, with Ricky Stenhouse dominating in the second practice. In the Cup series, Greg Biffle has taken the pole position, just edging our AJ Allmendinger by .001 seconds. By his own admission, the lap was one Biffle wouldn't want to repeat, as he "pushed the envelope as far as he could". Still, Biffle, who has finished third in each of the three opening races, is thrilled to be on the pole and in prime position to take an early lead. He is also, coincidentally, the early leader in the Sprint Cup standings, ahead of Kevin Harvick by an astounding 10 points.
The new EFI or Electronic Fuel Injection system the teams are using this year has caused some problems in the early going. Tony Stewart won last week at Vegas, but the week before, at Phoenix, he shut off the car to try to save fuel, something drivers have done for years without too many difficulties, and he car wouldn't start. NASCAR wants to share all of the EFI information throughout all teams in the garage. Dale Jr. is against that, and Carl Edwards agrees. The EFI system is new and teams are still figuring it all out. Is it fair for NASCAR to want to have any info collected with regard to the system available to all teams?
I've been on my soap box a lot lately, and more so in the past couple of years. I am an opinionated racing fan and always have been. I don't deny that. So, I'll climb up on that soap box one more time. NASCAR has done everything in their power to ensure a level playing field in racing. I believe they have done more t
Finally, IZOD IndyCar is gearing up for their opening weekend at St. Petersburg, FL next weekend. Hearts will be heavy for many fans, team members and drivers as we lost Dan Wheldon in the final race of 2011. However, IZOD IndyCar has made changes to the car for 2012, with all efforts focused on making the car safer for the drivers. It's too late for Dan, but we, as racing fans, hope that their efforts are entirely successful and we will see safe racing and no injuries or deaths this year. FanIQ's own gearhead has created a number of IndyCar polls for the coming week's race, so have some fun and give them a go.
The Bristol Nationwide race runs tomorrow while I'm at work, so enjoy that and I'll catch up when I get home. The Sprint Cup race will air Sunday and we'll have our usual live thread up for that race. In the meantime, give us your picks for the races. Oh, and I'm taking Jr in the Cup race, with Trevor Bayne as my Nationwide driver, just because he had no sponsorship to get into the race and managed to find that sponsorship just in time. WTG Trevor, we're cheering for you.