It's time to go racing in Sin City
Toyota has had engine issues this year, and Toyota Racing Development has done some extensive testing to get the issue resolved. Today will be the test to see if all the work has paid off.
We go into Las Vegas with Jimmie Johnson leading the points, and Dale Jr. only 8 behind, tied with Brad Keselowski. Although Carl Edwards won the race last week, his finish at Daytona put him in a deep hole. He gained 19 places in the standings, but still sits in 11th. Denny Hamlin, who has said he will not pay the fine levied against him for speaking his mind about how the Gen6 car drives, sits in 4th, only 10 points back of Jr and Bad Brad.
Denny has so far been adamant that he will take a suspension by NASCAR, rather than paying the fine. Most have agreed with him, that it is a constitutional right to speak his mind. He did not use profanity, he didn't say it was a piece of crap, the way Kyle Busch did, and he didn't say he couldn't drive it. Instead, he simply said this:
''I don't want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our generation five cars. This is more like what the generation five was at the beginning.''
Now anyone who knows me, knows I am not a Denny Hamlin fan, but what was so wrong with what Denny said? That's what I don't understand. He basically said what many others have been thinking - that the car needs work.
Even Darrell Waltrip has said that we need to give the car time. He believes that many of the things we have all noticed and the drivers have had trouble with can be fixed. His point is that the Gen6 car is already as good as the COT was after six years. There was no more that could be done to improve the COT. NASCAR was losing some of its most loyal fans. They needed to do something.
No amount of testing is going to tell a driver or crew chief how a car will drive in traffic. None. It will take racing data for the crews to figure out what adjustments can be made to the car to make it drive better in racing conditions.
So, with that being said, let's go collect some data; let's go racing.