Saturday Night Racing!
What does this mean to the 20 team? It is a sigh of relief, really, as Matt moves back up into 4th in points, instead of 12th. Additionally, the race win will count in the Chase tally.
NASCAR took a second hit this week, when Chief Appellate Officer, John Middlebrook, heard the Penske Racing Team's final appeal. He agreed to a certain extent with both parties. The fines and penalties were upheld, but the suspensions of the Crew Chiefs, Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon, were reduced to three races, rather than six.
I've spent some time this week reviewing the twitter feeds and comments all over the web. While some people are happy NASCAR is making an effort to better the sport and make it entertaining and exciting again, others just hate it. I think I'm in the middle. I am prepared to play a little of the wait and see game, to see how the new Gen6 car works on all tracks, how the teams figure it out, and who gets it figured out first. However, I have not agreed with a lot of the decisions NASCAR has made, as far as setting fines and suspensions, explaining rulings, and throwing cautions. Let's be honest, though, that hasn't changed from any other year. The Gen6 car has very little to do with how I feel about NASCAR. I've read the criticisms and I can agree with some, and strongly disagree with others. What is the answer? I don't know what people want, so I can't answer that.
The teams are in Darlington this weekend, and while up in Canada we don't get the Nationwide race until later this evening, that actually works in my favor, as I work until 9:30. The race will just be finishing up on TV when I get home, so at least I will see the ending. Tomorrow night, due to the East Coast/West Coast thing, I will miss most of the race, and in fact, may not see any of it. Judging by what I am seeing in practice, there will be a lot of "Darlington Stripes" handed out by the "Lady in Black". In fact, Danica has already gone to a back up car, having hit the wall hard enough to cave in both the front and rear on the right side. Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr are so far the fastest in practice.
This year seems to have been a distinct improvement for Kurt Busch, at least so far. Hopefully he can keep his temper in check and concentrate on racing - whether it be in NASCAR, or in IndyCar, as has been rumored. Busch obtained his IndyCar license earlier this month, in an Andretti Motorsports car. What he will do with it remains to be seen.
I'm not sure who I am going to take to win at Darlington, but being that I am a Dale Jr fan first and foremost, I have to say I believe he will do well. What about you? Who are your picks?