Bad Brad burns....carpet? Denny says NO to a NASCAR fine, and racing continues
Remember when Kyle Busch won the first race in the COT and openly stated in Victory Lane that he did not like the car? Well, Denny Hamlin, (always wanting to appear badder than Kyle perhaps?), stated to a reporter that he doesn't like the car. He qualified poorly in Phoenix, and although his finish was much better, he stated:
''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.''
Apparently, he isn't allowed to say that. NASCAR's response, via Robin Pemberton, was:
"We give them quite a bit of latitude," he said. "You can’t slam the racing. You can’t slam the product. That’s where it crosses the line.”
Hamlin was assessed a $25,000 fine, which he has stated he will not pay. He is appealing the fine and says it's about more than money. He tweeted:
"Trust me, this is not about the money.. It's much deeper.''
It seems Hamlin is really angry. He has made numerous statements regarding his take on the statement and the fine, but has also stated that he will keep him mouth shut for the rest of the season, regarding the car.
I really could say a lot more here, but like Hamlin, I'll zip it.
Are we on to racing discussions yet?? Not quite.
Bad Brad Keselowski, reigning Sprint Cup Champion, made an appearance at the MillerCoors Distributor Conference at a Marriott Hotel. He made his entrance in his car, and for some reason, decided simply driving into the conference would be boring. Instead he did this:
The video is courtesy of FoxSports and MSN
I guess the hotel will be replacing the carpet sooner than anticipated. I wonder who pays that bill??
Just before we get to Las Vegas, I need to touch on Jimmie Johnson's whine. Yes, that's right, his whine. Last week at Phoenix, Carl Edwards held back on the restart, but got the lead and won the race. Jimmie took issue with his restart, I assume because it didn't allow him to get the lead and win the race. Well Jimmie, you have done the very same thing and had absolutely no problem with your own interpretation of the restart rule. About time you got a little of your own medicine. Suck it up princess.
Finally, we get to the track. Both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup cars race at Las Vegas this weekend and as I've said numerous times, the Gen6 car continues to be a work in progress. It seems the aero push off the car is the most problematic for the drivers to adjust to. As the cars drive alone, most drivers seem to think they are fine, but as they drive in traffic, more specifically alongside, problems surface. Unfortunately, that is what affects our enjoyment of a race, as a fan. If the cars cannot pass each other, is it really a race?
In the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix, only one pass was made under green flag conditions, not coming immediately out of a restart. That pass was made by Brad Keselowski, and by his own explanation, it was a feat that wasn't easy. In fact, Brad has said that the new car is easily the easiest car to drive by itself, while being the most difficult to drive in traffic.
So, the goal, it seems, will be to make the car easier to drive in traffic, but undoubtedly more difficult to drive alone. That may mean we will see qualifying times slower than we saw in the COT in the coming weeks.
Honestly, I'd rather have decent racing. I don't care about qualifying.
What can we expect at Las Vegas? I haven't seen the cars on the track here yet, and won't have an opportunity today, so I will have to leave that to you. I'll be at work, and won't see any of the practices until this evening.
I can say, I expect to see the same frontrunners up in the top ten. After all, the big teams have the best resources.
Join in here with your thoughts on practice, qualifying, attitudes, what have you.