Dale Earnhardt Jr back in the car at Martinsville
As practice is underway on the track Michael McDowell is the fastest and Dale Jr isn't in the top ten but that doesn't seem to be bothering him one bit. He is communicating with this crew, letting them know exactly how the car is operating, what he needs and what information he needs from his crew.
Regan Smith drove the 88 during the two weeks that Jr was off, and it was actually Jr who was insistent upon Regan being in his seat. Regan performed up to Jr's expectations in the car, and on the same day that the announcement was made that Jr would return came the announcement that Regan Smith will drive for Jr next year in the Nationwide Series, full time. Regan will sit in the number 5 car and will run for the Championship. Although the move was predicted, it's great to see it come to fruition. I wish Regan all the best.
If you watched the race last weekend on the newly reconfigured, repaved Kansas Speedway, you saw Danica Patrick try to take out the 83 of Landon Cassill, and fail. The two were racing hard and Landon gave Danica a little rub on the track, a move that looked like a "back off" reminder. Danica took offence to the move and turned into the rear quarter panel of the 83. Landon spun, but was able to gather up the car and continue. Danica?? Well, the move turned her into the wall and took her out of the race. Almost everyone has been critical of Danica for the move, including her owner, Tony Stewart. Tony spun on the track just a few laps after Danica but didn't hit anything. His comment on the mic?? [sic] "There ya go, Danica, that's how to spin a car and not hit anything."
She might be trying to "stick up for herself" but intentionally wrecking another driver is not the way to do so.
While the Cup series is a tight race to the Championship, the Truck series is even closer. Ty Dillon has a single point lead over James Buescher and the two series will continue to race side by side right to Homestead. In the Nationwide Series, Ty's big brother, Austin, is in the thick of things, but Elliott Sadler continues to lead the points. That series has the weekend off.
I want to see practice tomorrow evening after the truck race before I make my pick for Sunday's race, so I'll close this session with saying that I am happy FOX has signed to continue broadcasting NASCAR races. As I live in Canada, FOX is the only station that actually broadcasts NASCAR in all its glory. TSN is the affiliate for the other stations in Canada, and they show Canadian content, meaning we get very few of the NASCAR commercials, and miss out on many of the segues the other stations indulge in. I thank SPEED, however, for showing me the Tony Stewart/Lewis Hamilton commercials. A person has to get some entertainment somewhere.