Restrictor Plates Are Off:The Single File 500 Still Excites, Danica Delivers, Fence-Of-Tomorrow
By: Jeff Southard
The Single File 500 Still Excites
After watching the Sprint Unlimited I promised myself I would hold off judgement on the Gen-6 race car, the pack was two small, people were just getting a feel for the car, give it time. Well after 500 plus miles the Gen-6 still sucks on the plate track just as bad as I thought it did. Hopefully NASCAR will make a few changes before the next plate race. No one could pass anyone. I wasn’t a fan of the two car tandem but this isn’t the pack racing I wanted back either. Pack racing is two and three wide, this was a single car train. At least with the two car tandem there was passing. I’m not going to completely throw the car under the bus though, I know it will take time to perfect. The race was what it was, in the end of the day, it was still full of excitement and story lines. Even though the on track racing may not have been perfect it was still exciting and light years away from being boring! With the huge crash taking out several contenders early, the trio of Toyota cars having mechanical troubles, and all the Danica-mania it was still an exciting 500 miles.
Its hard not to be impressed with the job Danica Patrick did. She ran top ten pretty much all day long and was around at the end. There wasn’t much passing to be done and even less with the lack of help Danica was getting. But hopefully the more experience she gets the more the other drivers will stop treating her like a female and start treating her like another driver. Her performance today was smooth and error free. It reminds me a lot of her Indy 500 runs. Danica runs her own race and doesn’t let whats going on around her effect her. If she can get faster at the tracks she isn’t as good at she could prove to be a very consistent Cup racer.
I’m not going to go a lot into reviewing the crash in the Nationwide race on Saturday. I posted a few pictures that can be saw by CLICKING HERE. What I do want to talk about is the cry for change. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a horrible accident and my thoughts and prayers go out to those effected. We are very lucky it wasn’t worse. I’ve heard people suggest via twitter, radio and various other sources over the past 48 hours everything from bullet proof glass walls to tearing down grand stands and moving them backwards and building them up higher. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and calm down before they start changing things. The catch fence for the most part did its job 100%. It caught the engine and half the suspension. It kept the car on the track. It was just a fluke deal that one piece of the suspension flew into the stands. That is part of racing, no one ever claimed that sitting in the stands was 100% safe. I’ve dodged my fair share of hoods and body parts at drag racing events over the years. I almost had a street stock fly into my lap several years ago at a 1/4 mile dirt track. Its is just the chance you take. I bring up the street stock to disprove those who say we need to slow the cars down. Freak accidents can happen at any speed.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we sit by the way side and hope it doesn’t happen again. But I don’t think immediate change is needed either. If someone can come up with a safer idea for a catch fence that doesn’t obstruct the view of the fans then I’m all for it. But until then what we have works pretty well. Hopefully until then the “perfect storm” that we saw on Saturday won’t happen again!
Bone Head Move Of The Week
Rapper 50-cent made Erin Andrews Daytona 500 experience super awkward, just watch.
Not to mention his odd tweet “Damn, I don’t see no black people lol”
Debuting this week to go along with our Bone Head award the “Flat Tire” award and the “Hard Charger” award. The flat tire will be given to the driver with the worst performance of the weekend. The hard charger will be given to the best performance of the weekend, not necessarily the race winner, just an inspiring performance.
The Flat Tire Award
Carl Edwards: I lost count at four or five torn up race cars this weekend. But even when he wasn’t wrecking he wasn’t doing much. He was running in the back of the Sprint Unlimited and the back of the Daytona 500 when he got into trouble. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of how Edwards plans to turn his season around from his 2012 woes or its going to be a long year for the #99 fans.
The Hard Charger Award
Micheal McDowell and J.J. Yeley: Both drivers started at the back of the field, 38 and 41st. Both drivers are driving for underfunded teams. But most importantly both drivers brought it home in the top ten and netted huge pay days to help them race another day!
For the biggest part of the day I thought sure my pick Matt Kenseth was going to pull it out for me but that all went up in smoke 3/4’s of the way through.
For Phoenix this weekend I’m going with Kyle Busch. He ran strong there in the fall and will no doubt be up on the wheel after blowing a motor in Daytona.
Yahoo Fantasy Sports Picks
Even with Matt Kenseth blowing up in Daytona I still managed to tie for 1st on one of my leagues and finish 2nd in the other. My picks off Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, and Danica Patrick scored me 292 points.
Here are my picks for Phoenix this week!
A. Kevin Harvick
B. Kurt Busch & Kyle Busch
C. Danica Patrick