Rating the race – Kansas kind to Kenseth and Keselowski but not to KyleBy Ron Thornton
Why I watched…
Well, it was Sunday. To be honest, Kansas is not exactly a marquee track just yet, but I wondered how Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano might rebound after the penalties. I also wondered if Kyle Busch might continue his hot hand.
Sorry Kyle. Mr. Busch has never done really well here, and Saturday’s truck adventure was a disaster. We should have known, as on Sunday it was no better. The car was ill handling and when it snapped around on him a second time he found the wall and as the car slid down the track he found Joey Logano. Day over, time to pack up the pieces and head out of Dodge, er, Kansas City.
For Logano, Kansas proved worse than Texas. A 25 point penalty hit could be deemed just a mulligan, but to follow that up with a 39th had to be deflating. On a positive note, the near nose-to-nose impact was hard, but the cars crumpled nicely before the driver’s compartments to leave both boys safe and sound. Damned disappointed, but safe.
Keselowski finished sixth, coming back from early issues that had left him a lap off within 30 laps. Too bad about that last caution caused when the rear tail panel finally flew off his battered auto. It cost the pitting Dale Earnhardt Jr, who fell from 3rd to 21st in the late going. Yes, we shall blame Brad for that. Maybe Roger Penske, too, while we are at it.
It was nice that Matt Kenseth shared the lead for a good portion of the second half of this one. He absolutely dominated the front half then returned to sew up his second win of the season, the 26th of his career. Kasey Kahne at least charged up to make it a bit interesting over the final laps, but we all knew how this one was going to end.
One thing I really noticed in watching the ticker scroll by was that only 30 drivers are relevant. If aliens landed and took the other 13, most would be hard pressed to notice. It was nice of Michael McDowell to wait until after Dave Blaney wrecked his car on the 36th lap before crawling back to the garage seven laps later to put his car to bed. Unlike the Beach Boys, the poor guy was having bad vibrations. More than 20 laps later and Mike Bliss parked his due to his brakes. It could have been worse for those two chaps. Aliens could have got them.
The injured Denny Hamlin is now 46 points out of the Top Twenty. He is hoping to be back at Richmond next weekend. If that works out, he could pick up a win and be back into contention within the next month.
Jimmie Johnson finished third at Kansas, leaving him 37 points up on Kahne and 38 ahead of Keselowski as they move on to Virginia this Saturday night.
Rating the race…
7.5/10 – It had its moments, especially for those who follow the sport. The Busch-Logano crash was a highlight for those who do not, as well as Danica Patrick’s temper regarding the likes of David Gilliland. We await her first tossed helmet. Still, the pack was spread out and the tires lasted longer than Fred Flintstone’s. It was pleasant, but not overly exciting. For that, we still must wait a couple of weeks.