Daytona was once again a thrill ride, with action from start to finish. But enough about the Nationwide event. The Cup side, well the final few laps sure provided something to talk about, but the tandem racing of Friday actually trumped the Saturday evening affair.
What can we say about New Hampshire, the race track, not the state? The action was not exactly gripping, it proved a dandy cure for insomnea, it showed that Denny Hamlin is still tough, but Kasey Kahne was the one celebrating in the end.
Three races in, and the story of the 2014 Cup season is the success of Dale Earnhardt Jr. He wins at Daytona, finishes second in Phoenix, and a hiccup in his fuel pick up was all that kept him from victory at Las Vegas. That and Brad Keselowski. Still, take a gamble, have it turn sour, and still come home second is not all that bad.
As the boys moved on from Martinsville en route to Texas, the Chase has come down to essentially a two man race. Carl Edwards went to Virginia hoping to avoid disaster, which would have been to maintain his average of 16th place finishes there.
Jeff Gordon has four Cup championships, but Jimmie Johnson now has five. Jeff won the Brickyard 400 four times, and now so has Jimmie. You could think of this as Jimmie having taken over from Jeff as Rick Hendrick's premier driver.
You settle down to watch a movie, to follow the storyline, even expecting what the outcome might be. Matt Kenseth was to win at Dover, Jimmie Johnson was going to challenge him for the victory, Tony Stewart would have another dud day, and the boy sees dead people.
600 miles might be too long a race, but the final 70 of the 400 laps provided some pretty good action. The Coca Cola 600 gave Kasey Kahne his first win as a Hendrick driver, his 13th of his Cup career.
So, what did we learn from Martinsville? I learned I like what I saw from that short track.