[media-credit id=24 align=”alignright” width=”222″][/media-credit]Bristol is a place where bashing and banging is expected, yet while there was some of that going on, it proved to be just nice to watch last Sunday. Unfortunately, it was not exactly a hang on to your seat kind of affair. I guess having Brad Keselowski well out in front ahead of Matt Kenseth in the late stages had a lot to do with it. Keselowski claimed his second straight at the track, going back to last August, while Kenseth has a runner-up finish to go with his Daytona victory. Not great racing as far as the fans go, but nice.
Nice is being able to run more than 5% of the race without being beat to a pulp. So, it was not so nice for Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards who all fell within the 32nd to 39th place spots when it was all over.
Nice is not having your team mate brush by, taking out your rear tire with his exhaust pipes. So, it was not so nice for Jeff Gordon, who immediately saw his car back end into the wall to leave him crumpled in 35th. Dale Earnhardt Jr will have to make amends, and maybe work on his pit road speed while he is at it as a late miscue left him in 15th. Not great, but nice enough.
Next stop is Fontana, where we have seen a few nice races. Too bad about all the brutally boring presentations we have witnessed there. For seven seasons the Cup boys visited the track in California twice in the campaign. That stopped last year. Nice. Kevin Harvick won there in 2011, but Kyle Busch has won five of the last six Nationwide contests on that track. Nice, but it would be even nicer if he could pull off that kind of dominance on the Cup side.
As I write this, the penalties for Jimmie Johnson’s team remain intact, though he leaves Bristol with a Top Ten and just 24 points out of a Chase place. He is 18th in the standings, which is nice for now, with 22 races left to get to where he needs to be.
History has shown us that with two races on the schedule, the attendance at Fontana plummets. Sometimes it gets too hot, sometimes too wet, and too often this race becomes an example of just a bunch of guys turning left. With the speeds generated there, it should be more exciting. Gil de Ferran set a lap record in CART at 241 mph, and an IndyCar race once averaged out at a world record 207 mph. Wouldn’t it be nice if we got that kind of excitement on Sunday? Hell, I would settle for just nice.
This week, my niece Tess turns 15 and my dad celebrates his 79th birthday. May they, and you, have a nice and enjoyable week.