Watching Loudon on Sunday was a whole lot like watching Shawshank Redemption. I have seen bits and pieces of that movie, maybe, a couple of dozen times or more. The first half of the New Hampshire race had me watching nothing but our favorites of this year over and over and over.
There was the bursting of the bubble that had Jeff Gordon as an actual Cup contender. When his tire blew, when his car slammed into the fence, when he left with just a couple of points to his credit, that fantasy came to an end. To be honest, even if he had ran tenth, it would have mattered little.
Daytona was great. Phoenix was not bad, once you got used to the differences. One week we had a 2.5-mile superspeedway, the next we got was a single mile circuit. It rained in Florida, yet despite the forecast the only rain came to prematurely end the Nationwide race on Saturday. They ran in big packs in the southeast, not so much in the southwest.
For the third time this season, NASCAR presented a race worth watching. I am talking about those who demand an entertaining three-hour experience if they are going to spend the time to take it all in. Talladega delivered.
Well, we learned that NASCAR's home track for most teams still provides us with good racing that keeps us watching.
If. We all have a closet full of “ifs” that we may ponder about. Take last Sunday for instance. If Kyle Busch had saved enough fuel, he may well have won his fourth straight race, moved into the Top 30 in points, and sat atop the season standings with five victories to his credit. But he did not, so he does not.
They looked similar, with the same track and cars that appeared comparable. However, where the Nationwide race at Phoenix on Saturday was brutally boring, the televised action Sunday kept one interested from start to finish.
Talladega was a ratings bust. Talladega. For fans who follow the sport, those four Stewart-Haas cars up front, doing what they had to do all day long, was something to behold. For those who simply tune in to watch incredible action, they had to wait for the final 20 laps for the payoff. However, they had to have tuned in to witness either. They did not even bother. That is troublesome.
Perspective. It means everything. Take Trevor Bayne, for instance. Last Sunday at Dover, he picked up a speeding penalty while on pit road during an early caution. No big deal. Sure, he finished 20th on the day, but with not a single Roush driver making the Chase, expectations were not exactly soaring.
Two races down, along with a trio of exhibitions for good measure, so what do we know now about the Gen 6 car? Starting with cosmetics, it at least looks like a car one might drive down the street.