What a scene this weekend in Martinsville. It was the first time in 25 years a Cup race had to be postponed due to snow.
Okay, I have a confession to make. That picture is not from Martinsville. That is looking outside my front door last week in Louisville. But it could have passed for Martinsville, right?
I give kudos to NASCAR for getting the track ready for TWO races on Monday. I think they made the right decision to call things off Sunday. It is unfortunate that a lot of fans had to miss out on a very good race, but NASCAR had to err on the side of caution.
A feel good win
Anytime a driver can snap a near 200-race losing streak, it’s a feel good win. And that’s exactly what Clint Bowyer did Monday in dominating fashion. Bowyer was untouchable in the last 200 laps. Bowyer may be on the back end of his career, but I think it can be great for the sport if he contends for wins all season. His personality is one of the most unique in NASCAR. And breaking news…NASCAR needs all the personality it can get.
Other random thoughts…
-His finish may not reflect it, but today was another good race for Aric Almirola. Early in the day he made contact with Kevin Harvick on pit road and had to make a second stop. He methodically worked his way into the top ten, but was busted for speeding during the final round of pit stops. He still managed to finish 14th. Almirola continues to impress me every week. And with Stewart-Haas power underneath the hood, I have to think he’s going to break through and get a win before the season is out.
-Alex Bowman led Hendrick Motorsports with a seventh-place finish. Much like Almirola, Bowman gradually found his way into the top ten and stayed out of trouble. A race like this could do a lot for Bowman’s confidence moving forward.
-Today was not the typical Martinsville race. There was only one caution due to an accident and that was minor. But it still featured the usual beating and banging we’re accustomed to. It just didn’t lead to any major incidents. I applaud the drivers for one of the cleanest short track races we’ve seen in a long time.
-I thought the Camping World Truck Series put on a show. We saw some great racing and a clean finish. I really hope that becomes a trend rather than the exception.
-Second thought on the CWTS race: That was Ben Rhodes’ race to lose. And unfortunately, his pit crew let him down. After leading 134 of the first 145 laps, Rhodes dropped to 12th after a bad pit stop and never recovered. I spoke to Rhodes this evening and he did not mince words about the performance of his pit crew.
“We’re evaluating the situation and we’re going to be making some changes. This has been quite a few times we have given the race away on pit road,” said Rhodes. “We’re looking at various alternatives and trying to make a change real soon so that as we’re making this championship run in 2018 that the weakest link isn’t on pit road.”
Strong words, but a change is probably needed. Luckily, the team has about six weeks to figure things out. The next race is May 4 at Dover.
Thanks for reading the NASCAR Fix!