Three Things I Think I know After Phoenix

The Season Finale Will Be Just Fine – Any concerns about the type of racing we’ll see at Phoenix in November were alleviated following Sunday’s tussle in the desert. Drivers universally praised the changes NASCAR made to the short track/road course package. And how could you argue otherwise? The number of cautions in the final stage created a slew of tire strategies, which led to even more cautions and chaos. Drivers showed the ability to overcome adversity and charge their way to the front. Joey Logano did it twice to win the race.

“I think everyone in this whole facility took a sigh of relief today,” said Logano. “You know what I mean?  I’m sure all you guys reporting on a race, you want to talk about how great something is, not that it was single file and we couldn’t pass, drivers are mad that you can’t pass.  I don’t know, that’s not a good story.

“Yes, the competitors, I think NASCAR, I think the fans, the media, everyone that puts so much into this sport, it’s our life, right, so much that we do for it.  It’s cool to see that we’re able to make changes and make a difference and really put on what I thought was obviously a great race.  We won.  Even if we didn’t win, I would have said that was a pretty cool race.

“When you got out front, didn’t mean you checked out.  Some did.  That’s always going to happen.  The fastest cars always end up in the front, always hard to pass that car.  I thought there was just a lot of good racing.  Restarts were still crazy as usual here.  But I thought the awesome sauce was awesome.”

As a viewer, what more could you ask for? Assuming NASCAR doesn’t touch this package, we should be in for a great show when the championship is on the line this fall.

 

Tyler Reddick is a Future Star – The two-time Xfinity Series champion did not get the finish he wanted or deserved but did he ever make a statement. I mean no disrespect to Daniel Hemric, but Reddick has shown more promise in four races than Hemric did all of last season. You could argue Reddick is better equipped to succeed due to the new Chevy, but it’s obvious Reddick is an absolute wheelman. I don’t like to see guys lose their ride, but Richard Childress made the right choice. Reddick is a guy you go out of your way to watch. I can’t wait to see what he does at Homestead in a couple weeks.

 

Martin Truex Jr. is in a Funk – Would you have believed before Daytona that Martin Truex would have no wins, no top-fives, and no top-tens through four races? His best finish is 14th at Fontana. Toyota doesn’t look nearly as strong as it did last year, but I think it goes deeper than that. The team just seems out of sync, which is to be expected as the team continues to adjust to James Small calling the shots instead of Cole Pearn. Still, something feels off. Maybe I’m dramatizing, but Truex acts like he’s miserable. But…perhaps that’s because he’s not finishing well. Anyway, I admire Truex’s clean racing style. It has served him well. But I wonder if his peers are starting to take advantage of his “kindness.” It might be time for Truex to turn the aggression up a notch.

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