Thursday, June 25, 2009

Double-file restarts even at Infineon Raceway for the NASCAR Cup Series race prove to be exciting for fans.

Road course racing in NASCAR doesn’t normally produce good, side-by-side racing with a lot of passing on-track and that seems to be the reason why some NASCAR fans don’t like road racing on the NASCAR schedule. However for this NASCAR fan, I think NASCAR needs to add more road course races, road course racing is a completely different animal from oval racing no matter if it’s at Daytona and Talladega or Martinsville and Bristol or even Charlotte or Michigan, road racing really is interesting to watch.

Road racing shows just how good a driver is not only turning left, but turning right. In a lot of ways though, it also defines a NASCAR Cup Series champion, to be a champion in this series, I believe the driver has to be able to not only master short track racing, intermediate and superspeedway track racing, but a driver needs to also be able to master or survive racing on road courses as well.

Anyway, last Sunday at Infineon raceway had a new element, double-file restarts. Some drivers though that it might be interesting, but others were nervous at to just what was going to happen and in my opinion rightfully so, however most seem to agree that it would be good for the fans and that’s why double-file restarts where inserted in the first place earlier this month in Pocono.
For last Sunday’s short race and I mean short race, the racing had a different flavor to it, the driving throughout most of the race went from a little bit of give and take to “take no prisoners” driving, make the pass anyway you can. In some cases, I say drivers driving way over their heads including trying to outbrake a another driver (competitor) going down into turn 11, what an action packed turn, I will not name any names, but damn, what where some drivers thing (cough…Denny Hamlin).

Another fun corner had to be turn 7a, just before you get to the S’s, unfortunately after a long race, 7a is where JR Nation saw their driver Dale Jr. running good in and round the top 10 to top 15 get tagged by another driver that got hit by I believe Carl Edwards who just drove it in too deep, another driver, there were so many drivers driving in over their heads, it was ridiculous.
For the restarts themselves, originally I was thinking ok this is going to hurt, however that wasn’t the case earlier on in the race, but as the laps wound down, the double-file restarts made for an exciting conclusion to the race, but it also produced some spin outs or taken drivers out, anyway, I like the idea of double-file restarts even on road courses, that yield some good results for most of course.

But what a Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, I thought from sure Robby Gordon had this one or Marcus Ambrose was going to win last Sunday, both cars where at least a 10th of a second faster than the rest of the field, but you also have to have good track position and one key of the race had to do with pitting before the caution comes out late in the race which nailed Robby Gordon, as for Marcos Ambrose, what a good job he did, he finished in third place.

I was a little surprised to see the race come down to Kasey Kahne vs. Tony Stewart. The way the race was shaping out, I thought that Tony Stewart had the upper hand, my god, Stewart had several chances to get at him, meaning double-file restarts. Stewart tried so many times to just get along side, let along pass Kahne, however I have to say that what a great victory for Kasey Kahne and his guys, but that was interesting, as much as I am a Tony Stewart fan, I thought that the right guy won the race, plus great to see “The King” Richard Petty get into victory lane as well as Dodge. Look Dodge can win a race.

I now have to wonder, what are double-file restart’s going to do at the next road course race, yes Watkins Glen, especially with that first turn down hill and then doing up through the S’s, double file will be tough their too, anyway I can’t wait to see that race.

(Photo Source: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images via NASCAR PR)