Welcome ladies and gentlemen to my weekly NASCAR column that features the top 6 things learned from the past week and weekend and boy as always we had some huge headlines. This week, NASCAR had all three national series in action from the Truck Series on Saturday night in Las Vegas to the Nationwide Series and Cup Series in Dover.
1. Last Wednesday, Clint Bowyer, the #33 team and RCR found themselves well beyond a simple warning from NASCAR as NASCAR dropped the hammer on them with a 150 point penalty and both the car chief and crew chief being suspended for 6 weeks. (Read more here)
I personally don’t think the penalty fit the crime, however with his new NASCAR COT, NASCAR has a complicated setup with a pass or fail system. Basically if your car fails inspection, you will get penalized and chances are it will be a 150 point penalty. Early on, NASCAR set a policy with the COT and they are sticking to it and this penalty is right in line with that mark. Good luck to NASCAR though.
As for Bowyer and RCR vs. NASCAR on Wednesday for the appeal, I will go on record to say that there is a slim chance the penalty will be reduced, but not overturned. So unless RCR can come up with some strong reasons why they don't deserve the penalty, and NASCAR doesn't have good evidence (which we know they do have), this wouldn't be overturned.
2. On Friday and Saturday at Dover, sparks flew as Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress spoke about the penalty saying we didn’t cheat. Of course Denny Hamlin called out Clint Bowyer and said otherwise. Hamlin’s remakes touched off a media windstorm and Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin getting into it during Saturday practice.
Personally Denny Hamlin said what he thought, should he have said it, no. Hamlin in the eyes of one NASCAR fan has a chip on his shoulder. In looking at it, I would say that that fan is right, Hamlin needs to relax, otherwise his comments, attitude along with his feud with RCR might cost him a shot at the Cup Series championship this year and yes he is a favorite to beat Johnson.
3. What’s new, Kyle Busch wins Nationwide Dover race...But... Let’s be honest here, who cares, while I picked him on my fantasy picks for WindTunnel, I could care less and I didn’t watch the race, it’s boring watching all of these Cup Series drivers race and win regularly in the series. It’s like half of these drivers can’t make it in the Cup Series, so they need to prove themselves in the Nationwide Series.
And if NASCAR doesn’t do something soon about the Nationwide Series and the Truck Series, neither series will survivor or have may have drivers competing in either series. Personally I believe that NASCAR should ditch the Cup Series drivers from both series with the exception of 5 races per year and merge the two series into one. You would have better racing, more sponsors and more teams.
4. A 1957 Chevrolet 150 NASCAR “Black Widow” tribute car sold for $58k at the 2010 Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas.
5. Jimmie Johnson begins his quest for his fifth straight championship by winning the Dover Cup Series race and Race 2 of the chase. By winning at Dover, Johnson is now only -35 points behind the points leader Denny Hamlin. Will be interested in seeing what happens from here on out starting this coming weekend at Kansas.
6. Congrats to Austin Dillon for picking up his second career Truck Series victory in Las Vegas. Dillion had the truck to beat basically all race long, but really had to outrun the field especially James Buescher for the victory.
Now I wonder what will happen next week in Kansas, of course may be next weekend NASCAR will explain why Kansas deserves two Cup Series races in 2011, because in my opinion, they don’t. NASCAR should have given a Cup date to either another road course or Iowa.