Welcome ladies and gentlemen, this is another edition of the “Top 6 NASCAR things learned from a particular NASCAR weekend”, however I have made a few changes to this column this week. I wanted to update the title and this one works well for me, readers and search engines.
With that said, I hope that everybody enjoyed the Holiday (Labor Day Weekend) last weekend, I know I did and watched the Cup Series at Atlanta with Tony Stewart picking up his first win of 2010. But were back to busy as usual as we had a double-header weekend at Richmond with the Nationwide Series on Friday night and the Cup Series on Saturday night.
Now getting back to busy, we had an interesting week, so what did we learn from the last week and of course racing in Richmond?
1. Denny Hamlin makes statement after dominating and winning the Air Guard 400 at Richmond. On Saturday night, Denny Hamlin came out and did what he had to do to not only rebound from a 43rd place finish at Atlanta, but put himself in a better position going into the chase. In winning the race, Hamlin now had 6 wins and that got him +10 points over Jimmie Johnson heading into New Hampshire this weekend for the first chase race.
2. Jimmie Johnson keeps momentum going with another top 5 finish in Richmond heading into the chase. You see even though Jimmie Johnson hasn’t had the best season so far including several bad finishes which some was due to someone else’s mistake, this is the part of the season that Johnson really begins to shine. And with the way the championship is setup, Johnson is peaking once again at just the right time and if he keeps up the top 5 finishes, he will be contending for the championship this year once again. Plus don’t forget, Johnson already has 5 wins this season and is only 10 points out of first.
3. Where is the rest of Hendrick Motorsports with the exception of Jimmie Johnson? While I was watching last Saturday night’s Richmond race, I couldn’t help but notice the poor performances of Jeff Gordon (until he finished 12th), Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr., what is going on with these three?
4. Another good performance for NASCAR’s Nationwide COT. Last Friday night at Richmond, the Nationwide COT made its first short track appearance and its third race of the season and I noticed that this car is very different from the previous car including safety. Of course ESPN even pointed out that most car’s brake rotors where not glowing red. Normally those things are bright red and you can see them clear as day. But all in all, the racing was good and so were the final laps between Brad K. and Kevin Harvick.
Now that was real clean racing, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards should have been taking notes. But congrats to Kevin Harvick on holding off a hard charging Brad K. to win the race.
5. Toyota’s Sponsafier finally pays off and gives fans what they really wanted, Kyle Busch in a pink car and firesuit. So for all of the NASCAR fans who wanted it including me, here is Kyle Busch in his pink car and firesuit.
Credit: Harrelson Photography / Richmond International Raceway.
See you after New Hampshire for my next weekly column.