Monday, October 18, 2010

Jamie McMurray wins, more chase drivers drop in points, while Johnson spins and recovers to finish 3rd: The top 6 NASCAR things learned from Race 5 of the Chase - Charlotte.

Welcome readers, after this past weekend’s racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is official half way home in the chase for the Sprint Cup which means we have just five races to go in the 2010 season. So what are the top 6 NASCAR things learned from Charlotte II race.
1. Jamie McMurray is the comeback story of 2010. Since Jamie McMurray joined back up with Chip Ganassi and his raceteam Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix,  McMurray, who is having his best season to date in his Cup Series career, has found success in several races this season including winning the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400 and last Saturday night’s Charlotte 500 along with finishing second at Talladega in the spring race and now being 13th in points. What a run for McMurray, now all he needs is a contract for 2011.
2. Jimmie Johnson and the #48 team are both lucky and good. Earlier on in last Saturday night’s Charlotte 500, Jimmie Johnson found himself spinning off of turn 2 after getting loose on his own and with a stroke of luck and some good car control, Johnson managed to keep the car off the wall and didn’t get hit. From that point, the #48 team kept their car on the lead lap and in contention. Johnson would end up battling his way back up into the top 5 to finish 3rd on the night and ahead of his nearest championship competitors.
3. Several chase contenders had a bad night and fall further down in the points. Several chase including Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards now find themselves over 200 points out and realistically out of hunt for the championship. You just can’t make mistakes at this point in the season and even if Johnson has a bad race, they will just gain a little bit on the him, but not over take him for the lead.
4. Non-chase drivers Joey Logano and David Regan come home with top 10 finishes.
5. Kasey Kahne counting the days to leaving RPM. During the Charlotte 500, it was reported that after Kasey Kahne went to the garage for several laps for repairs, Kahne was sick and left the track. JJ Yeley would finish off the race more than 120 laps down. However according to reporters on Twitter, he was mad and sick of his car. Kahne has had an up and down season and has to be read for 2011.
6. Nationwide Series race at Charlotte was more exciting than Cup Series Charlotte 500 race. As Brad Keselowski outdueled both Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch to win last Friday’s Nationwide Series race at Charlotte, which was the final race for the Nationwide COT car, I found that the Nationwide Series race with the new COT was more entertaining to watch then the Cup Series race the following night for the most part. Simply put, the racing was better with more side-by-side racing especially late in the race when Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. where swapping the lead around and going door to door for several laps. This should be interesting in 2011.
Final Lap: I leave you with this question, “how does NASCAR justify giving Charlotte Motor Speedway two Cup dates and the All-Star race after another race with low attendance, when there are several other tracks that could do better with the date?” Iowa Speedway should be given a chance to prove themselves.