Sunday, November 14, 2010

Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick separated by only 46 points after the Kobalt Tools 500 in Phoenix: The Top 7 NASCAR things learned from Race 9 of the chase.

Welcome readers, after this past weekend’s racing at Phoenix International Raceway, the NASCAR Cup Series chase for the Sprint Cup has just one race to go in the 2010 season and now sees a 3-man battle for the championship heading into the season finale next weekend. So what are the top 7 NASCAR things learned from Phoenix II race.

1. Johnson and Harvick gain in points heading into Homestead. As the Kobalt Tools 500 in Phoenix was passing the midway point, Hamlin found himself upfront, but as the checkered flag flow, Denny Hamlin found himself finishing 12th after a late race pit stop, while his championship contenders Jimmie Johnson finished 5th, closes to -15 points behind Hamlin and Kevin Harvick finished 6th and closes to -46 behind leader Hamlin.

Well despite having the chase, NASCAR has a tight points battle on their hands as the top 3 in points are separated by only -46 points, that’s interesting and none of the top 3 drivers are favorites to win at Homestead. Homestead is a Roush-Fenway Racing track and Edwards and Biffle are favorites. Good luck.

2. Todd Bodine clinches the 2010 NASCAR Truck Series Drivers Championship. Yeah, after several tight points battles in the Truck Series over the last few years, Truck Series fans wouldn’t see that fight next week at Homestead because the 2010 Truck Series championship has already been clinched with one race to go by Todd Bodine, who finished 12th last Friday night. But for Germain Racing, life isn’t all championships as Kyle Busch Motorsports has a big lead in the Owner’s Championship.

It’s kind of sad to see the driver’s championship go to one driver with team, while the Owner’s Championship go to another team despite the fact that NASCAR is a team sport, but that’s NASCAR.

3. Ron Hornaday Jr. signs multi-year deal with KHI to drive in the Truck Series. Yes, despite having a lot of bad luck most of the season, KHI has signed Hornaday to drive the #33 Truck for years to come. I believe that this is a good move for KHI. Hornaday can still contend and win races and championships in 2011 and beyond without doubt. I expect Hornaday to be a contender in 2011.

4. ESPN, cover at least the top 20 including non-chase drivers already, enough with just the top 3 chasers. Every week, I sit here watching the Cup Series races on television and its frustrating seeing ESPN basically only cover the top 3 in points and the chase for the Sprint Cup. I want to see the racing all the way through the field and what other drivers are doing. This is racing, I want to see it period. Hell, last week I didn’t even see Dale Earnhardt Jr. all race long, at least I saw him this race.

5. Joey Logano of non-chasers is very impressive right now. Logano now has his 3rd straight top 5 finish after Phoenix and now finds himself in the top 15 in points.

6. The Kobalt Tools 500 (312 miles) is the perfect length for most NASCAR Cup Series race. This past weekend’s race at PIR only took less than 3 hours to run and I believe that 312 miles, 312 laps is the perfect distance for most Cup Series races hands down. It’s not too many miles and it’s not too short, it works, maybe NASCAR can have all but 6 races with this same distance. I will get into this one deeper over at BVBLG on BrianVermette.com

7. Carl Edwards breaks 2-year winless drought by winning the Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix.

Well, here we are, as the Phoenix sun sets and the checkered flag has flow, the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is down to one to go, Homestead…episode 10…to be continued next week.