Monday, April 11, 2011

Fan Insight: NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway score points for moving race to Saturday Night, but the racing was typical cookie cutter action.

(Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

As the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season rolls on right into mid-April and the second restrictor plate race is on the horizon, today I want to discuss the Samsung Mobile 500 at TMS.

Last Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway in a first for Texas, the speedway and NASCAR decided to move the Cup Series race to a Saturday night race. TMS and NASCAR scored points with some fans including me for the move even though the race went up against SPEED’s coverage of the Barrett-Jackson in Palm Beach.

The race went as any normal race would, there were a few caution flags for debris and wrecks including spins, but with two exceptions, the race was nothing really much to write home about as Matt Kenseth and his Roush-Fenway Racing team dominated and won the Samsung Mobile 500. And with this win, Matt Kenseth snapped a 76-race winless streak.


1. Hard wreck on the back straightaway: Not the sound you want to hear and this one was a violent one for sure. During the late stages of the Samsung Mobile 500, it looked like Martin Truex Jr. had to check up coming off turn 2, got clipped from behind and spin, hitting the outside wall and collecting both Mark Martin and Regan Smith in the process that included Truex Jr. and Martin hitting the inside wall hard. But I will say that thankfully all three drivers walked away.

2. Where is the safer barrier on the back straightaway inside wall? That wreck should be an eye opening experience for TMS as they need to install safer barriers on the back straightaway inside wall. NASCAR went through a similar issue at Las Vegas a few years ago after Jeff Gordon nailed the inside wall that was bent in for an opening for emergency vehicles. Now TMS needs to install that, those were hard hits for both drivers.

3. Top 28 positions in the Cup points standings changes: The biggest headline after the Samsung Mobile 500 had to be the points system and that top 28 drivers change position following the race. That is amazing to see including Carl Edwards is the new points leader, Dale Earnhardt Jr. moves into 6th in points, but loses 1 point to the leaders and winner Matt Kenseth jumps to 3rd in points and is only -13 points behind the leader.

Like I said the racing was nothing big to write home about, but none the less, there still is a silver lining and that there is always something to talk about after a Cup Series race and TMS was no exception. So, what did you think was the racing entertaining? Saturday night race a hit or a miss? Did I miss something?