Monday, March 5, 2012

5 things to take away from the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix including Denny Hamlin, NASCAR, and Jimmie Johnson all rebound while “You Can’t Fix Stupid”.

After last week’s Daytona 500, I said on ThinkingBrian.com (my lifestream) "goodbye Daytona, hello to the real start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Phoenix" and I was dead on with that one. The Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway was one hell of a race to watch and fans saw the return of some good old fashion short track racing on the 1 mile unique track.

But in watching the Phoenix Cup race, I noticed a theme if you will, the word “rebound” seemed to come up pretty often as well as “EFI”. So here are 5 things to take away from the race.

1. “You can’t fix stupid!” What a great saying because it’s so true and unfortunately for Jeff Gordon who asked his spotter to ask the #42-Juan Montoya’s spotter if this is really how the #42 is going to race him and the spotter responded back with I’m standing right next to him and I’ll try, but “You can’t fix stupid”. (Not exact quote, except “You can’t fix stupid” part)

2. NASCAR rebounds. Last Sunday-Monday-Tuesday’s Daytona 500 was a complete nightmare for so many from a two-hours red flag for Montoya hitting the jet dryer, several wrecks, the #48 penalty and more, but the Subway 500 was a complete 180 degree turn around where fans saw the return of good old fashion short track racing and a good battle for the victory. Believe me when I say it, I was entertained and the grandstands were 80-90% full and that’s a good sign.

3. Denny Hamlin rebounds from a hard hitting 2011. I mean what can you say, after 2011, JGR made changes within the #11-Denny Hamlin including bring on a new crew chief in Darin Grubb. This combination so far is working well after a good speedweeks at Daytona and now a victory at Phoenix.

4. Jimmie Johnson rebounds. Jimmie Johnson came in with somewhere around negative 23 points in the Cup point standings because of a 42nd place finish at Daytona and that still pending 25 point penalty form the C-Post deal at Daytona. But on Sunday, Johnson rebounds to finish 4th after running well all day long. But I will stress to say that Johnson does have a long road back to the top 10 in points.

5. EFI. This new Electronic Fuel Injection or EFI for short is still a work in progress and while some teams have figured it out, others including the #14-Tony Stewart haven’t after Smoke found out that when he shut the engine off to save fuel, he couldn’t turn the engine back on. I believe it was the kill switch and it needed a reboot is what the explanation was. It’s a work in progress ladies and gentlemen.

Now all that is left to say is, NASCAR teams leave Phoenix in the rearview mirror and travel about 400 miles up to Las Vegas for next Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway…