NASCAR Afterthoughts: Phoenix

If you couldn’t tell from my Primer post and Robert’s post, we were stoked to watch Phoenix this weekend. I thought the race was fun to watch and actually had some surprises in store for us…

Highlights: NASCAR.com does a great job of putting together all the big stuff that happened in the race in their Race Rewind. I’ll post the links to that each week in case you missed the race or just want to relive some of the action.

Denny: That was some burnout Denny had! I kept thinking about 2010 when Denny ran out of gas at Phoenix which pretty much cost him the Cup that year. I don’t think there were many people that thought Denny was going to win with Harvick closing in late. Instead, it was Harvick who ran out of fuel with a lap to go but somehow still finished second. It looks like Darian Grubb has gave Denny some much needed confidence. He never seemed like himself last year. You could tell in so many interviews how dejected he was from choking away the Cup to Jimmie Johnson in 2010. He seems to have it back after finishing 4th at Daytona and a win yesterday at Phoenix. We’ll see if he can keep the momentum at Vegas.

Jimmie: Yep, don’t think there was any real doubt these guys wouldn’t bounce back from Daytona. 4th place is a heck of a way to follow up 42nd. It’s not like Daytona has been good to them since 2006, anyway. After coming out of the race with negative points, who’s to say that they might just skip all of Speedweeks next year and start at 0 in Phoenix? They did have a problem on pit road with the rear right wheel. It cost them valuable track position and they were unable to contend for the lead again after a strong early showing out of the Kobalt Tools car. Crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec were both at the track this weekend as their appeal for the recent suspension is pending review by NASCAR.

Mark Martin: How about the old man?? He started on the pole but fell back quickly because he was a little loose early. There is no panic in Mark Martin though as the car came around and he was a contender for much of the race. He ended up with his 2nd straight top ten finish in 9th place. Remember a few years ago when he was running a limited schedule and opened up the year hot? Could we see this happen again with him and see make the switch back to full time?

Electronic Fuel Injection: Or EFI. Well, the new technology definitely frustrated Tony Stewart and Co. on Sunday. Tony, who was pretty great on fuel mileage last year, shut his car off under caution to save some fuel and couldn’t get it refired. I don’t know if they ever figured out the exact cause of the problem but one thing is for sure is that he was very upset after the race at the problem. Tony finished two laps down in 22nd.

Danica: Yeah I know, she’s Nationwide only this week and I won’t say much other than she struggled again and acknowledged it on Twitter. She finished 21st, 3 laps down. At least DW and the FOX crew kept her out of the studio on Sunday!

Biffle: Someone had two quiet third place finishes. Shhh. Don’t talk about it right now. But those “Fast Fords” are about to get to a very favorable track for themselves. Biffle is my early pick to win big this week. We’ll see if my mind changes by Friday.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back Friday. Leave your comments about the race below.  And, of course, there is still time to get in on our NASCAR fantasy league! Here is the link to the front page. Our Group ID is 21792 and Password is “sportsdump”. \

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3 thoughts on “NASCAR Afterthoughts: Phoenix

  1. First off, read the following in a Scottish accent…

    The real story from this week is fuel injection engines work differently from carbureted engines. No one’s really pressing this story on ESPN or nascar.com. Tony Stewart found this out, in quite a sad bit of fashion, and it will definitely have an effect on future fuel mileage races.

    I really think they’d let the teams add computers to the injection systems. Is it wrong in my thinking that they do? I don’t know, right now I’m too lazy to look it up. Fuel injection has been around for more than 1/2 a century, and now it’s finally being introduced to NASCAR. How is this a game changer?

    Go, Phil. Tell me about it. If they’re going to let the engine be fuel injected, why not have tuning computers in mind? I’m just saying. What’s up with that? What’s going on in the wide world of sports?

    Challenge accepted? I hope so. If you don’t get on it in the next couple of weeks, I can do it. Let’s bring the best out of each other already. It could be fun!

    BEAM ME UP SCOTTY!

    • There is going to have to be more written on it. As I understand it, they are allowing the teams to adjust the fuel injection settings via computer and they are also allowed to get a lot of data from the practice sessions and the race from it. What they are not allowing is changing of anything mid-race. I’m not too excited about it all getting changed mid-race because of the whole fuel-mileage gambling part of racing.

  2. Pingback: NASCAR Primer: Las Vegas | THE SPORTS DUMP

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