NASCAR Afterthoughts: Kansas

For those of you that were able to stay awake during yesterday’s race you know what the few highlights were. For those of you that fell asleep.. NASCAR.com is here to help.  Congrats to Denny Hamlin on his 19th victory and 2nd of the year! Make the jump to see what else was significant about his victory…

Is that a smile out of Denny? What is this? 2010?

Well Denny Hamlin fought hard in this race stayed right where he needed to be until the track and the car came around to him. I think it was Darrell Waltrip who called it earlier in the race that Denny might be the guy to watch out for late in the race and he was right this time. I laughed to myself when he said that but then the sunlight came out and changed the race. A.J. Allmendinger looked great early on but then had a not-so-great pitstop before having a mechanical failure in the car. After that it was all Truex for nearly 200 laps. Jimmie Johnson looked like he could make a challenge but when he got to Truex he couldn’t get around him. They made a pitstop to try something new and it certainly worked as he drove his way right back to 3rd place but that was all he could do. After the final caution came out the sunlight came out which messed with Truex’s handling just enough and Denny Hamlin’s car was able to overtake him for the lead. Truex actually made a great run toward the end but his car couldn’t stick coming off the turn and he got loose enough to let Denny pull away. This was a better race than Texas but it won’t do anything to stop the complaints that fans have been hammering NASCAR.com and ESPN.com collective comments sections. Thankfully Richmond and Talladega are coming up soon and they may provide some relief in the form of cautions…

Our Old Friend...

Speaking of our old friend Mr. Yellow Flag… he has only shown up at the track 5 times in the last two events. All of those brought out by a single car hitting a wall or spinning or debris (including someone’s hat at Texas). The last wreck is one that had NASCAR fans (including fellow writers Charlie, Richard) in an ongoing argument about who was at fault more for it? That was the Bowyer/Gordon/Johnson wreck back at Martinsville on April 1st. Hey Drivers, it time to start wrecking each other a little bit. There were a few hairy moments at Kansas but everyone came out clean. Someone needs to be the bad guy. Is this what we get for complaining about Kyle Busch so much? Richmond should provide us with better Saturday Night Fireworks on track than Texas could. I’m looking forward to it. EDIT: Richmond provided us with 15 yellows last fall and 8 last spring. In 2010 there were an uncharacteristically small number of cautions with 3 and 6 cautions but in the 6 events before that (’07-09) there were never less than 10 cautions. Source: http://www.racing-reference.info/tracks/Richmond_International_Raceway

One more thing about the win for Denny Hamlin. It brought the win total for drivers in the #11 car to 199. This passed the #43 car with 198 wins for most all time. It was fitting that it happened in the STP 400 with the #43 car in STP colors for the race since that was the sponsor synonymous with most of the #43’s wins. It was a milestone no one had really been talking about lately because of everything with Hendrick’s 200th win looming. Which do you think will get to 200 first? Hendrick or Car #11?

Bullets…

– It’s too bad Truex couldn’t pull off the victory. However this was his 5th top 10 in a row, which is a personal best. I have found myself rooting for the guys at Michael Waltrip Racing. I’m not sure why since I don’t particularly like any of them but I’m impressed at what they are doing over there and know they are close to get another victory.

– Denny Hamlin appears to be back. He’s been good at most tracks this year and we haven’t even gotten to his best tracks yet. Looks like he has finally shaken off that defeat at Homestead in 2010.

– Speaking of shaking things off, Kasey Kahne and Carl Edwards had top 10’s today. Both had their second top 10 in a row. Kasey is starting to get the finish to match his race so I’m not too worried about him. Carl is another matter. His finishes have been pretty good outside of Bristol and Phoenix but he hasn’t ran all that well this year. He led his first lap of the season yesterday and that was only because of cycling of pit stops. Let me repeat, led his first lap of the season. He also had two teammates finish ahead of him just like last week despite being in the top 10. If Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle can compete for wins why isn’t Carl up there? (HINT: Curse of second place in the Chase…)

– Oh yeah… Kenseth and Biffle… 5 top 5’s each this season.

– What was the deal with the outside line on restarts yesterday? They had no chance all day long.

– Dale Jr wins at Richmond. Making my pick now. (Sorry to curse you Jr!). I don’t care that JJ has had 5 top 5’s and has looked like a threat in nearly every race lately. I think Dale Jr is going to do what apparently no one has wanted to do since Clint Bowyer tried it at Martinsville… knock someone out of the way for a win.

– Bristol is going to announce their plans this week for their reconfiguration. Expect more debate on that topic from the ESPN and NASCAR.com boys…

Enjoy your week and clear your schedule for Saturday Night because Richmond is here to save us this week from our nemesis: The Green Flag.

Let's hope that another race average speed record won't be broken this week..

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3 thoughts on “NASCAR Afterthoughts: Kansas

  1. Mike Helton needs to put bounties on bumpers in Richmond. NASCAR can’t afford to have another stinker in primetime.

    • I’m OK with NASCAR bounties! I added in a few stats about the yellows at Richmond. Looks favorable that we’ll have some action there as long as 2010 doesn’t rear its head. Saturday Night needs to be exciting

      • Greg Williams needs to be named the new NASCAR Director of Competition.

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