All three championships were all but wrapped up leaving Phoenix, but there were still some storylines … and some questions.
Did that surprise anybody? … You just knew Jimmie Johnson was going to make a stellar comeback. These are the kinds of storylines the 48 team has put up the last four years. That might have something to do with the fact that they’re the three, going on four, time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. Does that mean you have to like it? Well, no. It’s just something to think about. No surprises.
Who else is more interested in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship than the Cup? … I’ve already had lots of people tell me they are more looking forward to the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship—which is all but locked up—than the Cup series championship, which has not yet been clinched. Kyle Busch clinches the championship just by starting next week. Jimmie still has to race. What’s the difference? I bet you it has nothing to do with the most recent Denny Hamlin/Brad Keselowski feud. Or the fact that Denny Hamlin basically vowed his revenge. Nope. Has nothing to do with that at all.
Does Jimmie Johnson say the same thing every week? … Or does it just seem that way? Every time he wins it seems like he, and to a lesser extent Chad Knaus, have the same answers to every question. Yeah it may have something to do with people ask them the same questions every week, but not every single one! I know Jimmie has a personality away from the racetrack, but why don’t we get to see that guy at the track? People are also more into the Nationwide Series battle because Kyle creates a polarization among fans. People tune in either to see him fail or to succeed. It’s just not the same thing with Jimmie. One wonders if it could be…
Did it seriously rain this weekend? … In the desert of all places? If NASCAR is looking to sell itself to specific markets, the first place we should look are areas in a drought. We’d not only bring them rain, we’d bring them a downpour! If we can get a little rain in the desert, NASCAR can probably bring a lot of rain anywhere else. Bonus question: Anyone think this trend will continue into 2010? Let’s hope not!
Does Tony Stewart have a problem with Dale Earnhardt Jr.? … I’m going to go ahead and answer this one and say “no.” What was said on Tony’s scanner about Jr.’s “talent” was heat of the moment frustration. Remember, these are private conversations that fans have the privilege of listening in on. We’d never have known without NASCAR allowing us to be so involved in the sport. Similar things might be said in other team communications in other sports, but we’d never know about it. That whole exchange was blown way out of proportion, and both of them have probably already had a laugh about it by now.
Honorable mentions: Keselowski vs. Hamlin? ‘Nuff said … Was that first debris caution for a water bottle, a blade of grass, or a trash bag? … Is it really the offseason?
Opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.