Tuesday, February 23, 2010

5 Questions After ... Auto Club 500


It was a quiet weekend compared to Speedweeks at Daytona, but there was still some buzz in the garage area over a few things. After all, when aren’t we leaving a leaving a race without talking about at least something?

What’s up with the horseshoe comment? … Though fans have been saying it for a while, Kevin Harvick had the quote of the year—no, the decade!—when he said that Jimmie Johnson had a golden horseshoe shoved up his…well…use your imagination. This is a family site. One has to wonder, though, why it took almost five years for someone to finally figure this out. Sure, Johnson and company are darn near flawless. They’re also the luckiest team in NASCAR. If you can name me a team that’s had more good fortune in the past five years then let me know. I’ll personally see to it that they get the recognition they deserve. But why aren’t they beating the No. 48?

Did it seriously rain? Again? … We need to start keeping track of how many weekends we can go without rain affecting something during the weekend. It could be qualifying, practice, or any of the races across all three of NASCAR’s series. So far, we are 2 for 2 on rain delays/rainouts at some point during race weekend. We’re going to be in the desert this weekend. Think we can handle a dry weekend?

Where was Roush Fenway Racing? … We heard how Auto Club Speedway was the “House of Roush” all weekend (I thought that was Michigan anyways)…. So, where were they? The highest finishing RFR driver was Matt Kenseth in 7th. The average finish position among all five drivers was 11th, and none of them led a lap. That doesn’t bode well for the team that had won every previous February race at Auto Club Speedway.

Where did Richard Childress Racing come from? … RFR’s hiatus became RCR’s grand entrance. No doubt that both teams struggled mightily last year, but it looks like all of the work done at RCR over the offseason has finally paid off. All three cars led a lap and the worst finish of all three RCR cars was 8th by Clint Bowyer. It’s a great start for RCR thus far, and we’ll see if it can continue through the rest of 2010.

Why were TV ratings so low? … I know we’ve been dealing with this the past year now, but 6%? Isn’t that a pretty rapid decline from one year to the next? I thought the earlier start times were supposed to help us with that! A small decrease was somewhat expected, but it seemed kind of drastic. Though there were some races with double digit decreases last season, you have to wonder when we’ll actually see some improvement. Right now, things aren’t looking very good.

Bonus questions: Was anyone else half expecting them to say “caution for a pothole” when the rain started? … Who all lost track of engine failures after the start-and-parkers joined in? … How did that “spark” work out for Matt Kenseth?

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Photo courtesy of NASCARMedia. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

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