5 Questions After ... AAA Texas 500

Who predicted that Texas Motor Speedway would provide the best race of the season? Come on, show of hands! Ok, those of you that put your hand up, put it down because you are lying! When you ask people what track will have the best race of the season, most will answer Daytona, Bristol, Talladega or Martinsville. The answer will most likely not be one of the 1.5-mile racetracks that most race fans wish would disappear right off the face of the earth. However, the racing was fantastic, there were enough storylines to satisfy any TMZ journalists taking a peek at NASCAR, and even old school race fans got treated to some of their favorite past times. Now we have a new points leader and … wait a minute, you mean Jimmie Johnson may not win the title this year? Whoa!

Here are some questions on my mind following the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway…

Why were Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon fighting? … I never thought I would be putting Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, and fighting in the same sentence. Gordon and Burton, two of the most respected individuals in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage area, tangled after lap 191 incident in which Burton shoved Gordon up the racetrack in what he claims was an attempt at an apology. Gordon walked down the racetrack to the apron and before even saying a word to Burton shoved him and even threw a punch before the two drivers were separated by NASCAR officials. When I saw Gordon walking towards Burton, I seriously didn’t expect him to get physical. Apparently the officials weren’t either since they seemed just as shocked as everyone else. However, the fans were quick to scream their approval and it’s the talk of the town heading into Phoenix. P.S. A lot of fans were upset the officials got in the way of the drivers. People, we didn’t want them to kill each other! I think it went as far as it should. Who knows when they would have stopped had the officials not been in the way?

How much are Kyle Busch’s fingers worth? … Apparently 25 grand! NASCAR announced earlier today that Busch would be fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until December 31st for a double-finger salute Busch threw to a NASCAR official while serving a one lap penalty for trying to beat the pace car off of pit road. He was docked two more laps for the gesture. Busch threw out a profanity-laced tirade with every swear word in the book while crew chief Dave Rogers begged Busch to keep his mouth shut and his fingers to himself. It was thoroughly entertaining and I wouldn’t bet on Busch never doing it again.

What was Chad Knaus thinking? … if you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or have read any of my other columns this week you know I’ve already beat this dead hose until its black and blue. I’m thoroughly annoyed that the “win as a team, lose as a team” mentality that both Knaus and driver Jimmie Johnson both preach as gospel was thrown out the window on Sunday because the pit crew was too slow. Knaus decided to switch the No. 48 pit crew with the No. 24 pit crew once Gordon was officially out of the race. After the race, Knaus actually had the gall to say he wanted his guys back when they went to Phoenix next weekend. Yes, Knaus, your crew will gladly come back and help you out after you benched them for bad stops while you yourself failed to give Johnson a racecar that could race for the win. Instead, he barely finished in the top 10. Thankfully, the switch was announced to be permanent by Hendrick Motorsports. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Gordon’s new pit crew won him a race before the season is out, possibly beating his own teammate to do it?

Does Denny Hamlin have it in the bag? … Past history shows that no driver in the Chase era has ever lost the points lead with two races to go. However, a 33 point lead is inconclusive at best, especially heading to Phoenix International Raceway which is one of Johnson’s best tracks (what track isn’t one of Johnson’s best tracks?!). While it seems most are ready to see a new champion, actually having a good fight for it on the final lap at Homestead wouldn’t be too much to ask for, would it?

Has Ford decided to show up? … Biffle, the only Ford Racing driver who has really done anything this year, led nearly 230 laps in Sunday’s race but a gear problem prevented him from challenging for the lead at the end. However, teammate Matt Kenseth came from a lap down to challenge Hamlin for the win, making a last ditch dive-bomb effort to steal the victory. Hamlin would eventually take it, but Kenseth gave it his best shot. Also, Paul Menard continues to shut doubters up and came home with his sixth top-10 finish of the season. However, Menard is jumping ship to Richard Childress Racing and Chevrolet next season. Still, not bad for a “daddy’s boy.”

Bonus questions: Is there one Joe Gibbs Racing driver flying under the radar? … Did Martin Truex Jr. forget how to drive on Sunday? … Would revolvers have made that race anymore exciting?
5 Questions After ... AAA Texas 500 5 Questions After ... AAA Texas 500 Reviewed by Summer Dreyer on Tuesday, November 09, 2010 Rating: 5