Dale Earnhardt, Jr. always walked in his dad’s shadow. The Intimidator was more than just that on the track, it is something his children obviously lived with. For all the great things Dale Earnhardt did on and off the track, it is apparent that telling your son how proud you were of him is not something that came easy.
So Jimmie Johnson has had some trouble this year finding the top 10 this year let alone Victory Lane. And he changed tires after spinning out in qualifying forcing him to start the race from the back. While Ryan Blaney was busy winning race stages, Johnson was busy making his way to the top 5. Johnson did not lead the most laps but he led the most important lap at the end. Oh, by the way, Brad Keselowski hasn’t won a stage but leads with 10 playoff points by virtue of winning races.
Brad Keselowski won his first grandfather clock at Martinsville in what had to be the best race of 2017.
For the first time all year, the staged racing actually added a bit of excitement as drivers battled for position all day long. Not that the race needed two extra cautions, the drivers did enough of that themselves.
The latest race at Phoenix saw viewership tumble again to new lows. I haven’t yet seen track attendance numbers, but let’s assume they are close to what we have been seeing which means there were some seats available.
In the past few days, I have read about ideas of introducing another “Winston Million” idea to the series to generate interest, making the cars quieter or adding restrictor plates to the cars at The Brickyard and other tracks to improve racing.
Frankly, I don’t think any of those ideas will help the sport that is bleeding fans faster than Kyle Busch can get into trouble.
For a while, it looked like Martin Truex, Jr. wasn’t going to be able to fulfill the dream of winning the 2 stages and then the race. He clearly had one of the best cars on the track but a late caution allowed polesitter Brad Keselowski to track Truex down and take over the lead. And that looked like all she wrote folks, Ford was going to win it’s 3rd race and Special K his second. But then a funny thing happened. Something broke on the 2 car and Truex found himself back in the lead for his first win and the first of 2017 for Toyota.