Would Jimmie Johnson have won if the overtime rule was not in place? More than likely. So all the sour grapes about the overtime rules can be set aside. The rules are the rules and Johnson would more than likely have won no matter what. He was just simply better on the restart than those chasing him. And in typical Jimmie Johnson form, he only led 7 laps on his way to victory number 83, tying Cale Yarborough.
The day didn’t start out in his favor though. Johnson had to start at the rear of the field when the team changed gears. So while not in his favor, it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility that he could win the race, we’ve all seen that one before. And we got to see it again.
Kyle Busch started on the pole and led 19 laps until he lost a read left tire on a pit stop. The jack man dropped the car before the rear tire was put on and off went Kyle, only to have his tire come off and send him back in. We are waiting to see what the penalties will be this week for the team.
For a while, it looked like either Martin Truex, Jr or Kyle Larson would win the race. Leading 102 and 241 laps respectively, Larson dominated the race even though Truex won both stages and all the points associated with that.
But then that pesky Johnson had to spoil their fun. How dare he come through the field and win at the end.
The race had plenty of cautions and proved a difficult day as many cars were off the mark on set up giving the drivers a handful trying to wrestle the cars around the one mile track. Dale Earnhardt, Jr was one of the drivers that expected better than the 11th place finish he had. After showing speed in practice, the car didn’t handle to his satisfaction in the race and he struggled. An 11th place finish was probably as good as he was going to see and better than he ran much of the race. He is still mired deep in the points, tied with rookie Ty Dillon at 317 points behind leader Truex.
Chase Elliott got tagged for speeding on pit road but managed to salvage a top 5 finish.
Daniel Suarez once again paced the Joe Gibbs entries as he looks better and better each week. Defending race champ Matt Kenseth ran up front briefly but ended his day in 13th.
Ty Dillon actually led 27 laps and eventually wound up 14th. Last week’s winner Austin Dillon didn’t show the same kind of speed as last week and ended up 12th.
Early in the race, Kurt Busch lost control of his car and crunched Brad Keselowski into the wall, ruining both of their days. Joey Logano continues his spate of less than stellar runs since having his win encumbered. He finished 25th.
And Danica Patrick got her first top 10 of the season.
So on that overtime rule thing, who knows what NASCAR will do. It has worked effectively up to this point and the original reason was to help the super speedways like Daytona and Talladega. It even probably makes sense for tracks like Pocono and Atlanta. But on smaller tracks, should we just line ‘em up time after time for the GWC? If we go back to that, should NASCAR limit the number of attempts to three like it used to be? Personally, I could go either way. And knowing NASCAR fans, we will still get complaints about their driver losing a race he or she should have won if it weren’t for the multiple GWC restarts.
Sound off on what you think about overtime!