Monday, May 16, 2011

View From The Flagstand: Kenseth Wins 2nd of the Year

The weather in Dover was dreadful, and the racing at the Monster Mile was not much better. Rain delays, heavy on track rubber build up, and our old friend, aero push led to not a very thrilling Fed Ex 400 on Sunday.


Matt Kenseth earned his second trophy of the year, joining Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch as virtual locks to make the Chase as long as they stay in the top-20 in points. Kenseth led the last 31 laps and parlayed a two tire pit stop in the closing laps to the win.


Marcos Ambrose seemed to be in the top three all day, and he ended up third in a strong outing. Mark Martin is just outside the points top-10 after his 2nd place run. Busch came from his 43rd starting spot to a 4th place finish. Brian Vickers was 5th. Martin Truex Jr was stout and wound up 8th.


A scary wreck coming to the white flag in Saturday's NW race deserves some review by track owners and NASCAR. Dover may have the narrowest straightaways on the circuit. It is hard to have a one car crash there. Saturday there was a big one featuring an airborne Clint Bowyer drilling the inside wall between the frontstretch and pit road. Shrapnel sheared from his car and flew into his own pit area. One of his crew men spent the night in a hospital as a result of a spring hitting his leg. Is there a need for a catch fence along that retaining wall?


Tony Stewart is known as a slow starter with the vast majority of his wins coming later in the year. We are almost halfway through the regular season and he has one top-5 in 11 starts. He now sits 10th in points, just four ahead of 11th place Martin. He blew up on his team via radio Sunday, and was six laps down at the finish. Maybe he needs to get married, ala Kyle?


After building up, and beating to death, the Harvick v Busch "feud", Fox TV miraculously showed restraint during the telecast Sunday. I expected a camera dedicated to each of them all race long, especially since Busch started dead last. But, no, they actually didn't go off the deep end... for once.


  1. Okay Gene...

    What's up with these tires? It seems Goodyear is constantly experimenting with them. I know they justify racing tires (that's tyres, tez) by using what they learn to upgrade their street car tire designs and materials, but it seems like nobody has a clue what to expect... A one mile concrete track with variable weather and consequently temperatures during the three NASCAR events led to a lot of head scratching.

    One thing that seems to have come from all this experimentation: The tires actually are holding up better than they used to. At least that's how it appears based on the last two races. Sure, stickers are better, but worn tires don't seem to be all that bad over the short haul. I'm sure there's a lot of thinking going on about this in the HMS camp right now...

    Jack Roush and his boys are on a roll... Will it last?

    Thanks Gene!

  2. Dwindy... I believe Goodyear is trying to come up with a longer lasting tire. It would have to be harder, which makes it slower... and safer.
    They do use one team (they vary) from each manufacturer to test drive thousands of laps at each track with a new compound before they take that new tire there for an actual race.

    NASCAR needs Rousch to win for all the Ford fans. I'd rather see the Petty Fords get some wins.

  3. take Kenseth for Loudon as well...up until the Chase race last year, that track had never produced one that actually kept you awake to watch.

  4. It was good to see some different drivers that had strong runs and finishing in the top 5. However, the race was a SNOOZEFEST, IMO. Dover usually is a snoozefest and this race was no different.