NASCAR’s road course season is officially over and not much came of it. Sonoma was a strategy race that saw Kevin Harvick win after the final stage went caution free. Sunday the winner was Martin Truex Jr. who literally coasted to a win in another road course race that ran the final stage without a caution. In the past 5 years road course racing has developed a cult like following in NASCAR for the short track racing mentality but in 2017, something was off.
Some hasty (not in love with hasty but thesaurus.com liked it) takeaways from the 2017 NASCAR race at The Glen:
Mr. 1.5 Mile Can Win On The Road Course
Martin Truex Jr. the king of 1.5 mile tracks this season finally got a win on something that wasn’t NASCAR’s industry standard sized track. In his time with Cole Pearn the #78 has won exactly twice on a race track that wasn’t 1.5 miles before Sunday. Pocono 2015 and Dover 2016 were the only other ones. Now though the #78 team has a road course win and look like a lock for the Homestead championship race based on their playoff points.
If Truex can start closing on short tracks he’ll be unbeatable come playoff time. Unbeatable assuming Ford and Chevy don’t catch up on the horsepower end because right now those TRD engines have to have 20+ HP on everyone else. For now they’re the ones to beat and need to capitalize while they can.
Xfinity Star Kyle Busch Tried Too Hard
Kyle Busch by all accounts likely would have won this race. He would have completed the weekend sweep at The Glen. Instead he came home 7th and didn’t sniff the lead after the first stage. A run in with Keselowski in Stage 2 send him to the back yet again and destined him for anywhere but victory lane.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) August 6, 2017
Really just a racing incident and an example of how strong Kyle knew his car was. Unfortunately for him the #2 was there and both went for a Dane Cook drawn out slide. Kyle was never a factor again and went on Twitter after the race to combat the fans saying negative things about him. Actually love that move, he was bodying people left and right. Need more drivers to do this after a race.
Strategy Was Great, Racing Was Ehh
Sunday was a lot like Sonoma in June, the strategy was great but the racing was mediocre. On track passes happened, if you were a Toyota. Really though it seemed pretty difficult to pass on Sunday and the field go strung out pretty quickly. While the passing on track lacked some excitement the strategy didn’t.
The best part of a road course is the strategy and watching some of these crew chiefs out think themselves when it’s really not that difficult to know when to pit. Especially when you know what lap two cautions are coming out for certain. Sunday turned into a fuel mileage race with some guys trying to push it while others backed way off and won. Truex saved enough fuel while letting the #2 and #21 run away but not letting the #20 catch him. It worked and while it wasn’t the most exciting race it was intriguing to watch the strategy. This is NASCAR though.
Daniel Suarez Might Actually Be Good (We All Knew That)
Daniel Suarez posted his 4th Top 10 in a row and a career best of 3rd this weekend. Maybe Suarez is better at this whole racing thing than people thought. If you’ve watched him develop over the last two years in the Xfinity series you’ve seen him develop into a damn good driver. What he’s doing now is definitely not a surprise and as much as the MAGA section of the NASCAR fan base wants him to go away, he’s not.
When people hate a guy who went up the development ladder it’s really perplexing. “He’s only here because of money” ok partially true but he’s winning and running up front now. He didn’t ask for the #19 ride in 2017, he was thrust into that spot since Erik Jones was already announced at Furniture Row Racing. Having a damn good car helps too but Suarez is the real deal, can’t wait for him to win a Cup race.
Leigh Diffey Is British, But Not Really
If you don’t follow @VeryFakePhil on Twitter you definitely should. He retweeted a lot of really dumb NASCAR fans yesterday who were pissed a british guy was calling a NASCAR race.
— boatwings 🇺🇸 (@boatwings) August 6, 2017
This doesn’t bode well for the NASCAR fans that are intelligent enough to not only embrace other nationalities while also being smart enough to know he isn’t British. Leigh Diffey did a phenomenal job in the booth, dare I say better than Rick Allen which is the same as being surprised a gorilla didn’t throw shit at you. Oh look, he’s really putting it together. Leigh Diffey was super refreshing and hopefully can call more races in the future on top of his F1 gig. Feel bad for Leigh having to learn he isn’t from the country he thought he was.
Once again the MAGA NASCAR fans hate anything that isn’t American. Meanwhile they drive a Ford made in Mexico or a Dodge made in Canada.
Watkins Glen and road racing are behind us, 4 more races until the Playoffs start and 4 more races for chaos to ensue. NASCAR heads to Michigan next weekend where you should be able to pencil in Kyle Larson in as the winner. He has won the last three 2-mile races, he isn’t going to win 4 though. The Toyotas are so strong right now it’s going to be Kyle Busch or Martin Truex.
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