- In the Fast Lane with Michael McDowell
- Track Talk: Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway
- Crunching The Numbers: 2017 Food City 500
- Track Talk: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas
- Crunching The Numbers: 2017 O’Reilly Auto Parts 500
- Track Talk: STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway
- Track Talk: Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway
- Dropping the Hammer with Elliott Sadler
- Kyle Larson Knocking on the Door for Wins
- Track Talk: Camping World 500
On The Gas, On The Brakes In Martinsville Speedway
- Updated: April 5, 2017
Before heading off to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, firstly, let’s review last Sunday’s race at the small, tight and confined little half mile flat oval in Ridgeway, VA. Who was rolling with the hot dogs at Martinsville Speedway?
On The Gas…
5) Goodyear – The tire company is typically thrown under the bus when they have tire issues, even when they don’t and it’s just bad luck for a driver. Goodyear brought a near flawless tire that made racing at Martinsville even better. That’s impressive in itself.
4) Joey Logano – After going down a lap early and seemingly passing every car on the track at least twice (maybe three times after his jackman jumped the gun, or the wall, costing Logano another lap), he would rally to come home fouth.
3) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – When you shove Kyle Busch out of the way heading for a checkered flag, something won’t be pretty. Highlights for Stenhouse include a shove at the end of stage two to stay on the lead lap, resulting in a solid top-15 finish.
2) Chase Elliott – The sophomore driver made you think that Martinsville was nowhere near his second favorite track last week. Heck, it may have not been his favorite. After a Truck Series win and a third place finish last Sunday, the flat half mile may be gaining momentum.
1) Brad Keselowski – Hard to argue with the first two-time winner of the season. Keselowski brought Roger Penske back to Victory Lane at Martinsville for the first time since 2004. With that performance, we say “good luck” to any driver hoping to lock their way in to the final four with a win at Martinsville in the fall. Ol’ BK may have something to say about that.
On The Brakes…
5) Kyle Larson – You can’t win’em all, kid. For the first time this season, Larson is on the brakes. He was on them all day on Sunday, as they just barely held up for the points leader. Ultimately, Larson used that number one pit box to his advantage and came home 17th, so it could have been much worse. Here’s someone that’s happy for Texas.
4) Jimmie Johnson – A lot of fantasy choices blew up with this one, and now the questions should surface. At a track where he’s won nine times, you’d have bet the mortgage he would run up front. Ultimately, it was not his time. Hence, it was another less than stellar performance for old “seven time,” coming home 15th.
3) Dale Earnhardt Jr. – A few moments made you wonder if he was about to turn it around. Suddenly, that big bottle of bad luck came crashing through the windshield. For Junior, it was the radiator, as he was caught up in a typical Martinsville chain reaction that sent the No. 88 car to the garage and out of the STP 500 before conclusion.
2) Kyle Busch – Well, we thought Kyle Busch had matured to a point where he could get over a little mid race scrum. Apparently, contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at the end of stage two brought on the blame game. Even thought he came home second, it was everything but a better car beating him. Excuses all around – I wonder if he’s got one for leaving the seat up at home?
1) Jamie McMurray – As soon as we start talking good about Chip Ganassi Racing With Felix Sebates, a race like this happens. A rough day for Larson was one thing. A pounding headache like day for Jamie Mac turned his No. 1 Chevy in to precious sheet metal for fans. Tear it down and someone will hang it on a wall. I’m betting this week if they have a tire rub, they’ll be ready to pit before McMurray can say, “Here I come.”
Martinsville always shakes things up in the NASCAR garage. Luckily, most people will go on without the urge to body check someone in to a concrete wall. However, drivers are like elephants as they never forget. Ricky Stenhouse Jr, you may want to carry an extra bag of peanut M&M’s. You might need it just in case the driver of the No. 18 car is around.