“NASCAR isn’t a sport, all they do is go left.”
That has been the constant babbling of nonbelievers for years. Well, to be perfectly honest, I’m sick and tired of it.
Not just because that’s their only argument, but because they’re wrong. Dead wrong.
Road courses are a rare, yet beautiful shakeup in our schedule. The monotony is broken. Change is good. I sound like a self-help book that belongs in the $.50 bin at a thrift shop, but I don’t care; change is better than something you see every week, like a mile-and-a-half track.
But I digress. Time to talk about the race.
Of course, Mother Nature made a slight appearance right before we went green. She quickly disappeared, knowing she wasn’t wanted. Good.
Also, there was a wreck on pit road before the race even started, involving David Reutimann, Alex Kennedy, and Paulie Harraka. Don’t worry, I don’t really know what happened either.
The race began, and let me tell you, this turned out to be the oddest race I have seen since “cablegate.” One example is the enigma that is Kurt Busch. Everyone thought that the eldest Busch brother was a force to be reckoned with, because of his recent hot streak. All I could think about was his third-place finish last year. He was on a rail back then.
He was on that exact same rail today, it seemed, until he received a speeding penalty. Even worse, he sped on his pass-through penalty. Oh, Kurt.
However, by some mystic voodoo (called ‘determination’), he raced that no. 78 to a top-five finish. Given, it was a great comeback, but he was definitely set to win today. The one thing that repeatedly hurts his efforts for a win happened again: he got in his own way.
Seeing him win would be a great comeback story, but he keeps tripping over his own feel. Smarten up, Kurt.
Another instance that was perplexing? Jeff Gordon’s penalty. He was coming to pit road when the caution flew, which immediately closed the pits. He ended up pitting then, and NASCAR penalized him. At the end of the day, however, he ended up second.
One amazing thing about road courses is that it gives drivers the opportunity to collect a great finish after a not-so-great move early on. I don’t know why that is, but it’s a very charming aspect to these sorts of tracks.
Now, onto our race winner. He has been close many times, his car owner won here last year, and he definitely has a certain “know how.”
Got a guess?
Martin Truex Jr.’s machine was flying today, leading the most laps. Everyone collectively sighed at the end of the race, and it was full of relief. The 218-race winless streak was snapped. Well deserved, in my opinion; Truex has been close so many times yet could never seal the deal.
This puts him into the top ten in points, but the next few drivers aren‘t that far behind. He’d have a win to fall back on, if push comes to shove and kicks him into a fight for the Wild Card slot.
We went left and right. We maneuvered through curves. We all got a little hot under the collar. That’s road course racin’, and it’s magical.
So, nonbelievers: what do you have to say about that?
Point Standings after Sonoma
1. Jimmie Johnson (–)
2. Carl Edwards (-25)
3. Clint Bowyer (-45)
4. Kevin Harvick (-63)
5. Matt Kenseth (-92)
6. Greg Biffle (-94)
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-94)
8. Kyle Busch (-112)
9. Brad Keselowski (-119)
10. Martin Truex Jr. (-120)
11. Kasey Kahne (-128)
11. Paul Menard (-128)