Road course racing is something else. A definite rarity, the sight of stock cars running side-by-side while going left and right always excites fans. It’s new, it’s something different, it’s special.
Sunday’s excursion to Sonoma Raceway met all expectations; not only was it thrilling, but it included spinning, flared tempers, and fuel strategy. It had something for every type of fan, a quality that’s hard to come by nowadays.
Carl Edwards became The King of Wine Country after starting fourth. A factor all afternoon, the driver of the No. 99 had to outrun Jamie McMurray and Jeff Gordon late in the race. He flaunted his quiet-yet-prominent road course expertise and topped it off with his signature back flip.
It’s been a interesting year for Edwards, managing to win twice while fighting off speculation for 2015. The only development on that front is that, due to language in his Roush Fenway Racing contract, he can’t officially say anything until September, though many people already know where he’ll be residing. It’s set to be a replay of the Matt Kenseth decision.
Back to the racing: it was a breath of fresh air. Teammates fought, drivers spun, and crews were yelled at. Spin after spin, you never knew who was next. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished third, caused a few incidents, sending Kenseth into the wall on one occasion. He’s never been the road course racer, so his finish and aggressiveness were equally shocking. The swerving turns brings out the anger in everyone.
With such a great day behind NASCAR, it’s obvious more road courses should be on the schedule. The fact that they refuse to incorporate more hurts the sport; they fail to see the changes that need to be done, and their inability to adapt will eventually make NASCAR obsolete.
As screwy as Sonoma was, it would be nice to see it again. I bet Edwards wouldn’t mind, either.
Point Standings after the Toyota Save Mart 350 (asterisks note how many wins driver has)
1. Jeff Gordon (–)*
2. Jimmie Johnson (-20)***
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-25)**
4. Matt Kenseth (-65)
5. Brad Keselowski (-68)*
6. Carl Edwards (-71)**
7. Joey Logano (-97)**
8. Ryan Newman (-107)
9. Kevin Harvick (-108)**
10. Kyle Larson (-110)
11. Kyle Busch (-115)*
12. Paul Menard (-121)
13. Denny Hamlin (-127)*
14. Clint Bowyer (-128)
15. Greg Biffle (-136)
16. Kasey Kahne (-151)