Toyota and their teams really turned things around drastically this week-- or was this a one time qualifying aberration?
There were lots of surprises at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. Toyota and Michael Waltrip taking the pole, all the Go or Go Homers that qualified in front of the field and rookie Jacques Villinueve starting sixth. With all of those oddities you would think the race couldn't get any goofier. Wrong--wrong--wrong.
This race actually started out rather racy and showed some potential until two strategies took over. First the Hendrick Chasers decided to hang back and watch what transpired and the rest of the field decided to form a conga line and dance their way around the top of the racetrack for a good portion of the event.
The middle portion of the race started to resemble the early laps of an Olympic Short track cycling race. Seeing how slow you can go without loosing the lead draft is not most fans idea of a good race and the strategy employed by Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Johnson will not endear them to any fans other than their most ardent followers. While successful, we can only hope that NASCAR makes sure its not something we will see in any kind of regularity.
It's time to head back home to Charlotte while pondering these:
The Buzz ON PIT ROW is:
Can we expect to see more "lay back and wait" racing in the future with the CoT??
The Fast Lap this week asks:
1) Was the finish good enough to offset the rest of the race at Talladega?
2) Did Villinueve do the right thing by giving up his sixth starting spot and moving to the back of the field?
3) They were racing 3-4 wide at the start--and at the end--what happened in the middle?
4) What is the fix for the poor visibility with the CoT?
Let us know how you feel about these questions, or anything else that happened while waiting for the big one this week at Talladega. If we like your comments, whether we agree or not, we may use them on the air during Tuesday's ON PIT ROW. Leave us a comment on the blog or call the show--toll free at 1-877-502-8255 between 5-7pm edt on Tuesdays.
Photo: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images/NASCAR