Kudos NASCAR, I Loved It As Much as the Drivers Did, Atlanta Results
The much anticipated new lower downforce rules package for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars did indeed make for more passing on the track. I loved watching it, and the drivers loved racing with it.
I agreed with NASCAR's assessment that it would put a lot more excitement back into the on-track action. Less downforce will make the tires work harder and ware out fast, and that puts the spotlight on driver talent and pit strategy. Sunday's race proved it to be true for both talent and strategy.
The driver's especially loved it. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch, who finished second and third respectively, were all grins during FOX Sports' post-race coverage.
Busch said that it was fun "slicing and dicing back and forth" while racing with Earnhardt and Brad Keselowski (finished ninth).
Earnhardt stated that he had a blast on the track and quote, "we were driving the hell out of these cars."
It was certainly a step in the right direction. One thing to keep in mind, It was a perfect combination. The new downforce rules coupled with the rough, hard on tires, racing surface that Atlanta Motor Speedway has, it made for a much more exciting race. It reminded me of the old Rockingham Speedway, which was my favorite track to watch races, and it was my favorite of all of the NASCAR tracks I've visited. "The Rock" was hard on tires, and true driver talent and smart crew chiefs shined at that place.
The true test will come when the series travels to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Speedway, especially Phoenix who has the newest surface. The two tracks have a fresher racing surface, and it is not as hard on tires as AMS.
Hopefully what we saw this past weekend will translate to those two tracks as well. Overall, it is a step in the right direction.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Atlanta Motorspeedway Hampton, GA February 28, 2016 POS. CAR # DRIVER 1 48 Jimmie Johnson 2 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr 3 18 Kyle Busch 4 41 Kurt Busch 5 19 Carl Edwards 6 4 Kevin Harvick 7 78 Martin Truex Jr 8 24 Chase Elliott 9 2 Brad Keselowski 10 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 11 3 Austin Dillon 12 22 Joey Logano 13 16 Greg Biffle 14 13 Casey Mears 15 43 Aric Almirola 16 11 Denny Hamlin 17 14 Ty Dillon 18 27 Paul Menard 19 20 Matt Kenseth 20 10 Danica Patrick 21 1 Jamie McMurray 22 6 Trevor Bayne 23 5 Kasey Kahne 24 31 Ryan Newman 25 21 Ryan Blaney 26 42 Kyle Larson 27 47 AJ Allmendinger 28 34 Chris Buescher 29 83 Matt DiBenedetto 30 46 Michael Annett 31 44 Brian Scott 32 23 David Ragan 33 95 Michael McDowell 34 7 Regan Smith 35 15 Clint Bowyer 36 38 Landon Cassill 37 98 Cole Whitt 38 32 Jeffrey Earnhardt 39 30 Josh Wise
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