After a weekend off, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway. The first five races of the NASCAR season have been some of the best racing fans have seen. Here are five takeaways from the first five:
- Low Downforce Package: An idea that was tried in 2015 at Kentucky and Darlington has turned into the success of 2016. The racing is back in the driver’s hand, drivers are able to pass without “aero push” and many of the driver’s we thought this package would benefit hasn’t done all so well. Teams are in the works of trying to add some of the downforce back, but will NASCAR continue to head in the direction of taking more downforce off the cars?
- Close Finishes: When was the last time we had two close finishes in the first five races? The Daytona 500 and the Good Sam 500 both experienced a margin of victory of .010 seconds, which has added excitement into the brand-new season. Could we see the closet finish in NASCAR history this season? The first four races of the season have seen a margin of victory of .232 seconds.
- Goodyear: I have to applaud Goodyear for working with NASCAR and its teams to create tires that work with this package. Through the first five races, we have seen tire strategy come into play more than fuel strategy. I applaud Goodyear for creating a tire that falls off before a fuel run.
- FOX Booth: When Jeff Gordon was announced to join the NASCAR on Fox Booth Team, I was excited. However, I have become disappointed with the approach. The problem is not Mike Joy, but Darrell Waltrip. Jeff and Darrell seem like they are competing for the “top spot” in the booth. Although both have the credentials to be an analyst, I would rather take the word of someone who recently just got out of the car compared to someone who has not been in the car in the last 16 years. My hope is the dynamic in the booth will get better as they are still trying to learn each other, but only time will tell. What are your thoughts on the new NASCAR on Fox Booth?
- West Coast Swing: The West Coast Swing just finished its second year, and was a true success. NASCAR should have more “swings”. For example, many consider April a “Short Track Swing”. Unlike the West Coast Swing, the “Short Track Swing” has Texas Motor Speedway thrown into the mix. Although the West Coast Swing can be a logistical nightmare, drivers and teams enjoyed their time out west. I hope NASCAR continues the tradition of the West Coast Swing in the future!
What are your five takeaways from the first five races of the season?