After Bristol track owner Bruton Smith had the progressive banking removed from his race track, did the changes satisfy your expectations for Saturday Nights Irwin Tools Night Race from Bristol Motor Speedway? I can tell you, from my perspective, it was a pretty good race.
I’m not sure if I beleive the progressive banking was totally removed, but I sure liked what they came up with. If you noticed, the groove was at the top of the track, and drivers attempting to pass on the inside, were unable to maintain enough speed to complete their pass. The outside car was able to maintain enough speed to exit the corners with the lead. It was pretty exciting.
The only car that was working effectively on the bottom was Clint Bowyer, but he didn’t have enough speed to get to the front and a piece of the lead. He was always mired back in traffic.
Most of the passes that came from the lower line took in excess of ten laps to complete, thus providing some good door to door racing. And in the case of Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth’s problems that turned into a spectacular wreck provided the need to use the bumper, in Dale Earnhardt fashion, to make a pass. Maybe the Atlanta Braves should talk to Tony, he threw a strike at Matt’s hood, and hit it. The Braves could use some left hand pitching help.
Tight door to door racing, bumper passing, helments getting thrown, and everyone with bent race cars. Looked like old Bristol to me. Now with Tony’s promise to wreck Matt at every opportunity, the race season is starting to get some needed buzz as we head into the last two races before the chase gets underway. Even Danica got into the action, raising her finger and saying things that you can’t say on television. She was not happy with Reagan Smith. I’m betting she gives him some bumper somewhere when he’s not expecting it.
Tony Stewart’s incident with Matt Kenseth has put him in the tenth position, and only 16 points clear of Kasey Kahne who is doing some fine racing since his early season bad luck. Tony will continue to have an advantage for the wild card should he fall out of the top ten with his three wins on the season.
Jeff Gordon, by virtue of his third place finish Saturday night is back in the picture, and only 16 points behind Kyle Busch for the last wild card spot. Jeff always runs well at Atlanta, and is the defending champion. Kyle won the spring race at Richmond, so this position will be interesting over the next two weekends. With Carl Edwards not having a win yet, he is like a deer in the headlights.
Atlanta Motor Speedway is a great race track with generous banking, and is one of the fastest non-plate tracks on the schedule. We should see racing Sunday night that is similar to Michigan since the repave. With most of the top ten drivers secure with their points standings, and everyone on the outside needing a win, this should be a good weekend for stock car racing. I can’t wait!
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