Monday, March 15, 2010

The Speeding Bullets: 2010 Kobalt Tools 500



You've probably already figured out that I am a week late on this edition of The Speeding Bullets. That's because I have had a load of school work and couldn't find time to get around to it until the past couple of days...

  • Congratulations to Kurt Busch on getting his first victory of the season and the first one with Steve Addington sitting on top of the pit box. Kurt had the best short run car of any driver out there, and that's what won him the race with the unusually high number of cautions for Atlanta. It's just nice to see someone other than Jimmie Johnson taking the checkered flag... 
  • Matt Kenseth is another one of those drivers who has been excelling so far in 2010 after a not so great 2009, even though he did win two races. He adjusted his car throughout the race, and it was where he needed it to be when the sun finally came out later in the afternoon. Matt's second place finish on Sunday marked his third top ten in a row. He is the strongest Roush-Fenway car after four races, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him in victory lane sometime in the next month or two...

  • Kasey Kahne took the lead early on and led 144 laps but came up short in the end. He struggled with all of the cautions at the end of the race because he had a long run car, just the opposite from the winner Kurt Busch. Kahne's pit box also happened to be in a highly congested area, and as a result he lost several positions every time he came down to get tires and gas. Though, after really bad performances at Daytona and Fontana, a fourth place finish feels like quite an accomplishment...

  • Kudos to Paul Menard and AJ Allmendinger for both finishing in fifth and sixth, respectively. This is the best run Menard has ever had in his career. He even had a shot at winning the race, but two tires wasn't enough to hold off Kurt Busch in the closing laps. Nice to see some different guys up front having success...

  • The 500 miles this week really took a toll on tires. Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin, and many others were either taken out of the race or put several laps down as a result. I thought Goodyear fixed the problem after Tony Stewart totally dogged them two years back, but it looks like they need to take another look at what's going on...

  • This post wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention the Carl Edwards-Brad Keselowski feud that went down at 195 mph. Brad ticked Carl off early in the race, and Carl decided to pay him back in the end even though he acted in the garage like the whole thing wasn't too big of a deal. Edwards got all excited when he realized he could ruin Keselowski's day by preventing him from getting a possible top five finish. The dangers involved didn't even cross his mind or even the idea of waiting to settle things at Bristol. NASCAR couldn't give him a serious punishment anyway after only a month ago encouraging the drivers to express their emotions. That's why they gave him a little slap on the back instead by putting him on probation for a couple of races...

That's all from Atlanta. Next week, we move on to Bristol for the first short track race of the season. I was disappointed with last year's spring race, but I am willing to bet that this one will go above and beyond what people normally expect from Thunder Valley. Hope you are having a great off-week...

4 comments:

tezgm99 said...

I must say that I'm not convinced Goodyear were to blame for the tyres this time...but that could just be me, lol

Gene Haddock said...

Good stuff, Gong.

I agree with Tez. Most of the tire problems were all from the same team...HMS. Most of the drivers said it was their fault for going too low on air pressure.

It was nice to see a lot of different faces in the top ten all day long.

jon_464 said...

Gonger, good stuff as usual, and good breakdown of the race. I was happy that Happy left with the points lead still intact. The 29 team took a 25th-place car and turned it into a top ten car. In a way, they were more lucky than good--they got a wavearound on a caution, then got another quick caution that allowed them to pit and make the necessary adjustments.

There are four drivers that could threaten JJ's dominance: Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, and Jeff Gordon. Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer could also factor in.

Gonger said...

tez and Gene- Thanks. You guys could be right about the tires. I did notice that Hamlin was the only one who blew one not from HMS.

Jon- Thanks. Harvick's ability to get a top ten finish no matter what is a mark of a true champion.