Sunday's race in Atlanta was not a good race. There was certainly no shortage of action, but it was not the kind of action that is indicative of good racing.
The real excitement came from the points battle. And of course there was the potential for crashes, due to so many poor-handling race cars on a track with no grip. Hmm, it isn't the track that lacked grip, it was the tires.
So here was another race, where the outcome was dependent on which team could best deal with the tires they were given. That doesn't make for good racing.
So why can't teams choose their own tires? Why can't they modify their own cars? Why can't NASCAR stop dictating every variable? Next, they will institute a height and weight limit for drivers.
Return to southern roots
It was very nice to see a night race at Atlanta. And NASCAR was wise to bring the Labor Day Race back to the south.
Dodge seems to have made a comeback
It was very interesting that Dodge seemed to prevailed in this race, with not only the run by Kasey Kahn, but Juan Pablo Montoya. Perhaps the problems that plagued Dodge last year have been resolved.
Stewart took no unnecessary chances, but then he didn't need to. He had an ill-handling car, so why wreck it -- especially since fixing it now comes out of his own pocket. Stewart and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing can hold their heads really high. No one expected so much out of these two teams. They have far exceeded expectations.
It was another frustrating night as Newman turned his lemon-like race car into lemonade with another top 10 finish. He crossed the stripes in 9th, even after struggling the entire race with an ill-handling race car again. Tires seemed to be the problem, as each set seemed to provide inconsistent results.
Under enormous pressure, Newman ran in the 20-somethings for most of the race, when it counted most he got-er-done!
Newman seems to be in a pretty good place in the points, despite a loss of two spots in the standings -- moving from 7th to 9th. With another top 10 finish at Atlanta, he can feel good about the final race before the Chase at Richmond, one of his favorite racetracks. Still, his position is not locked in and anything can happen. But as long as he finishes in the top 16, he will be guaranteed a place in the Chase.
Congratulations to Kasey Kahne who had a great day.
Kevin Harvick came oh so close. He should have had an Atlanta sweep. Congratulations for his stellar job in Saturday's Nationwide Race.
Ray Evernham & Erin Crocker
The two were married recently. Congratulations to the happy couple.