The NASCAR Sprint Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck series teams have wrapped up a long weekend at the 0.533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway, a weekend that began on Wednesday, August 17th. Here are my five takeaways from this weekends events at Bristol Motor Speedway:
- Weather: Weather was once again a factor all weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Weather, unfortunately, is a major key when it comes to NASCAR. The running joke, “if you ever wanted to end a drought, send NASCAR into town”, held true. Weather, in my opinion effected the action on Saturday night into Sunday for the Sprint Cup Race. Hopefully, the rest of the 2016 will be free from weather.
- Rosin/Resin: This sticky stuff placed on the bottom groove at Bristol seemed to work. I would have liked to see how this substance would work without the rain. I found it interesting for this substance to be effective, it had to be heated up. The weather washed off some of this substance. However, what was left on the track provided for some great racing all weekend long. Should we see this substance added to more speedways?
- Kyle Busch: It is a love/hate relationship amongst fans when it comes to Kyle Busch. Busch talked to the media after the Xfinity Series race and after his accident on Sunday in the Cup race. His comments were made after coming out of the heat of the battle. I would rather have a champion that speaks what is on his mind instead of one who keeps quiet instead of calling it the way it truly is.
- NCWTS Race: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race was a huge indicator when it came to the rosin/resin on the racetrack at Bristol. The trucks were the guinea pigs, and the test was successful and an indicator into how the weekend would be. The race also featured a new first time winner in NASCAR, Ben Kennedy.
- Speedway Motorsports Inc.: I applaud Bruton Smith, Marcus Smith, Jerry Caldwell, and the entire team at Bristol Motor Speedway for trying something outside of the box. Bristol and SMI took a risk move to try to make the racing at Bristol to what fans seem to remember from the “good ole days”. The risk taken seemed to be successful. I love the motto Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Bruton Smith use, “We work for the fans”, because this weekend shows that everyone at SMI is concerned with the on track action taking place on their speedways.
What are your five takeaways from this weekends events at Bristol Motor Speedway?
NASCAR VP of Competition, Scott Miller, was made available to media after Sunday’s night’s Quaker State 400.
“I think the low downforce package helped this race on the repave,” stated Miller, “I think the corner speeds would have been extremely high with the higher downforce, stepping out of the groove, and would have more consequences than we had tonight.”
Miller stated that NASCAR will look this week and collaborate with teams and OEM’s on whether or not they will test out the package used here tonight at Kentucky.
“There were some strategic reasons we chose to do it. We engaged the entire industry on putting the plan together about when we are going to do it. That certainly does make since, but the timing of that, some testing we had, lots of things go into making these decisions with the schedule. It just didn’t line up for us to be able to do that with the initial plan."
Miller also stated that NASCAR will not be making any aero changes during the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
NASCAR wraps up a triple header weekend at Kentucky Speedway. William Byron won in Thursday night’s Buckle Up in Your Truck 225, Kyle Busch won Friday’s Alsco 300, and Brad Keselowski won Saturday’s Quaker State 400. Here are five takeaways from this weekend in Kentucky:
1. Tires: Tires were a main concern coming into this weekend’s events at Kentucky Speedway after blistering was found in a tire test in June. Although tires were not a main issue in the Sprint Cup Series race, they were an issue in the Xfinity Series. Whenever the drivers came down to change tires on pit stops, the tires were blistering. This is probably due to the fact that the Xfinity cars have more downforce than the Cup cars. If Goodyear had an ample amount of time to reconfigure the tire after the June test, tire wear would probably not have been an issue. Teams were asked by Goodyear to scuff the tires during practice to help with tire wear
2. Repave/Reconfiguration: The repave and reconfiguration was a great collaborative effort from SMI and NASCAR. I applaud the organizations for making the effort to make sure that the track will not be like any other repave with only one groove. The repave and reconfiguration also brought new strategy to the race. The speedway spent two weeks running tires on the track to help “age” and widen the groove. If the speedway had time to get the whole racetrack, we probably would have seen a multi-groove repave.
3. Fuel mileage: The Quaker State 400 ended in fuel mileage. I personally don’t mind fuel mileage race, but would not want to see them every week. Fuel mileage adds another element to the multi-element event in NASCAR.
4. Low downforce package: The “2017” lower downforce package provided another element into the weekend’s event in Kentucky. According to drivers, it had significant impact on how they raced. The question is, Does NASCAR have enough data to sift through to continue on with this package.
5. Race Weekends: Race weekends need to be shorter. The NASCAR Xfinity Series had four practice sessions on Thursday. Instead of making this a four day weekend, three days would have sufficed if NASCAR would have combined the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series races into one day, like Atlanta. I know this has been a topic for NASCAR and the Driver’s Council. It will be interesting to see what happens after those discussions.
What are your takeaways from this weekend at Kentucky Speedway?
Kyle Busch was upset after Thursday evenings Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
Busch and Spencer Gallagher were racing each other, when Busch was sent into the wall, ending his night.
“It was self-inflicted, I guess. Got back in traffic and I don’t know. Going down the back stretch I thought I had enough room on the inside, but I know who I crashed with. That doesn’t surprise me, now I know how John Wes Townley feels. It’s just a shame. Brand new truck and really good piece – destroyed,” said Kyle Busch after the wreck, bringing out the fourth caution of the evening.
Busch was running 13th at the time of incident. Gallagher did apologize post-race for the accident.
“I know how John Wes Townley feels,” stated Kyle Busch.
The jab at Gallagher comes after the last NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park when he and John Wes Townley wrecked and fought.
Gallagher and Townley were both fined for the incident.
This is Kyle Busch’s first DNF since Texas in 2013.
Kyle Busch Motorsports has surpassed Roush Fenway Racing as the winningest team in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition. Tonight’s win by William Byron catapulted Kyle Busch to that top stop with 51 wins.
Kyle Busch, in post-race interviews, talked about if he thought Kyle Busch Motorsports would be breaking records. “Yeah, certainly you want to be the best at what you do. I’ve tried to assemble a great group of guys. I feel like we have a great group of guys now. We have in our whole time that we have been in existence at Kyle Busch Motorsports. It’s been a lot of fun, it’s been a lot trying times, it’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears by both my wife and myself and all these guys that are on this team now and all the people that have been a part of Kyle Busch Motorsports in the years past. We wouldn’t be here without all them. This is a special moment. It’s really, really cool. To me, what makes it most special is how we’ve done it in such a short period of time. From 2010 to 2016 we have gotten 51 wins and for the many teams we’ve excelled ahead of that have been around a lot longer than we have. This is pretty awesome.”
Kyle Busch Motorsports has won with Kyle Busch, himself, Christopher Bell, William Byron, Bubba Wallace Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Brian Scott, and Erik Jones.
In the seven year history of Kyle Busch Motorsports, the team has 9.5 average start and a 10.8 average finish, before Kentucky, in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition.