Let’s throw it away and never talk about it again, okay?
Okay. Let’s try not to be also dramatic here. Not every race is going to be a home run (good baseball season!), And to be fair there have not been very many (if any) strikeouts this season.
But when Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweets a picture out of a container immediately after the race … yes, that can be a problem.
“I do not think the race was bad, but it was certainly harder to pass,” said an (overly) optimistic Joey Logano. “If you’re directly behind them, it’s no secret that this car is worse in dirty air. You could not move up the racetrack and hedge over or do anything to try to pass them. You really just stalled. . ”
BOOGITY, BOOGITY, BOOGITY !:Darrell Waltrip returns to Fox NASCAR stand for Bristol Motor Speedway race
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Dale Earnhardt Jr., others discuss Next Gen issues on short courses
Logano finished in second place after race winner William Byron, who along with Chase Elliott together led 397 of the 403 laps.
Let me say it again … the two Hendrick drivers led all but six laps Saturday night in Martinsville.
There were only two “natural” warnings (NASCAR was also quick with the trigger on them), five “lead shifts” (even though there were no real passes to the lead), and a whole lot … well, nothing.
I think Clint Bowyer spoke for all of us when he shouted “careful!” with six left.
“More horsepower certainly wouldn’t hurt, but I don’t think that’s the whole problem,” said Ryan Blaney, who finished in fourth place.
Denny Hamlin: ‘No idea’ how to fix the latest Next Gen bug
So … what’s the problem? Because that’s something NASCAR is likely to (and will) correct before returning to Martinsville this fall.
A bad race is happening, but we saw similar things at Richmond last week, so it’s pretty obvious that the new Next Gen has affected the races on short courses, which are NASCAR’s bread and butter.
More horsepower, as Blaney said, could help. Warmer weather would not hurt, and Goodyear, who steps in to fine-tune the tires – “left sides just do not wear on this car,” Blaney admitted – might as well do so.
The biggest concern, it seems, has shifted. There was a lot of shift in Martinsville.
Probably too much, Kevin Harvick said.
“The gear ratios are very wrong,” he told NBC Sports.
Okay, Denny Hamlin. Your trip. Tell us what happened out there before you ended up as number 28.
Yup. The five-time Martinsville winner finished as number 28!
“The aftermath is big,” he told NBC about the new car. “We just do not have the ability to have the mechanical grip right now to pass. It is a combination of car, track and tire. These are the things together that correspond to what we have.
“We’re learning, we’re trying to get better, but no idea how to fix this thing right now.”
Bøgity, boogity, boogity! Darrell Waltrip returns to Fox stand
OKAY. Enough about the car (for now). Nothing can fix an Easter Sunday primetime race on Bristol Dirt, right ?!
Speaking of this week’s return to dirt …
Bøgity, boogity, boogity!
Yup. Darrell Waltrip is the next in Fox’s cycle of guest analysts at the booth.
“I’m excited to have the chance to drop in and call the Bristol Dirt race,” said Waltrip, who has 12 Bristol wins. “When Fox first asked me, I was super excited because Bristol is by far my favorite course. If I could only choose one race, it would be Bristol. The course celebrates Easter with a special festive service and we will top it off with a great race that night. “
DW (DW-yah, as Larry McReynolds would say) retired from the stand back in 2019 after calling races with Mike Joy for nearly two decades. Waltrip, now 75, will be the sixth guest analyst to call a race this year, along with Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Chad Knaus.
So we get Waltrip AND Bowyer – who by the way has been fantastic in his second season – in the same booth together?
An early ‘luck’ to Mike Joy this week!
NASCAR goes to Bristol for … Easter?
Speaking of Bristol Dirt …
Another ‘luck’ for anyone trying to predict what this is going to look like. Last year was tough enough, but now we’re coming back for the second time with a new car and driving it at night?
Daniel Suarez, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano were the main players last season, so I suppose we start with them.
The track itself will also be under scrutiny. Remember, we addressed several issues last year, including dust and visibility issues that led to a possible reboot of a single file.
Running this at night should help, so maybe Mother Nature will give us a break.
Alex Bowman is definitely the mess for that!
“I want to be able to see where my race car is driving,” Bowman said boldly. “But other than that, I’m really looking forward to it.”