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Welcome to peak racing season. For the first time in 2016, all three NASCAR series, the IndyCar Series, Formula 1 and the NHRA are racing on the same weekend. If the weather is bad in your neck of the woods this weekend, you have plenty of things to watch. If the weather is great, get outside and utilize your DVR or mobile streaming. Spring weekends are meant to be enjoyed as much as possible.
And while we’re fresh off a paragraph mentioning IndyCar, there’s a claim from Graham Rahal in this Yahoo-hosted video clip from the Fox Business Channel that needs some serious verification.
As he’s talking to the two hosts, Rahal said he’s done 256 MPH at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Yes, 256. He thinks. We’re thinking he’s exaggerating without any further extrapolation/explanation of the the comment.
The pole speed for the 2015 Indianapolis 500 was just over 230 MPH, and drivers are typically flat-out (or quite close to it) during qualifying. That’s an average speed, yes, but Indianapolis’ four corners aren’t shaving that much pace off the straightaway speeds to take the average speed down to the 230 MPH range.
Is it possible this claim came from a crazy test of sorts? Yes, but even then we’re skeptical of how it happened. Did an IndyCar suddenly have a bunch of acceleration ability down a straightaway? Did he have to slam the brakes heading into the corner? We’re not buying this.
Let’s get to your comments. And yes, we’re starting with lug nuts.
No wonder that [Kyle Busch] always winning races, I’m so sick of him, every week his always in front I did stop watching nascar because of this reason I would like to see other drivers giving the opportunity to compete. What nascar should do just automatically declare that idiot Kyle Busch the winner. – Dennis
NASCAR officially stopped monitoring lug nut tightening for a grand total of 45 points races. The practice wasn’t watched throughout 2015 + nine races of 2016. In those 45 races, Kyle Busch has seven wins, the most of any driver in that span. But he also has 30 more race wins, including his win Saturday night at Kansas Speedway.
So to say that quick pit stops via tightening less than five lug nuts is the reason for Kyle Busch’s success is a bit foolish. He was good before his team got really good at adapting to NASCAR’s new (and now old) lug nut rules and has continued to be really good with really good pit stops thrown in.
And guess what? Busch didn’t win Saturday because of a pit stop.
Busch last pitted 56 laps from the end of the race. Based off the pit cycles throughout the race, Busch would have restarted no lower than second on the final two restarts had he kept the same strategy and had a slower pit stop by a second or two. On the next-to-last restart, Busch and Matt Kenseth were the only two drivers who stayed out on the track.
NASCAR has just plain lost it. – Buddy
The crazy thing about NASCAR’s new lug nut rule is that people in the industry saw a scenario just like this happening, and happening soon. And by the way, we want to give Joe Gibbs Racing and the No. 18 team credit for having all five lug nuts on each wheel – yet not secured. Common sense reasons that a loose lug nut or two would fly off the car, but the team clearly figured out a way to not tighten all of the lug nuts yet still make sure they were on the wheel hubs.
But back to NASCAR’s rule. Not only did people assume that a crew chief would be suspended for a lug nut violation fairly soon, but the rule as it stands right now does nothing to dissuade teams from tightening less than five lug nuts before the final pit stop of the race (NASCAR checks each car on pit road to make sure that it has 20 lug nuts attached).
Is NASCAR’s rule the best solution that it has at the moment? Probably. But it’s also a solution to a self-inflicted problem. There wouldn’t be this discussion if NASCAR hadn’t stopped monitoring teams tightening all lug nuts in the first place.
It seems like there are multiple instances of the sanctioning body creating rules and regulations without thinking about all sides and comebacks to those efforts. Then when the downside of those changes are proven out in real time, the sanctioning body is sent scrambling.
The Chase for the NASCAR Championship is /or should be enough of a prize for winning in NASCAR series, lets not ruin a good thing! – Robert
Hey, here’s another one of those instances.
Brad Keselowski said earlier this week that drivers have floated ideas to address a possible lack of motivation in the first 26 races. With the win-and-in Chase format, drivers with a win early in the season don’t have to fight for their spot in the Chase every week. There won’t be 16 different winners, so they know that they’ll be in the Chase come September.
We don’t know what the ideas floated are, but once the newness of the season wears off for fans (as pointed out by USA Today’s Jeff Gluck), the season simply becomes a countdown to the Chase.
And we’re not going to lie. There’s no need to be counting down to September when you’ve got the entire summer ahead of you.
NASCAR had a pretty good thing going with its old Chase format. Drivers were forced to points race throughout the season and every race mattered. Perhaps the best compromise for a new Chase format would have been increased points bonuses for winning (both in the regular season standings and at the start of the Chase) rather than a win-and-in format that leaves plenty of room for non-winners to get in the field.
Don’t be talking about a new car, Brian. This current car, which debuted in 2013, has made the racing so much better than it was with the car before it. Passing throughout the field didn’t exist before 2013 and every NASCAR race was a parade. The racing in 2015 was already exceptional, so NASCAR was feeling exceptionally generous by tweaking the rules for 2016.
Sarcasm aside, we’re guessing the lifespan of this car has four or five more years on it. And it still needs to have much more downforce taken away from it.
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