Ok, time to get something off my chest…I completely forgot that this race would have a different feel to it compared to last year’s events at Phoenix. It literally escaped my mind that the sanctioning body had a different aerodynamic package for the short tracks compared to the intermediate and superspeedways.
So, needless to say when I began watching once the green flag waved, it was quite the refreshing moment.
Let’s be honest, the aero package that is utilized at the bigger tracks, the longer splitter edge and the taller spoiler, made for some lousy racing at a place like Phoenix. No one could pass once the field got strung out, or unless you got a lot of momentum on a restart. It made for a rather boring event, both in the spring and in the fall. If nothing was done, even minor changes, let’s face it, the season finale this year would have been over long before the green flag waved.
So, when this new short track package was introduced, I absolutely was ecstatic. This package reminds me of the low downforce aerodynamics that were experimented with a few years back and gave these drivers a chance to have an actual input in how the car ran, and just not be at the mercy of the field, and positioning.
Overall, you could see the teams be able to run different lines, and if they fell back due to getting out of shape or missing their line, they were able to drive right back and gain those spots in return.
You actually see battles for position, rather than a couple laps of competition and everyone then struggling to pass.
We won’t see this package again for a couple weeks, but so far NASCAR is 1-for-1 in excellence. Whether we see this moved into the larger tracks, and more specifically if a similar concept will be implemented into the NextGen car next season, is yet to be seen. I guess that’s another thing to be determined once this year comes to a close.
Still, four races into the season, and we seemingly already have one favorite emerging in the title hunt.
Look out for that 22 team, since they did not have the best call all day long, with that distinction going to Kevin Harvick, but he was the best car and the most determined when it mattered most. That broken jack did not hold him back from making his way back through the field to gain the lead. But, trying to hold them off on a pair of late restarts was what made him the best.
Give Joey Logano credit, he wanted to get that victory, and he did just that.
So, let’s park it for this week, since next week the speeds increase, and so will the tire fall off. Old surface, high speeds, sliding and saving. See you all in Atlanta.