MARGOLIS: Observations, Watkins Glen

Thoughts, observations and a few questions following the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International:

  • I’m not sure who was more surprised — @JoeyLogano after sweeping both races this weekend or the rest of a civilized world that still is getting used to hearing “Daytona 500 winner” associated with Logano’s name. Some still question his talent and whether he’s championship material (I don’t). I often wonder however, about the mental toughness of this 25-year-old. This season has sent his career on an upswing for the moment. Do you think this Penske team can go all the way to the top of the podium in Homestead?
  • Sprint Cup racing’s second road course event was the final wild card race for several drivers.
  • @AJDinger is one of those drivers. He had the proverbial “bad day” on the worst day possible.
  • I’m beginning to get depressed by @JeffGordonWeb’s current run of “not-so-good” luck. The retiring driver now appears to have the market cornered on every kind of “Murphy’s Law.” This time it was his brakes giving him a problem. He’ll still make the Chase, however.
  • After veteran driver Boris Said scored a top five finish on Saturday in the XFINITY race, I wished that the Cup car he would be driving on Sunday was as good as his XFINITY ride. Maybe I should have prayed instead of just wishing. Said is always entertaining to watch when he’s at work behind the wheel. And he brings such good vibes to an event.
  • Just think, we could have three Sprint Cup races in a row (Pocono, Watkins Glen and Michigan) being decided by fuel mileage. And just when you thought that NASCAR racing couldn’t get any more exciting! (That’s a joke, son!)
  • If I was King for a Day, I would run Cup cars only on Watkins Glen’s full length road course, which includes the boot. I’d also move the Watkins Glen race into the Chase, making it the third race. I would replace it’s August race date by a third road course; either Road America, Circuit of the Americas or my first choice (although it’s a long shot), which is to go back to Montreal.
  • When I asked @KyleBusch if he thought that some race winning Cup teams just skate along until the Chase, he pointed out that has been the plan every year by the 48 team. “I’m not saying that those other teams aren’t trying, we’re all well aware of the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) team strategy every single season, right? They get in the Chase, they lock themselves in and then they go play for however long in order to try to learn some things. They’re very smart in what they do and I’m not so certain that the way they’re running isn’t fooling anyone right now.” Smart man, that Busch.
  • As the 2015 regular season enters the home stretch, four races remain before the start of the Chase. A close examination at the teams already qualified for Chase competition reveals that it’s unlikely that any one of them will run away with the title. They’re all just that good. This will be another rock ’em sock ‘em battle all the way to the season finale. I still like @KevinHarvick to repeat.
  • Ponder this: While NASCAR’s competition department works overtime to come up with a rules and aero package to make the racing more competitive and entertaining on the 1.5-mile tracks, with new changes being announced on a regular basis, the rules for road course racing have remained static for years. Meanwhile, the racing on road courses is arguably some of the best in NASCAR. The one thing that has changed? The drivers got better at it. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if the rules for the ovals remained static for a few seasons the drivers would also get better at it.
  • I didn’t know Buddy Baker as well as many others who  have covered this sport did. His time in NASCAR came before I did. I was often a guest on his SiriusXM radio show. Our dialog was always spirited and filled with a few laughs. I shall always remember him telling me (more than once) how much he liked me because I didn’t bullshit the fans. Coming from him, it was a badge of honor I will never relinquish. The sport has truly lost of the good guys.



By Popular Speed

POPULAR SPEED is a Social Media driven website featuring exclusive content, photographs, news and pointed editorials. It’s makeup consists of veteran motorsports journalists as well as the unique voice of developing young talent. POPULAR SPEED was launched in 2013 under the direction of former Sprint Cup Series spotter, Mike Calinoff.

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