No more Mr. Nice Guy?
If you have been fooled all these years by Carl Edwards’ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine then shame on you. Edwards split personality is the secret to his success. The Edwards you meet on television being interviewed and appearing in television commercials is the Edwards he wants the world to see. The smiling and congenial pitchman.
Then there’s the other Edwards. He’s the guy you want standing next to you at a barroom brawl.
Thoughts, observations and a few questions following the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway:
- Heading into Richmond NASCAR’s biggest challenge was to keep the level of competition equal to what the fans witnessed at Bristol. Challenge met. Richmond’s Cup race on Sunday was the best in years.
- The top 10 at the end of the race on Sunday was five Toyotas, four Chevrolets and one Ford (Joey Logano). Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick/Stewart-Haas and Penske. If you want to talk about what’s wrong with NASCAR right now, that just about tells you right there. Three teams are dominating the sport right now.
- It’s still early in the season, but not too early to figure out which teams will be Chase contenders and which ones will not. You can count on all four Gibbs cars to be in as well as the 88 and 48 cars and the 2, 22 and 4 and 41 cars. That’s 10 cars right there. The other six? Finding out who they are should be your focus.
- Add the 78 car to that list. That leaves five.
- Once again, the racing was close, competitive and exciting. Three-wide at Richmond? A couple of years ago such an idea would be preposterous. One of the best lines of the day came from Mike Joy of the FOX broadcast crew when he commented that in the past, saying “Three-wide at Richmond” was often followed by the caution flag coming out.
- Say what you will, but it has become more apparent with every race this season that NASCAR has right aero package figured out.
- Could this be the year that Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the championship? He’s definitely part of the small group of drivers who has to be considered a threat to win every weekend.
- The first two-thirds of the race was highlighted by long green flag runs. How many times did you think about the new 20 minute clock rule in the Truck Series? I did. Come on, I know you did. At least twice.
- Oh yeah, there was another weak crowd, likely to be blamed on the weather. No wait, the weather was gorgeous. Then, let’s blame moving the race from the night time to the day time for the small crowd. Yeah, that’s right. That’s exactly the reason.
- As much as I’d like to see Tony Stewart win another race, I’m thinking the odds are against it.
- It will be interesting to see which direction his interaction with the media will take when Stewart returns next season as a team owner. His influence on the sport over the past two decades has been immeasurable.
- It’s just my opinion but wasn’t HScott Motorsports a better team last year? Do we really expect Clint Bowyer to be any better next season?
- Was it really a “thing” that television cameras caught Samantha Busch say an inaudible sh*t on live television after her husband got dumped by race winner Edwards? Seriously?
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