Was That Good NASCAR Racing?

Was That Good NASCAR Racing?

Monday, 06 March 2017
Dennis Michelsen

Was That Good NASCAR Racing?

Couch Potato Corner- Atlanta Motor Speedway

Over the years when I have turned on NASCAR racing I knew right away if I was seeing a good race or not. I better schedule an eye Doctor appointment for myself this week because after watching the Triple Header weekend of racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway and then seeing what the experts said I no longer understand what good racing is in NASCAR. When clean air can make Christopher Bell in the Truck Race 5 seconds better than defending Cup champion Kyle Busch something is wrong with the rules on these cars and trucks. Nowadays I suppose I can save myself 4 hours of watching for myself and just head over to Twitter to see what the paid experts think.

Cup Race Grade: C

When you have 12 more speeding penalties on pit road than green flag passes for the lead you know this was a strange race. Yes sometimes a race team and driver just dominate a race just as a baseball pitcher sometimes throws a no hitter. But the pitcher has to throw the ball over 100 times not just get away from the pack after a restart. There was good racing back in the pack and the Fox Sports crew did a good job of keeping that racing on the screen for us to enjoy but this will not be a race we remember for many years. Perhaps this is acceptable racing at a more boring track but THIS is Atlanta Motor Speedway the home of great finishes and great passing for the lead! Where was that old “Rubber Band” that pulled the second place car back to the leader late in a run like we have seen here for more than 40 years? There will be no shortage of things to talk about this week after Kevin Harvick’s wife DeLana blasted Austin Dillon for stopping on the track to bring out that final caution when he had a chance to limp the car down on pit lane. Let the feud continue!

Xfinity Race Grade: C-

Wow are you shocked that Kyle Busch won again? Was it just me or did it look like he could have won that race by 4 seconds but he didn’t want to embarrass NASCAR? The advertisements for this series talk about it being where guys make a name for themselves and I guess it worked because I knew that Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick were in the show because they were about 11 seconds ahead of the young racers trying to make a name for themselves. This will be a battle between Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas and the Fords of Penske and Stewart/Haas all season.

Camping World Truck Race Grade: C-

This race was tough to grade because by the time the race started I admit I was sick of watching racing on television. The Toyotas of Kyle Busch Motorsports dominated this race as usual with the winner Christopher Bell 99 of the 130 laps and his team owner Kyle Busch leading 25 more (The combo led the first 108 laps easily). Kyle Busch would have been on cruise control to the win until having an issue with about 22 laps to go. Clean air on the nose was worth almost 2 seconds in one lap on most restarts.

Sound Off

What did you think about the race weekend? Give us your grades and the reasons why you thought that and the best comments might be used on “The Final Inspection” on 105.7FM The Fan in Milwaukee on Saturday at Noon CT. Steve Zautke hosts the most entertaining two hours covering all things racing and Lori Munro and Dennis Michelsen will have your NASCAR news and views every week.


  1. Ken says:

    How could you give the Cup race a C? Except for the “competition cautions” at the end of each stage, Harvick could have lapped almost all of the field. The drivers were aware of the new rules because they made sure to not be in accidents by driving like it was a Sunday drive in the country. When they can ruin Atlanta, imagine what we will see on the crappier tracks.

    • Dennis Michelsen says:

      Definitely graded that one on the curve and I admit I was probably generous but there were some good battles in the pack and Fox Sports did a good job of showing it to us. But color me unhappy because when I invest 3 1/2 hours in a race I expect at least a B grade! Thanks for the feedback! DMIC

  2. Gravel Gertie says:

    Havin trouble understanding and enjoying NASCAR racing so far this year…Hope my understanding or the racing gets better.

  3. James says:

    I’m wondering why the races are starting so late!

  4. LDB says:

    Well I really hate to admit this but my 36 year-old son has been saying for several years that he only watches the very end of the races because most of them suck up until then. I disputed that with him but after yesterday’s snoozer, I guess he is right! A new surface at Atlanta couldn’t be any worse than that.

    • Dennis Michelsen says:

      Sure seems to be turning into the NBA Basketball of Racing indeed!

      Thanks for adding to the discussion… DMIC

  5. Joe Jacalone says:

    I have to laugh when I hear NASCAR’S paid talking heads telling me how great racing is now compared to “The good old days”. They keep telling me to look how many more cars are on the lead lap! Well, there wouldn’t be that many cars on the lead lap if it was not for the ridiculous “Lucky Dog”. Danica Patrick would have been 3 laps down if not for the Lucky Dog.

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