What to Watch for this Weekend:

April 7, 2011
by Lee

A plethora of racing awaits us this weekend with the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series getting back on the track after having time off. The Sprint Cup Series also continues it season with a Saturday night showdown in the Lone Star State.

The IndyCar drivers head to the South this week for a race at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Barber Motorsports Park is a 2.38 mile road course that features 17 twist and turns for the drivers to navigate. The race will consist of 90 laps comprising a total of 214.2 miles.

An adjustment has been made to the side by side restarts that were first used at St. Petersburg. The restart line has been moved closer to the start finish line. This would lead us to believe that IndyCar saw that the back end of the field was not lined up properly when the front of the pack was getting to the restart line. This should make for smoother restarts going forward.

Helio Castroneves won the inaugural event at Barber last year. This will be the second race at the track for the IndyCar series. Will Helio be able to defend his title, or will another driver get to the checkered flag first. It is always interesting to see races at newer tracks utilized on the tour. Not as much experience on those tracks can lead to some interesting racing.

Herdanicaship (A.K.A Danica Patrick) has been running at the end of a record setting 34 consecutive races in the series. This is a nice record to have and shows she stays out of trouble, but the question is whether Simona De Silvestro will outshine Herdanicaship on the second straight road course.

If you would like to catch the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday, tune into Versus at 3:00 PM Eastern. Not able to watch the race or do not have Versus, be sure to check back at www.troubleinturntwo.com for a race recap when the action has wrapped up in Alabama.

The stockcar boys head to Texas Motor Speedway for their weekend action. Racing gets underway early this weekend with a Friday night fight on the 1.5 mile oval for the Nationwide Series. The story of this race is all about Kyle Busch. Busch is will be looking for his third consecutive win in the series. Busch’s two previous victories were at Bristol and Auto Club Speedway in California. Want to catch this race on TV, tune into ESPN2 at 8:30 PM Eastern.

The big boys of NASCAR take to the track on Saturday night under the lights for the first ever night Sprint Cup race at Texas. Everything is bigger in Texas, and the lights will shine brightly on the series with exciting racing. The biggest question I have at the start of this race is for Joe Gibbs Racing. Will the JGR drivers have engines that will last the entire race? Texas is a track that is extremely fast and could be tough on the engines.

Everyone will also have eyes on Kevin Harvick and if he can capture his third straight win. Harvick does not show up until the end of the race, so we will have to see the laps wind down before we can count him out. Well, we could count him out if he ends up on the hook, but you know what I am saying.

The points battle is heating up already, so we are finally far enough into the season that we should start taking a peek at them. Going into the race Saturday night the top eight drivers in the points are separated by only 20 points. Although 20 points is almost have a race’s points pay away from the top, we have already seen wild swings from top to bottom with the new points system. Like they say in almost all the sports at the beginning of the season, you cannot lock up the championship early on, but you can certainly lose it.

Want to catch the Sprint Cup race on TV this weekend, tune into 7:00 PM on Fox. As always, we will have a full race recap after the race ends, so check back to find out what happened at Texas Motor Speedway in case you cannot see it on TV.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the races.

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