What Have We Seen?

March 22, 2015
by Lee

The West Coast Swing for NASCAR has now come to an end. From what I have seen, it is all about Kevin Harvick. Harvick took two of the three races on the swing to the left coast. I really thought that Harvick was going to take the three races out there. It did not happen, and in the end, although we never really saw him all day long, Brad Keselowski ended up taking the win at the Auto Club Speedway.

At this point in the season, I am very impressed with how two of the Stewart Haas Racing cars have performed. It is obvious to see that Harvick is the class of the Sprint Cup Series so far this season. Even though he did not win today, he had a car that had a chance to do it. No other driver has really shown that so far this season.

Kurt Busch has returned with something to prove on the track. If you have read this blog over the last few weeks, you already know that I have the belief that Kurt should have never been suspended from the get go. He was, and that is behind us. Kurt has been a fierce competitor after his first two races of the season. He damn near won the race today, and in my opinion should have with what happened on the second Green White Checkered attempt.

In all sports that I watch, what I look for from officiating is consistency. I expect an umpire in baseball to call the outside, or inside, strike consistently in a game. That is the best example I can think of when it comes to comparing officiating NASCAR and yellow flags. Today, I again felt that a call was not consistent.

As the leaders hit the start finish line on the second Green White Checkered attempt, the white flag was displayed, at the same time Greg Biffle crashed. It appeared that no other cars were involved. Biffle ended up getting off the track, and on that lap Keselowski passed Kurt to win the race. To make it clear, Keselowski passed Kurt after Biffle had crashed.

NASCAR decided that no caution was needed and the race ended under a green condition at the start finish line. At any other point in the race, the caution flag would have been displayed and the pace would have slowed. I have never understood why the last lap is officiated differently than any other lap. If it deserves a caution on lap one, then it should be a caution after the white flag has been displayed.

In the end, we now head to Martinsville. Short track racing at its best is coming. Cannot wait until next weekend to see what happens next week!