I am not impressed with the racing that we have seen over the last two weeks. Do not mistake the finish of the race on Sunday, for it being a good race. Remember that most of the race was led by either Brad Keselowski (150 laps out front) or Martin Truex Jr. (89 laps out front). Also keep in mind that breaking the race into stages is supposed to give us better closer racing. Remember last Sunday, Martin Truex Jr. won all three stages of the race. I am betting NASCAR decision makers did not think that would occur this quickly in the season of stages.
There is one other item to discuss quickly as a take away from Las Vegas. The dust up between Kyle Busch and Joey Logano’s crew, post race. Busch felt that he was taken out by Logano on the last lap, but in my humble opinion it appeared Logano just got loose and hit Busch. The incident was not done purposely by Logano. I am glad NASCAR has basically turned the other eye to the incident. They are almost forced to at this point. The fight probably got more play in highlights after the race than actual cover of the action on the track. I would guess we will see NASCAR quietly encourage a bit more of this type of end of race behavior as we move forward.
We move on to a one mile flat track this weekend in Phoenix. I wish I knew what to think we will see this weekend. The fear I have is that it is going to be more of what we have seen over the last two weekends. The field will be strung out with no great racing near the front of the field. I will refer back to last weekend that Fox did give a few shots of racing back in the pack during both the Xfinity and Monster Energy races. We will simply have to see what the track and racing package brings us, but I am not hopeful for close exciting racing during all stages.
Time for the picks. The easy pick for the weekend is to take Kevin Harvick. I do expect him to have a good weekend and he could easily get the win. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is another to keep an eye on. Think it is time for him to show some gusto this weekend. The sleeper for the weekend is Ryan Blaney. I am not sure that is too much of a sleeper pick, but may not be on the big radar at the moment. In two races at Phoenix last year, he had an average finish of 9th.