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Passing shouldn’t be easy in NASCAR’s top series

during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway on May 6, 2019 in Dover, Delaware.

Kyle Busch thought the racing, specifically the variation of the 2019 aero package used in the delayed Gander RV 400, “sucked” at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Monday. Leavine Family Racing owner Bob Leavine concurred. A part of me wants to give Busch the benefit of the doubt and assume he was talking about safety, since he touched on safety when discussing the high speeds at the one-mile track on Friday. But most of the criticism after the race from multiple competitors referred to difficulty passing.

Am I missing something? Should passing be easy in the top series of stock-car racing, a high-dollar professional sport? I don’t think so. After all, aren’t these drivers supposed to be the best in the world? Top level should be hard, folks.

Passing wasn’t impossible at Dover on Monday. Heck, Martin Truex Jr. won after starting in the back for the 400-lap/400-mile race. Add to that the fact that Alex Bowman finished second after also starting in the back. Here’s a stat worth noting: Monday’s race saw the second-highest number of green-flag passes at Dover in the last six years.

The race winner was among those who mentioned difficulty in passing. To his credit, he didn’t seem to imply that the difficulty was a bad thing. But to claim that the racing “sucks” when it’s not easy enough? Give me a break. Again, we’re talking the top level of a professional sport, here.

During Kevin Harvick’s “Happy Hours” show on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday, whenever co-host Matt Yocum mentioned Truex racing from the back to the front for the win, Harvick kept inserting the word “eventually.” How quickly did Harvick think Truex should’ve been able to race to the front in a race featuring the best stock-car racers in the world?

If you ask me, not that anyone is, after starting a NASCAR Cup Series race in the back, either because of penalty or poor qualifying result, the journey to the front should take awhile, because it should be hard. It shouldn’t be some easy-breezy drive in the park that takes mere moments or just a handful of laps.

After saying “eventually” multiple times, Harvick mentioned that it took Truex 250 laps to get to the front. Actually, it was 240 laps, but I’ll admit that’s nitpicking; just pointing it out. Anyway, Truex was up front in time to win stage two after starting in the back back, just barely, but still, he was a stage winner after starting in the back. I think that’s easy enough.

Again, we’re talking about the top stock-car racing series featuring the best drivers. They shouldn’t have it easy. If passing was impossible, I’d concur that something needs to be done. Truex and Bowman proved passing, and a lot of it, was, indeed, possible. Besides, judging by that aforementioned passing stat, a lot of passing was possible, at least by traditional Dover standards.

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Posted by on May 8, 2019. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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