From my previous prediction of the second race of the season. I will admit I was wrong about aggression. More like it being a quarter aggressive. Harvick led most of the race, the field would fan out like normal and each stage didn't cause a conundrum like Daytona. Which is good. However, the race has a lot of kinks to be worked out. First being, what the hell do we need stage trophies for? I mean come on, Rodney holding that trophy for the first stage is just plain silly. Don't get me wrong I am not bashing Stewart-Haas or Kevin Harvick and crew, but these are grown men and women making millions. I appreciate the efforts of NASCAR for reworking the format of these races to try different things, but the 5 minute repair clock along with stage trophies are becoming too much. I'm not a fan of the clock, but can live with it. Stage trophies however are too damn much and it makes participating just as relevant as winning for grown ups pretty much.
Speeding penalties became a dime a dozen throughout the race as it ultimately caught up with Kevin Harvick. Most notably who led most the race and winning both stages became victim after a speeding penalty with less than 15 to go. Biting him thoroughly in the ass, but at least he got two trophies for two thirds of the race won.
Furthermore, as we all tweet during our favorite sport we find tweets saying that the race is boring. It's a true statement even with all the effort put in to make it entertaining. Solution? Atlanta is too long at 500 miles. Money can be saved with less tire usage and less fan engagement.
With 10 to go, Larson had a really good chance to win on the restart. Like I said in my previous blog, but admitted to being wrong, but I was right about strategy. Going high in turns 1 and 2. It just wasn't the best decision made as Keselowski had the better line to win the race. I like Kyle Larson and I think these coming up short finishes will set him up for greater wins later on in his career. After having to return to the pits for loose lug nuts the Blue Deuce kicked it into high gear for the win.
All photos used with permission by Nascar Media.