After unknown certainty. We went to the Lone Star state to the newly repaved and configured Texas Motor Speedway. Over the offseason it got new pavement and a reconfigured banking of 20 degrees in turns 1 & 2 while 3 & 4 stayed the same. All teams coming to the track were pretty much coming into blind with no data. Denny Hamlin found out very fast and compared it being to ice as he spun out in the first practice. There was yet to be grip laid down before both races took place. The Xfinity series had the first dibs to do so they created a groove which would allow us to see that it would become single file racing for Sunday. I will say as the Cup Series raced I absolutely loved it! Seeing cars power shoot their way to position on entry and the middle turns made it for real true NASCAR fan excitement. Most complained that it lead to the lead car being way out front which that's what people want NASCAR to avoid. Well, hate to say it, but the lead car always has the best air because it's science. You won't change that. With added stage racing and the leader mastering the front position I think it worked. Ryan Blaney who is damn terrific at driving won both stages. The stages proved worthy to me at Texas because so far we for the first time in many seasons are seeing teams who haven't been successful in years past. The drama effect was in full swing with the one groove because the upper line was an Achilles heel for position taking. You need an event where it's a put up or shut up. I was instantly becoming a Blaney fan as he kept the lead for two thirds of the race, but was knocked down from not pitting at one point. He busted his ass and proved it can done to keep up with the best. While the track is new, Jimmie Johnson did what Jimmie always does. Figuring things out late in a race. I will admit with a few deleted tweets I didn't want Johnson to win. At the end the end with his ability and timing of a driver, team and good pit stop game, he had the best car beat who I wanted to win which was Joey Logano. Johnson took charge like the title he has earned which is "Seven Time" and got his 81st victory. While NASCAR continues to make the changes for the better of the sport. I think maybe the track surface is what's needed to be changed more often to prevent the racing from becoming dull. It's the drama we all to an extent want to see. It's like in the Star Trek movies where Mr. Scott can't figure the exact equation for "Transwarp Beaming" across space from long distances. The Enterprise is like the car and the track is space. Maybe like Mr. Scott in his equation, space (the track) not the car is the thing that is moving.
All photos used with permission by Nascar Media.