Sunday, March 16, 2014

Three observations from Sunday night's race at Bristol

   Three observations from Sunday's race:

   - Long after Sunday night’s race was over, NASCAR’s vice president of competition, Robin Pemberton, provided a thorough, clear explanation of why caution lights inexplicably came on with two of 500 laps remaining. Unfortunately, Pemberton’s explanation wasn’t the only one offered by NASCAR after the race. Even if the original explanation – a mechanical malfunction – was honestly thought to be the correct one at the time, NASCAR should never issue statements or explanations until it is certain it has the right one. The best of intentions can easily be overshadowed by a mistaken perception of a cover-up, or even worse, incompetence.

   - If there is one sport whose fans should always be wary to assume a particular outcome, it’s NASCAR. How many of the sport’s most famous race finishes came about because something unexpected happened on the final lap of a very long race? Dozens. It is silly to suggest ‘the right driver’ won Sunday night’s race simply because it was the same driver leading before the caution miscue. We know who won because of a mistaken caution and subsequent downpour. We have no idea who would have won had the race remained under green.

   - On the surface, both Jimmie Johnson (19th) and Joey Logano (20th) had average finishes in Sunday night’s race. It would have been interesting to see how the outcome may have changed if both had not suffered issues during the race – Johnson with a shredded tire and Logano with broken power steering. Both were very fast early in the race.

Rain delays are interrupting Sunday's NASCAR race at Bristol

   Periodic rain in northeastern Tennessee is playing havoc with Sunday's Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

   The start of the race was delayed by nearly two hours before it was halted on Lap 125 of 500 by rain once again. Matt Kenseth was leading the race.

   Rain is forecast into the evening. At least 250 laps have to be completed for the race to be counted as official. If not, the remainder of the race will be completed on Monday.

   You can check out the National Weather Service's forecast here.