AUTO CLUB 400 AFTERMATH: WIN LOSE OR DRAW

What good timing for a week off.
 
After NASCAR’s biggest spectacle since Juna Montoya’s  dust up with a jet dryer,  we head into a holiday weekend with anything but good cheer.  Now that things have settled, let’s do an unconventional breakdown of winners and losers from Auto Club Speedway,  Bert Convy style. 

WIN: DENNY HAMLIN
How does Hamlin break his back and win? Consider the following:
  1. Hamlin has a green light to race for wins when returning from injury.  
  2. He can experiment as much as he wants with no regard for points, testing  for ten months leading into 2014.
  3. He is the sympathetic babyface of NASCAR, overcoming injury and fighting the system, the Stone Cold Steve Austin of racing. 
Hamlin will recover, become a better driver and  have a more solid brand than before the injury.
 
LOSE: TONY STEWART
On the surface, Stewart is the rowdy guy casual fans love. But did you see how quickly writers and analysts brought up Stewart’s blocking at Talladega  (1:25 for those who can’t wait.) 
 
Being a flip
Being a flip flopper is a bad brand unless you sell flip flops for a living. Stewart can’t criticize someone for something he’s done in a far more dangerous setting. 
 
DRAW:JOEY LOGANO
Logano’s move was not as safe as it could have been. His reaction was dreadful. But in a sport that needs bad guys, Logano has a chance to be a guy you root against. That’s worked out pretty well for guys like Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and others. 
 
WIN: ROGER PENSKE 
His defense of Logano was prompt and sturdy. When you see how he has nurtured AJ Allmendinger and worked with Brad Keselowski, why wouldn’t you want to drive for this guy?

LOSE: AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
SAFER barriers need to be on inside and outside walls before someone dies. Get it done…
DRAW: NASCAR
The sport got mainstream publicity and higher ratings. But it displayed  interesting standards by not fining drivers for violent actions while fining drivers for stating their opinion. And when it had a chance to take a stand on better safety protocol for inside walls, NASCAR said nothing. 
 
The sport is a moving target, one that is finally standing still for a long weekend. Drivers, teams and fans need the break. Enjoy the time with family, and insert random catchphrase here.