Nascar Bye Week: Win, Lose or Draw

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While most people spend their week away looking for a location like this, some of racing’s biggest names were quite busy over their respective bye weeks. Here’s a breakdown of the winners and losers, Bert Convy style.

Win: Nascar

Jimmie Johnson recently talked about a shortened Sprint Cup season. Many drivers mention what a grind 36 races can be, not to mention the All-Star race and showdown for those who qualify.

So if the season is such a grind and drivers needs to get away, consider the following.

  • Michael Annett, Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson ran the truck race.
  • Tony Stewart drove in a sprint car again.
  • Kasey Kahne, Larson and others ran the Nationwide race.
  • Michael Waltrip and Denny Hamlin played in a celebrity golf event.

We will never see Tom Brady play a CFL game during his bye week. It’s that love of racing from the drivers that makes Nascar so great. That love is also part of the reason the Sprint Cup season will stay at 36 races.

Lose: Developmental Drivers

Brad Keselowski did take the weekend off, though he tweeted like crazy.  Among the weekend blitz was this gem about Ryan Blaney, who ran in place of Keselowski  Saturday night.

There’s been a clamoring to change the development system to give young drivers more chances. But there’s a reason Sprint Cup drives are needed in the Nationwide Series. Finding $8 million for an unknown talent is quite the sales pitch to brands that question every spent marketing dollar. If Home Depot and UPS are leaving Sprint Cup teams, it’s easy to understand why Nationwide funding can be so tricky. As a result, guys like Blaney and Sam Hornish Jr. have to fill in instead of run full time. This needs addressed, though there is no easy answer.

Draw: Chase Elliott

Oh the problems teenagers can have. Elliott won Saturday and had plenty of fun with his team.

 

Elliott is 18 and arguably the best Sprint Cup prospect. The good news is he runs for a great team and has all the experience in the world to guide his career, and that’s before we even mention his famous father.

The bad news is sponsorship drives who drives a Sprint Cup car. Because of Elliott’s name and his father’s popularity, the opportunity to race in Sprint Cup will probably arrive before Elliott is fully ready to race. Joey Logano had to switch teams  and run more than three years before just starting to reach his potential last year.

Seasoning is good in order to be great. It will be curious to see how much Elliott receives before racing on Sunday. Speaking of which, enjoy Brickyard 400 week, and insert a random catchphrase here.