NASCAR Recap: Good Sam 500

Courtesy: https://twitter.com/PhoenixRaceway

Courtesy: https://twitter.com/PhoenixRaceway

Four for four.

With the 2016 Sprint Cup season entering its second month, the races have been consistently exciting, with a mix of strategy and speed. But Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards aren’t the only ones making headlines on the track. Here’s a breakdown of other winners and losers in this NASCAR recap.

Win: New Blood

It’s only four races, but seeing Ryan Blaney and Austin Dillon in the top 12 of the Sprint Cup standings is refreshing to see. Both have been able to run laps, avoid trouble and churn solid finishes out of cars that maybe aren’t good enough to win. The way the Chase is structured, that’s likely the best formula for these drivers to run meaningful races after Richmond.

Lose: NASCAR

There are a million reasons why Brian France should never publicly announce his political leanings. Let’s list the NASCAR related drama since this news broke.

  • TV ratings are down in every Sprint Cup race.
  • Sponsors and owners expressed dissatisfaction.
  • Live event sales declined.

NASCAR needs to include as many people as humanly possible to grow the sport. Entering the political fray goes against this and reinforces stereotypes about the sport. That’s not fair to Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards. It won’t be fair to other drivers who excel during the rest of this 2016 Sprint Cup season. This issue won’t go away until at least November.

Draw: Goodyear

The bad news is five teams wrecked because a tire went down. Five! That’s more than 10 percent of the field.

The good news is the news was overshadowed by everything else mentioned above. Setting up tires for races is an exact science; Goodyear had a bad week; at least it has  next week.

NASCAR hands out west for its annual run at the Auto Club Speedway. Let’s see if the 2016 season can go five for five and if fans and TV viewers will start to notice.