After a grueling two month stretch without any kind of sports to talk about it was so revelating to finally have some form of sports competition to watch. Even if the product on track was missing something.
Maybe it was the lack of fans cheering in the stands, but there just seemed to be a lack of something out on the track at Darlington. I’m not complaining at all, I was happy to have it back no matter what the quality was.
If I had to try and put my finger on it, I think that everyone was driving safe out there. We started the race off with crashes from Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and then a crash out of Jimmie Johnson who was leading the race at the time. After that, everyone started to race a little more conservatively.
I think everyone became aware that they were rusty and needed to ease their way back into the competitive edge. The season is still so young even after the hiatus that drivers still can show some patience in the early going of this restart.
All in all, it was a successful restart to the season. There are some kinks to work out but they will work themselves out naturally and I think the overall excitement of the season beginning again and the rapid pace season we have ahead will overcome any slow starts to the quality of races.
Observations I want to point out, Alex Bowman is a title contender and on his way to being a star on the same level as his teammate Chase Elliott. He – unlike Ryan Blaney – continues his consistency and was in a position to win in the end but decided not to push the issue with Harvick.
Also, how does Matt Kenseth take a year off and come back with a new team and new manufacturer and come out and get a top ten in a situation like this? Kenseth could be a legit playoff contender this year and possibly even more.
I was so happy to see racing back and now the question becomes do the same teams continue their dominance this Wednesday? Do some of the teams who struggled today make adjustments?