This weekend had three races, all of which could be classified as boring with three different drivers dominating the race. Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Larson all stunk up their respective shows in the trucks, Xfinity, and Cup race. The thing is, only Kyle Busch was able to actually win the race he dominated.
Both Truex and Larson while dominant did not end up winning their races. Both of their races ended with unpredictable controversy, whether it was on the track in the case of Cup or off the track in the case of Xfinity. I wanted to take a day to give my opinion on both these situations whether you’re unaware of it, or maybe just looking for a different side to a story.
Joey Logano “over racing” Kyle Larson at the end of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Yesterday’s race was one in which the commentators were even having to poke fun at the fact that Kyle Larson was stinking up the show and making the race nearly unwatchable. He led almost every lap turned yesterday and by all means, should’ve been the race winner.
Well, with about 25 laps to go, all of a sudden Ryan Blaney’s time back started to slowly tick down. Before we knew it, Blaney was close enough to throw a rock and hit Larson, something nobody had been able to say all day. I actually thought that maybe Larson was just being extra cautious not to blow a tire and would shortly pull away again.
If that was his plan, he didn’t get a chance because he came up to who I believe to be the fan-favorite -obvious sarcasm- in Joey Logano. So, Logano was on the lead lap running fifteenth, Larson was attempting to put him a lap down, and Joey decided more than anything at that moment that he did not want to go a lap down.
Logano did not block Larson or throw any crazy moves at him, he basically just pushed his own car to its limit and in doing so forced Larson to do the same. In doing this, Blaney was able to close in and by the time he got there Larson had used up his tires trying to get around Logano.
Just to be clear, Joey didn’t really do anything wrong here. He doesn’t wanna go a lap down because you never know what could happen. A caution could’ve come out at any moment and if he would’ve just let Larson go and pass the next car in line, now he’s not in a position to advance his position on a possible restart.
Had Joey thrown a block that endangered Larson’s race then I’d say that was too much, but that’s not the case. I personally think Logano probably would’ve done the same thing whether it was his teammate chasing down Larson or not, he just possesses that kind of mentality. I think that’s why so many took such exception to this because it was Logano.
Noah Gragson Backing Into Daniel Hemric
During the Xfinity Race, we saw that Noah Gragson backed into Hemric during a pit stop, but we didn’t get much more context besides that. After the race, we saw a usually cool Hemric approach Noah and start a fight that resulted in one of the most aggressive displays we’ve seen in a while on pit road.
It was something fun to watch as a fan, and I think like most, I thought it was obviously Noah’s fault. The reputation he has been building would lead you to assume that. Especially when you got a guy who rarely has problems like Hemric start the fight.
It wasn’t until I saw this angle that I began to see things from Noah’s point of view:
Now, Hemric’s response to this was that Noah flipping him off on pit road was evidence that it was intentional. I think that there are two different ways to look at this:
- Noah unintentionally backed into Hemric while straightening himself out and was flipping him off because he’s upset for the mistake that cost him time on pit road.
- Noah obviously meant to do it.
The issue here is that it’s a matter of how you feel about Noah. Knowing what we do about Noah MY OPINION is that Noah did not mean to do it, because if he did, I think he would’ve run into him harder; made sure that the intention was evident. I think Noah was flipping him off because Hemric screwed him.
I of course don’t blame anyone for thinking this was intentional, because that is in Noah’s wheelhouse. If anything should be taken away from this for Noah, it’s that his reputation is going to start not only costing him on the track but off it as well. Whether he meant to do it or not, everyone just assumes he did and Hemric came to bust him in the mouth for it.
Whether he did it on purpose or not, I think for Noah’s sake he needs to get a few hands thrown at him in order to humble and calm him down. This was a direct result of the reputation that he has built for himself. I think he’s good for the sport, but even the Busch brothers had to be calmed down at some point.