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Happy Hour: SAFER (again), Harvick and some ridiculousness

A video screen shows a replay of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s (88) car during a wreck at the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway, Monday, April 7, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas

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A video screen shows a replay of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s (88) car during a wreck at the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway, Monday, April 7, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Larry Papke)

Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to or @NickBromberg.We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy.

It's Darlington week! I love the track's uniqueness, even as races can tend to go on and on for four hours. It's an endurance race, not a sprint, and it's fun to see cars with torn up right sides at the end of the night.

I realize it's a short week with a Monday race going into a Saturday race, but it feels even shorter than that. It was nice of NASCAR to make sure we could all watch the final round of the Masters and the Long Beach Grand Prix uninterrupted. OK, so maybe I'll be one of the few people watching both races Sunday afternoon, but I'm looking forward to IndyCar and the Cup Series not running at the same time this week. Let's get to it.

When you think about the amount of money that had to be spent to install SAFER barriers at every track on the Cup schedule between 2002 and 2005. It makes "cost" being used a reason for sections, like the 100ft+/- area Dale Junior impacted Monday, still existing inexcusable. - Darrell

Inexcusable is about the only way to put it. I'm baffled why this still hasn't been taken care of from NASCAR's side. Tracks aren't going to spend money for things that aren't mandated. But we're now to the point where someone needs to make a public stand and say his or her track will have every exposed wall (save for pit road) covered by SAFER barrier. It'd be a great announcement of common sense.

Junior's accident is also magnified by the money that Texas Motor Speedway poured into the Big Hoss TV. Are we still talking about this if he crashed into that same uncovered section at Charlotte? Definitely. But when you have tangible proof that a track has the money to spend on a luxury like a a TV, you know SAFER everywhere is possible. And guess what? SAFER barrier isn't a luxury at this point.

Come on NASCAR, you can do yourself a huge PR favor and get rid of a lot of criticism by requiring SAFER everywhere. This is not a case of "any publicity is good publicity." And you're damn sure I'm sick of talking about it. But I'm going to keep harping on it as long as drivers keep crashing into bare concrete walls.


Is it possible that even with the one win at Phoenix that Kevin Harvick would not make the Chase? He was 25th going into this race and potentially could fall some more spots after his 42nd place finish today. If he falls below 30th and can’t rebound, will the win still be enough to get him in the chase? - Brian

No, it's not possible. Never say never, but it's simply not going to happen.

Harvick has had disastrous results in four of the seven races so far and is still 26th in the standings. And a quick look of the drivers behind him yields the realization that he really can't go much further down without the disaster becoming the norm. It's not going to happen. (Side note: if you want a disastrous stretch, look at Parker Kligerman. No one was thinking he'd make the Chase like Harvick, but he's got 40 points through seven races. Yeesh. It's been brutal for him.)

Harvick is 31 points ahead of David Gilliland, who is 31st in the standings. So somehow, Harvick would have to be worse than he is now and keep dropping points.

This is where the top-30 rule is a real savior for Harvick. With a string of good finishes, he'd likely claw his way into the top-20 and be eligible for the Wild Card under the new system (and we think he will). But now he doesn't have to have 20th (or higher) as his mandatory goal for Chase qualification.

Now, on to a question that's in response to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s preference for smaller motors over restrictor plates.


As if public opinion or yelling at a politician means anything anymore (it doesn't).  Smaller motors, less cubic centimeters, less torque, less flying metal in the air? NO. We like carnage. We like the crashes and the vehicles upside down at 200+ mph. We pity those paid ticket holders that risk their lives voluntarily to be part of the focus of attention that FOX, ESPN, NBC, etc, all will pay MILLIONS of worthless US Dollars for.  The whole idea is so politically correct and moronic. Why do 90% of the people watch? CRASHES. As in any sport, the players are replaceable. Does anybody give a (you know what) if today's drivers are replaced tomorrow? More horsepower and unlimited speed; that's what the people who pay and watch want. Nobody else will say it. - Randy

Oh Randy, you're so wrong and insensitive and trolling.

What's politically correct about having a smaller engine on a Sprint Cup Series car? What's politically uncorrect about the current motors now? And what does it have to do with crashes at all?

What if smaller motors and less horsepower equaled lower speeds and therefore closer, better racing. What could be a byproduct of that racing? Crashes. There could be even MORE crashes with smaller motors. How does that go with your letter? (I'm not even going to dignify the part about drivers being replaceable.)

Who really cares about speed records anyway? Any NASCAR fan who watches their fair share of races has seen how aerodynamically dependent the cars have become for speed. Slowing them down may take away some of that aerodynamic dependence. Was Tony Stewart's qualifying lap Saturday impressive? Yes. But it's not something we should point to and say NASCAR needs to keep when looking at engine sizes. There's nothing wrong with slowing the cars down. After Clint Bowyer said he went 217 MPH at Michigan, don't you think it may be a good idea?

Clearly! Junior should have just gone into the grass at an indirect angle and everything would have been just fine. Yes, that's a sarcastic tweet. We have to have fun once in a while. Like this next one too.

This is a great question. Would he have more success if he stayed at Kentucky for another year rather than leaving for the NBA? Parking on college campuses can be NASCARish at times, and Randle may get more practical experience there than in the land of primo parking spots in the NBA.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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