The most important line in NASCAR lately doesn’t involve when the checkered flag waves and definitively determines the winner of a race. No, this line is much hazier: The apparently nebulous border between being regarded a well-heeled, responsible citizen of NASCAR Nation who still gets a point across and (gasp!) an irresponsible scofflaw who indiscriminately commits revenge in the least noble of ways. In the wake of Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon escaping punishment for attempting to handle their own administering of justice, it seems everyone is searching for a line on where the line is in NASCAR … Or if it exists at all. These are desperate times, kids! (Especially with the Cup Series headed to Martinsville
Kyle Larson couldn’t be caught Sunday. As always, Power Rankings are far from a scientific formula. Larson is pulling a Kevin Harvick with his domination of the Cup Series through the first five weeks of the season.
This time there would not be another hard-charging comeback by Jimmie Johnson. Johnson, the record six-time winner at Auto Club Speedway and defending winner of the Auto Club 400, had to start near the rear of the 39-car field Sunday after he failed to qualify because he crashed his practice car. Johnson climbed back to about mid-field but not much higher in his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He finished 21st. And on Lap 155, he found himself spun around in his pit stall and facing the pit wall after swerving to avoid hitting Martin Truex’s Toyota during a pit stop. “We definitely didn’t have the fastest car out there today,” said Johnson, who won his seventh championship in the Monster