Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or @NickBromberg.We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy.
From Dover we head to Pocono, which, hey, last year you would have been making a "oh, I can't wait to nap!" joke about Pocono. If you're still doing that after last year's two races, you're crazy. The two Pocono races were very good. The extremely early returns from chopping off 100 miles from the race distance are positive.
This is a bit of a NASCAR nerd moment, but did anyone see the entry list for Texas' Camping World Truck Series race Friday night? 27 trucks. While NASCAR may be good for the people at the top, being nine trucks short of a full field for an intermediate track race isn't a good sign for the people at the bottom. (Hmm... I wonder where else the "Good at the top but not so much below" comments are applicable?)
Granted, it's not that much different than a 33 truck field with seven start-and-parks (at least one of the trucks in Friday's race is a start-and-park), but it's not a good trend. Last week at Dover, six of 35 trucks were retired within 20 laps. When is the next time we'll see the Truck Series with teams failing to qualify on a semi-regular basis?
On to the questions, and somewhat fittingly, the first one has to do with money.
Can you explain why a NASCAR driver can finish farther back in the field and their listed winnings can be more than someone who finished in a better position? Example: Carl Edwards finished 4th in the Coca-Cola 600 winning $174,980, Jamie McMurray finished 5th and collected $186,219 in winnings. There are many more examples of this in every race and I’ve always wondered why? - Jim
Explaining sponsor and contingency program money is a pain in the butt, Jim. And it really shouldn't be, but there is a TON of factors involved when it comes to money. Which is why it's a good thing to ignore it altogether. (It wouldn't be a bad idea if newspapers crunched for agate space simply ditched the winnings. It's a terrible indicator of race performance.)
There's factors like the American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award (which adds $5,000 to a driver's total) and other awards, which not all drivers are eligible for. Plus, if a team finished in the Chase the previous season, it is in the Victory Tour. It's a quagmire.
(Kyle Busch) had a top 3 car and was taken out by bonehead 15. Why do people expect him to be happy about this?????????????
P.S. Get rid of him and his kind and fill the field with Danica's. Or maybe I will spend my extra cash watching hot dog eating contests. - Steven
I don't think anyone expected Kyle to be happy about what happened at Dover on Sunday. But is chasing down Clint Bowyer on the track the best way to deal with your anger? Probably not. It's a damn good thing Kyle backed off and cooler heads prevailed. There could have been a severe punishment involved.
Until Kyle Busch wins a championship (it's going to happen sooner rather than later), the way he handles setbacks and frustration will always be questioned. And hell, just like his brother, the questions will still likely linger after a championship. But they happen because the Busch brothers tend to handle their anger differently than others do. And you know what? That anger is probably what helps make them good drivers too. It's simply a matter of channeling it appropriately.
Anyway, I was wondering about Ms Patrick. I was rooting for her when she joined nascar and believe she has been at it for at least 3 years now. I am sure that Tony Stewart provides her with great equipment to drive. She seems to end each race either wrecked or many laps behind. Do you feel she will ever be competitive in Sprint cup. She appears afraid to run hard against the boys and if that is the case she will never be successful. I wish the best for her but she needs to start finishing in the top 15 at least I would think by this time. - Don
I know, some of you are saying "Danica? Again?" Look, the email above Don's mentioned her and Don's obviously does. It's a weekly theme. She's by far the most overwhelming driver mentioned in emails, and anything written about her elicits more emails than any post about other drivers. She's interesting enough to elicit reactions from people.
Will Danica be competitive? Yes, I think she is competitive on an infrequent basis already, though I'm sure the definition of "competitive" changes. Will she be "competitive for a Sprint Cup Series title in her career? No, I don't think so. But I've been wrong before.
@nickbromberg is the only team that can beat the 4 actually just the 4?— Philip Jones (@philgoodstory) June 5, 2014
Yes, I think so. Just think of how the storylines are different if he doesn't have the myriad of issues he has. he's staring at a win at Kansas, a win at the All-Star Race, and maybe even a win in the 600 if he doesn't run out of gas or have issues on pit road. And then there's Las Vegas, Texas, Bristol and Dover too.
Of course, you can't wish away the bad things in racing, but Harvick would be deemed unstoppable if those issues disappeared. I tend to look at it this way, though. If Harvick's team is having issues, they're having good issues. Searching for speed is different than having speed and simply trying to get your house in order. Yes, both can equally shake your confidence, but having a consistently fast car could pay off in the Chase, especially if Harvick's misfortune has cycled away.
@NickBromberg Is this your last Happy Hour and podacst before you join POTUS on his strength and conditioning staff?— Brian Cullather (@Briancullather) June 5, 2014
Brian just spoiled the surprise. I am leaving for Washington D.C. next week to become an official member of his staff and help him work out. I look forward to traveling the globe with him and working out in hotel gyms across the world.
No, I'm really not. (If you don't get the joke, click here.) Though Mr. President (and your staff), if you are reading this (and someone, somewhere, may be) I am more than willing to offer my services to help your exercise routine. We can get you even better on the basketball court in no time and so intimidating that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not want to challenge you to a shirtless arm-wrestling contest. I assume that's how many foreign policy discussions are solved, right?
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