Friday, April 11, 2008

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

I'm talking about a race that was exciting from start to finish--the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, Friday night. To use the vernacular of the old action/thriller movie trailer, it was "Full of Thrills," and featured "More Action Than Ever Before!"
Indeed, this is what we are talking about when we urge people to forget about the Nationwide Series as being the "Junior League," or the "Feeder Series" for the Sprint Cup. People who feel that way do not know what they are missing.
Friday night, we saw the kind of racing that will help establish the Nationwide Series as a premier racing series on its own.
Nobody took the lead without a fight, even, from the start as Brad Keselowski held off Kyle Busch for several laps. The majority of the race was between Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch, however, and they battled lap after lap.
Denny Hamlin, Jeff Burton, and Kevin Harvick also threatened to take the lead at various time during the race, but the main battle continued between the two drivers many journalists consider the two best in NASCAR, and they raced each other hard and clean.
As exciting as the race was there were some disappointments (aside from the dyslexia my fingers developed while writing this) There should have been more people in the stands. Phoenix comes out in droves for their NASCAR weekends, but I suppose the baseball game vs "my" Colorado Rockies pretty much competed for attention.
The Nationwide Series offers all the excitement of NASCAR style racing, but shorter races, so those who complain about the Cup races being too long should have been there.
Also, it would have been fun to see what would have happened if the caution hadn't come out with three laps left. Busch and Edwards were racing hard to the finish, and though, Carl may have been able to pass Kyle, we will never know. Thus we finished with a green/white/checker finish which left us without a resolution to the question "Who is better in a head-to-head race, Carl or Kyle?"
Still it was satisfying. It was the kind of racing we should always hope to see.

The race story

Race results.

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