Welcome to Katie’s Komment’s, a place to find the latest NASCAR news and my opinion on it! All comments are my views only but feel free to leave your own!
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale Jr. has been on a hot streak since the season opener. He started off by finishing in the runner-up position for the Great American Race and hasn’t finished outside of the top-10 yet this season! Heading into Martinsville, Jr. is coming off of another second place run AND Martinsville is arguably his best track on the circuit. Although he has never won at the paperclip, he hasn’t finished lower than 15th in the spring race since his inaugural start in 2000. If Earnhardt Jr. can keep his streak up, he is in a good position to not only win races this season, but be a serious contender for the Championship. He had a very strong run going last season until a concussion midway through the Chase ended his Championship hopes. The No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team is more than ready to win races and I don’t see them slowing down any time soon. I can see Jr. finally making it to victory lane this Sunday at Martinsville. It will be his 600th NASCAR start (NNS and Cup combined) and with the momentum he has, this might just be Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s week to capture the checkers.
Denny Hamlin: When I saw his No. 11 FedEx Toyota hit the concrete wall at Auto Club Speedway, I could tell it was not going to have a happy ending. The angle and sheer size of the impact was enough to send shivers down my spine. It was pretty clear after Hamlin climbed out of his car that he was injured and a back injury was exactly what many expected. A compression fracture of the L1 vertebrae would ultimately keep Hamlin out of the car for the foreseeable future. With a Doctor’s note saying 4 to 6 weeks out of the car, Hamlin now finds himself on top of the pit box and Mark Martin behind the wheel of his car at Martinsville. Hamlin’s return is slated to be Darlington, but in an interview this week he thinks otherwise. Hamlin hopes to return to the car as early as Richmond, his hometown track. It’s easy to see his urge to get back behind the wheel and wanting to race at your home track is completely understandable, but I think Richmond would be a little too early. Hamlin’s early return all depends on how his back heals, which will be determined in a few weeks. Until then, he will be sitting next to his Crew Chief, Darian Grubb, while watching another driver behind the wheel of his car.
Generation 6: The first few races with this new car could easily be called boring. There was little excitement on the track and many drivers found it hard to pass. The Daytona 500 was 500 miles of “follow the leader” and not much else. As the races added up, the excitement on the track got a little better…and then we hit Fontana. Auto Club Speedway isn’t usually known for its exciting races and I went into the weekend thinking we were going to be seeing more of the same thing but boy was I wrong. The Auto Club 400 was by far the best race of the season and it wasn’t all because of the driver feuds out on the track. The new Gen-6 car really seemed to shine in Fontana. It seems like more and more race teams are finding new ways to make these cars better. If the excitement at Martinsville is anything like Fontana, then race fans are in for one heck of a ride this weekend.
Joey Logano vs Everyone? : The on-track feud between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano will have to wait a few weeks until Hamlin is back in the car but there is a new battle brewing for Logano. Logano blocked Tony Stewart on the last restart in Fontana and his block caused Stewart to lose momentum. He went from a possible top-5 finish to finishing outside of the top-20. Stewart was noticeably upset after the race and confronted Logano. Punches were thrown, foul language was used, crew members got involved but in the end, nothing was solved. Stewart will definitely bring his anger and frustration towards Logano to the track at Martinsville so Logano might want to watch his back. Could there be other drivers out to get Logano? I really have no idea, but Logano might just have a few tough races in his future.
That will be it for the first edition of Katie’s Komments and remember, if you don’t like mine, feel free to leave your own!