This weekend’s race was the first time this year that most fantasy racing fans and drivers were satisfied with new gen-6 car. Unfortunately for Bristol Motor Speedway, we cannot say all of the fans were happy because many did not show up, the grandstands at Bristol were barren; possibly the worst attendance in years in spite of a giveaway of a 2013 mustangs to ten lucky fans. There were also several unhappy drivers, but not due to the gen-6 car; notably Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano were upset over driving style. Overall, to the majority of fans, the race was great and a positive sign of things to come in NASCAR.
Bristol was a fairly clean race, which bodes well for fantasy racing picks. It is impossible to anticipate a driver wrecking or not, so most picks are made with the assumption that the driver will finish the race based on ability. However, there was one hiccup that took a lot of drivers out this week and their fantasy players with them: tires.
Several factors aligned this week at Bristol. The new gen-6 car allows for hard driving which wears tires much quicker. Bristol is a half mile track where position is crucial. A two tire change and a four tire change may mean the difference of 10-15 spots. Also, Bristol is a tight track, a blown tire almost certainly means hitting the wall and possibly taking someone with you. If you started Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, tires took you out.
In the end Kasey Kahne (DFR pick) held off Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Kurt Busch (also all DFR picks) in a race of last man standing, but the excitement at the end did not involve the leaders, it centered on Denny Hamlin. First, The FedEx Toyota driven by Hamlin would not turn. For the final five laps, Hamlin slid the car along the wall forcing his car to turn. While some fantasy players held their breath as Hamlin nursed the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota home, many others were screaming for a caution flag that did not come.
The excitement did not end when Hamlin pulled his car into the pits. Before Hamlin could exit the car, an irate Joey Logano charged towards the driver’s side window. As Logano poked his head into the car to shout at Hamlin, he was pushed away by a FedEx team member. Shoving and shouting between the teams ensued, but nothing serious. At least not serious enough to stop the FedEx team member from working on the back window of the Toyota during the ruckus. No, he just kept on going about his business.
The two would later take the fued to twitter making the rather sheepish fight even more emasculated. The feud arose from Logano being upset over a bump from former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin that ruined a pretty solid day. However, DFR listeners were pretty excited about the bump because it helped our picks come through. If you would like to help fan the flames here is there twitter accounts: @joeylogano and @dennyhamlin. I’m not sure a twitter shout out is enough thanks for what Denny Hamlin did for DFR this week.