1. ME AND YOU...AND YOU AND ME!
|Drivers in the 2-car breakaway formation at a test in January 2011.|
I'm not sure anyone know what causes these two car breakaways but they are a force to be dealt with. They showed up in this year's Shootout with a vengeance and totally ruined the racing. For weeks we've heard from commentators and track officials how the new surface at Daytona would make the racing there better than ever and while the speed's were the highest they've been since the mid 80's (Michael Waltrip topped 206 mph!) the overall "racing" was poor. Sure, there was a record number of lead changes but watching the groups of two for 75 laps tonight was not fun at all. I would just about bet that NASCAR makes a rule change on Monday or Tuesday to 1. reduce the speeds and 2. attempt to find a way to limit or cut out entirely the two-car breakaway.
2. THE FINISH
The finish of this year's Shootout will certainly leave alot of folks talking for weeks to come. For all the benefits of the "yellow-line rule" it sure does cause alot of arguments as well. Coming to the checkered flag, Denny Hamlin was pushing Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurrary was pushing Kurt Busch. As they came to the stripe, Hamlin ducked out from behind Newman and made a move to the inside. (WARNING: the next few sentences contain my opinion based on what I saw in the live finish and replays!) As Hamlin was making the pass, he crossed below the yellow line JUST AFTER HE PASSED RYAN NEWMAN FOR THE LEAD. The NASCAR rule book says you can't cross below the double yellow line to advance your position. If Hamlin already had the lead, how was he advancing his position below the line? In a post race interview he said he did so as a safety move since spinning Newman at those speed's would surely mean Newman would get airborne. NASCAR said he was advancing his position though and gave the win to Kurt Busch, who made a late charge with McMurrary pushing to secure what looked like a 2nd place finish.
Well, those are the two biggest things I took away form this years Budweiser Shootout but I'm sure everyone has a thousand different opinions. So please, share your comments, thoughts, and opinions on the 2011 running of the Budweiser Shootout!