NASCAR: Phoenix week

Published 8:27 pm Friday, February 25, 2011

Does the Trevor Bayne situation change how you feel about the fact that once you declare for one series, you can’t accumulate points in another?

Ken Mays: Not at all. I think that its only fair for the younger drivers that the big guns have to choose which series they want to win. I do not think that Travor Bayne thought he had a chance to win the Super Bowl of NASCR when the green flag dropped. It all just worked out in his favor and he was fortunate enough to win it. I highly doubt that he could have done it on the old surface of the past races.

Jason Cannon: If you run a race, you should get points. Since Bayne declared to run for the Nationwide Title, he shouldn’t be eligible for the Sprint Title but he should still accumulate points.

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Mark Trest: I like the new rule. If a racer isnt going to compete for the championship, say, running a few select races, then why should he accumulate points?. The racers committed to the series should be getting those points. I dont like the rule stating a racer can only compete for one championship though. Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, just to name a couple, can and have proven they are capable of competing for multiple titles.

When Richard Childress Racing dropped it’s fourth car after the 2009 season, the team almost immediately started to perform better. Now, after one race and going back to four cars, they blew up two engines and dropped a cylinder on a third. Is this a sign that RCR has gone back to quantity over quality?

Ken Mays: Maybe so. But I would be willing to bet that it will not happen like that again this season. I think that RCR has some issues with his drivers wanting to out do each other and is trying to over drive their cars and are blowing them up. Also I really do not think that they was prepared for such a RMP rating that the track was giving them last Sunday.

Jason Cannon: I think the changes to the radiator cap, the new surface and the two car drafting had more to do with it than anything. Up until Sunday, Childress engines had been, historically, among the most reliable on the track. I just don’t think the engineers got everything worked out for the heat and pressure of what transpired Sunday.

Mark Trest: I think RCR’s woes are more of a Daytona thing than an internal issue with engines. With the “new” evolution of 2-car drafting, and a new racing surface, there appeared to be a lot of learning on the job, meaning the teams havent completely figured this thing out yet. I look for improvement from all teams the next time they visit Daytona.

How does Trevor Bayne’s win compare to “what could have been” with Dale Junior or Michael Waltrip in Victory Lane?

Ken Mays: I think Dale would have been proud of the young man but, I really think that if he had still been alive and was behind that young and wet behind the ear boy he would have figured out some way to get in front of him at the finish line.

Jason Cannon: That was probably one of the best Daytona races I’ve seen in a while and Trevor Bayne winning was better than Dale Junior or Michael Waltrip winning. It was good to see the No. 21 and the Wood Brothers back in victory lane.

Mark Trest: Trevor Bayne winning Daytona was definitely the feel good story of Speedweeks, and he deserves all the accolades that come with it. Congrats Trevor! I’m sure Waltrip or Earnhardt winning the race would have been a huge, emotional, sentimental win for all the teams and fans. Thought it might happen there for a while when Junior was running up front late in the race.

Whose performance, other than the obvious, impressed you the most Sunday?

Ken Mays: I think Carl Edwards showed a little more promise than he did last year. He really ran a pretty good race and also Stewart Hass Racing showed that they will be a good contender too.

Jason Cannon: It’s hard to overlook what Kurt Busch pulled off over a span of about eight days. It looks like they’re going to be a team to reckon with this season.

Mark Trest: David Gilliland, Bobby Labonte, and Regan Smith managed to pull off Top 5 and Top 10 finishes amid all the attrition, while driving for “lesser” teams in the field. That is a major feat in this age of racing. These 3 teams may never see another Top 5 or Top 10 finish the rest of the season.

Who is your pick to win this weekend?

Ken Mays: I am going with Cousin Carl Edwards this week because my wife and I both agreed that he has a good chance. Plus, we hardly ever agree on anything.

Jason Cannon: It’s not a smart move to bet against Jimmie Johnson in Phoenix. We didn’t really get to good look at the 48 team Sunday and I expect them to come out with guns blazing.

Mark Trest: I seem to recall Jimmie Johnson being the man to beat at Phoenix, so he’s my pick to win this week.