On a crazy Sunday in sports, Nascar fans watched the most chaotic race at Texas Motor Speedway in recent memory. Between plenty of blown tires in the race and new rivalries were formed, an anticipated boring race from Texas was anything but. Not to mention, another non playoff driver took the win.
First let's talk pre-race. Brad Keselowski grabbed the pole marking his first pole for RFK Racing and his first pole as a driver/owner in the 6 car. RFK seems to be on a little bit of a hot streak coming off their win last week at Bristol with Chris Bueshcer and a pole this week with Brad. Look for RFK to possibly be a threat to win some more races for the remainder of the season. Playoff wise, we saw Joey Logano, William Byron, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson and Daniel Suarez all make appearances in the Fast 10. One driver that had a disappointing qualifying effort was Chase Briscoe for Stewart Haas Racing. He started Sunday’s race from the 30th position, all but eliminating him from contention during the race.
Above all, the accidents that came from blown Goodyear tires was the biggest story from the race.
Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, Christopher Bell again, Cody Ware, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Chris Buescher, Chris Buescher again, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. all had blown tires in this event. This was the worst event for tires since 2008 in the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While the 2008 crown jewel was much worse with tires bursting every ten laps, this Texas showing was not far behind. Every 25-30 laps it seemed like we were seeing an accident with a blown tire going into turn 4. Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex had the exact same crash, wrecking from the lead. Chase Elliott had the most significant crash of the race on Sunday, losing a tire and bursting into flames.
Safety is and has been a huge concern with the Next Gen car. We have had drivers complaining of hard hits since the first test of the new vehicle. Light impacts with the wall have led to drivers having soreness and concussions. In the case of Kurt Busch, a qualifying crash at Pocono turned into a season ending concussion. Cody Ware also had a bad crash on Sunday when he blew a tire coming out of turn 4 and crashed head on into the safer barrier. Ware then crashed down pit road and came to a stop in the 78 pit. He was shaken up and was taken to the infield care center in an ambulance. Ware ended up being checked and released with the only injury being ankle soreness. The Next Gen cars as Brad Keselowski always says, need some massive changes in the safety department.
For the third time this season, Tyler Reddick captures the checkered flag. This was Reddick’s third win of his Cup Series career and his first win on an oval. Reddick previously won this season at Road America and at the Indy Road Course. The 8 car was eliminated last week from the 2022 Championship but that hasn’t slowed him down. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the RCR 8 in victory lane again before the season wraps up. Texas certainly wasn’t the best race of the season. Too many crashes, too many problems with the NEXT Gen car. Plus with the racing at Texas being the way it is, we saw really no passing on track unless drivers got loose and out of the bottom groove.
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