Vickers wins Pole award….. then gets a quick trip to the rear of the field for having to change an engine. Now is this going to hurt him? Nope it won’t … as long as he can stay out of trouble coming to the front, California is not a track where starting position is important, well you will talk to some who disagree, but really it’s not. Look at it this way, on last lap of the warm ups he can dip to the pits and top off his fuel, giving him a couple laps extra that other teams won’t have. Will it be a race winning move? No I doubt it. But it will give him a little bit of an edge over the other drivers up until the first round of stops, thus helping him get back to the front.
One thing that surprised me was how slow the 5 were who didn’t make the race. Mike Garvey looked like he was out for a Sunday drive, Sterlin Marlin must have had engine problems, but it was a full field. Many people were saying that NASCAR wouldn’t be able to put a full field on the track after Daytona, well so far so good.
Now lets look at the testing issues, recently Jeff Burton who drives for RCR had this to say.”Some teams are able to be productive without testing. Some teams are very test-reliant; I am in no way saying the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) can’t win the championship this year because I believe they obviously can, but if you look at what they did last year, they struggled early in the year. They went and did a lot of testing and got a lot better. If you didn’t have that testing, what could you have done in that situation? I think every team is looking really hard at how, under these rules, can you be effective.” Now everyone knows that the top teams in NASCAR all have the 7 post shaker rigs, a device used to simulate a certain race tracks surface, now this will be good for shocks and springs but it don’t do squat for tires, and last year with the weeping track where water was seeping out of the seams in the track causing problems left and right, testing this year would have been at a premium, but with no testing it seems to even the field out just a little bit, the race on Sunday will tell the tale.
Kasey Kahne three consecutive top-10s. he has only one bad finish in his last seven efforts, which came as the result of an engine failure in spring 2007; all other results in that time have been top-10s, including a win in fall 2006. This Richard Petty Motorsports team is going to have to step up and prove that the 3 cars in the top 10 at Daytona was not a fluke.
Matt Kennseth the hot “rouschkateer” this year coming off his win at Daytona he will be up front on Sunday .
Carl Edwards He has been a force to be reckoned with here for a while and Rousch has been a hot team here along with HMS as they have won 10 of the last 12 races in the spring.
Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon each have 3 wins each at Fontana so you have to put them in the mix. But is the lack of testing going to hurt the “super team”? Yeah I think it will.
A.J. Almendinger he posted the 8th best time in qualifying and I think he is going to be a real force as he bust his butt to get that full time ride. The dr has heard rumors that the sponsorship deal is a done deal just waiting on the ink to dry.
So there are my thoughts and my picks for Sunday’s race now we will see how close I am..