Friday, May 04, 2012

Richmond rearview and Talladega preview

Mike Mulhern perviews Talladega and looks back again at a Richmond 400 that is becoming more and more controversial.

My take: Surprisingly, Mulhern doesn't particularly delve into the possibility that two-car superdrafts could become a force again at Talladega despite NASCAR's absurd changes to spoilers and radiators intended to break them up. Given that Talladega is more forgiving than Daytona - and given that tandem drafts decided all the Speedweeks races leading up to a 500 where the drivers seemed to quit on trying to win after waiting through two rain delays and then the bizarre Montoya crash with a jet dryer - one can be confident the tandems will make some sort of comeback; they're still a power to pass stronger than anything else. I expect the Winston 500 to be the same mixture of the pack and tandem drafts the Daytona Shootout was. The points racers will of course stroke it until the end like they usually do. I'm certainly hoping the tandems come back because the passing produced is awe-inspiring. 

Aric Almirola got to a strong start with a superb Friday practice - he needs to back it up on Sunday in the debut race of his new crew chief. 

The Richmond controversy just won't go away, as Mulhern notes spotters were told four different times Carl Edwards was the leader, this on top of every scoring angle showing Edwards as the leader. And there's the fact Tony Stewart utterly gagged the restart.

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