The rare weekend off for NASCAR has pretty much slowed down the sports world with the exception of March Madness of course. To get back into the groove, this should be a good time to have a review of what all had went on during the first five races of the 2016 Sprint Cup Series. There was no doubt some thrills that were truly memorable, and some not so. Let’s have a look before we head over to Martinsville.
What’s most likely the most memorable so far are the close finishes that have occurred, and most likely by record time. Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr were both shooting for their first ever Daytona 500 win, as Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing got the season off to a strong start. It was Hamlin who pulled off the squeaker by .011 seconds, making it one of the closest finishes in Daytona 500 history.
Talking about close finishes, Kevin Harvick was looking to win at Phoenix for the fifth time in six races, but JGR tried to have a say about it. While Harvick led the most laps with 139, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch combined for 140 laps. But it was Edwards who wanted the win after the Fall race was shortened due to rain and knocked him out of the Chase. After some banging and pushing in the final laps, it was Harvick who proved that he was truly the king of Phoenix, beating Edwards by 0.010, the closest finish in Phoenix International Raceway history.
If there’s one individual able to hold off JGR’s advances early in the season, it’s Jimmie Johnson. Being the all-time wins leader at Atlanta and Fontana, Johnson is able to show that he’s ready to contend for Sprint Cup title number seven. By the way, Johnson leads among active drivers, as Bobby Labonte actually leads all-time at Atlanta.
Right now, it’s Hendrick, JGR and Harvick running the show after five races. You also have to give praise to the new aerodynamic package installed which proved successful during a few races last season. Now that the off week is over with, it’s time to get back to business. It’s time for more heated competition and more NASCAR Feuds to get started.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Bryan Law