The Friday Five: About Those Pesky Green White Checkereds…by Kyle Pokrefky October 30, 2015 1 comment
‘The Friday Five’ returns this week on TheFourthTurn.com as I take a look at and give my opinion on five topics surrounding the racing world entering this upcoming race weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
Green white checkered finishes, drivers angry with each other and silly season moves galore – these last several days have had a little bit of everything to them.
I’m interested in reading your thoughts on these subjects as well, so feel free to drop a comment below. Also, feel free to suggest things for me to write about in next week’s edition!
Those pesky green white checkereds, what should be done with them and how will it be done?
Thankfully, the one green white checkered rule only applied to this past weekend’s races at Talladega Superspeedway and thus we won’t have to deal with said rule this week at Martinsville Speedway. Given that, Martinsville is known for its high contact races, but a race at the track has only used two green white checkered restarts at most since the introduction of the rule.
After two races over the weekend that ended with the flying of a yellow flag before the white flag was taken, lots of people have been wondering as to what NASCAR should do with the restrictor plate green white checkered procedures.
Personally, I think you’re either going to have to just end a race at its scheduled distance or implement the ARCA Racing Series’s procedures and run until a green-flag finish has been achieved. I’m fine with either decision, but what I believe NASCAR truly needs to do is do away with a set number of green white checkered finishes – even though the full allotment of three are rarely used.
The real trick is taking what the drivers, team owners and fans want and balancing each of their needs. With that, NASCAR really isn’t in an enviable position when it comes to making changes to its green white checkered policy ahead of the 2016 Speedweeks.
The drivers have had plenty of things go their way with the sanctioning body this year with the low-downforce package being implemented for 2016 and adjusted restart zones as of late; and with that, maybe the key to what the future holds for Daytona and Talladega lays in their hands.
It’s Martinsville weekend, will there by payback and who will be on the receiving end of it?
Let’s recap, shall we? Matt Kenseth’s peeved at Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth’s peeved at Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin’s peeved at Kevin Harvick, Trevor Bayne’s peeved at Kevin Harvick and Tony Gibson’s peeved at Tony Stewart for having a better Halloween costume than him…I think. Okay, that last one may be made up.
With all of these drivers holding some sort of animosity towards another, Martinsville Speedway is an absolutely perfect venue for any sort of payback as close quarters racing is inevitable at the track.
In my eyes, I don’t see any action being taken against Harvick this weekend by those who pointed the finger at him following the final caution of the CampingWorld.com 500. However, I do see Kenseth voicing his displeasure with Logano out on the race track this weekend – perhaps not by flat out dumping the No. 22, but just by roughing him up getting into a corner.
Bayne, Hamlin and Kenseth have had an entire week to hopefully simmer down after an adrenaline-fueled ending to Talladega; Kenseth meanwhile voiced his continued displeasure with Logano’s Kansas-winning move at Talladega and chances are that he’s still not pleased two weeks after said incident.
Who of the ‘Eliminator Eight’ needs a win at Martinsville the most?
Obviously, everybody left in the Chase really needs a win as it’s the only surefire way to move on to the championship round at Homestead, but, of the eight drivers remaining I have to say that this is a do or die weekend for Jeff Gordon.
Gordon remains the only winless driver in the Chase, but, of any race in this round – Gordon has had the most success at Martinsville Speedway.
As we’ve seen through the midstages of the season’s summer stretch, Hendrick Motorsports hasn’t had the raw pace that both Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske have had, but Martinsville should serve as an equalizer for the team considering how dominant the organization has been there.
In what is his final year in Sprint Cup competition, if Gordon wants to go out with a bang then he’s going to need to get off on the right foot at a track that has provided him with eight victories.
Justin Allgaier to JR Motorsports, good move or bad move?
The acquisition of Justin Allgaier by JR Motorsports that was announced on Wednesday can be seen as nothing but a positive for both parties.
With sponsor BRANDT at his side, Allgaier had the option of possibly moving over to Richard Petty Motorsports’s Sprint Cup operation next year if Sam Hornish Jr. were to be let go – but that would only really serve as a mid-pack ride for the current sophomore driver.
By dropping to the XFINITY level, the three-time race winner in the XFINITY ranks has a chance to show off his talents once again with the help of one of the top teams in the series’s garage. Like what his predecessor Regan Smith is working on doing with his results in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, Allgaier can use this opportunity to vault himself into a strong ride at the Sprint Cup level.
The addition of a veteran in Allgaier and a sponsor in BRANDT also brings some much needed stability to the JR Motorsports organization. With Allgaier’s partnership in BRANDT and 2016 teammate Elliott Sadler’s partnership of OneMain Financial in their pocket, the future is looking secure for the three-car operation.
Speaking of Allgaier to JRM, where is Regan Smith going?
After spending three years in the XFINITY Series with JR Motorsports after dropping down from a Sprint Cup ride with Furniture Row Racing, Regan Smith has certainly proven that he is ready to make the jump back to NASCAR’s top level.
However, there’s two issues with that – there aren’t a lot of top rides available heading into 2016 and Smith doesn’t have any sponsorship attached to him; if he did, he’d have been locked into a contract with JR Motorsports for next season.
The status of the driver for the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 9 in Sprint Cup is murky for 2016, but now that he’s a free agent, Smith’s name has to be a the top of the team’s shortlist for possible drivers for the seat next year if Sam Hornish Jr. is to be let go.
The fact that he doesn’t have sponsorship shouldn’t exactly be viewed as a be all, end all for Smith though as Hornish Jr. didn’t have any sponsors attached to him as he inked his deal with Richard Petty Motorsports in Q3 2014.
If RPM doesn’t come calling, Smith’s better off working on moving his way into another XFINITY team’s garage in 2016. Richard Childress Racing (Brian Scott’s contract not settled yet), Roush Fenway Racing (possible successor to Elliott Sadler?) and HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi (will Brennan Poole return? Will Dylan Kwasniewski get another shot?) could possibly be landing spots for this year’s two-time race winner as their driver lineups for 2016 have yet to be set.
Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images