1. Should a win via disqualification count toward the postseason?
NASCAR dodged a major bullet on Sunday (July 26) afternoon at Pocono Raceway.
But what if it had happened the week before?
At New Hampshire, Bubba Wallace finished third. What if, theoretically, the top two finishers were disqualified there, instead?
If so, you’d have Wallace being awarded a win and postseason berth, so long as there wasn’t an eventual regular-season total of 17 different race winners.
First of all – can you imagine the vitriol directed at Wallace for having two wins – one shortened by weather and another due to someone else failing inspection? To quote ace Mayberry mechanic Gomer Pyle: “Shazam!”
Secondly – you’d have someone in the postseason not of their own win, but by way of someone else failing inspection.
NASCAR has rightly taken away wins for failing inspection. The race winner can be credited with a win and celebrate all they want, but a win as a result of another failed inspection should not count toward the postseason.
2. Are Hamlin and Chastain really even?
On one hand, you can argue that things are square between Hamlin and Ross Chastain after Hamlin ran Chastain hard enough to where he ran out of racetrack and a shot to win at Pocono.
Is the feud over? Time will tell, but I would not bet on it.
Remember, Hamlin and Chastain went at it at both World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, though Atlanta was not in the same vein as Chastain noted his car was ill-handling prior to running into Hamlin.
But how much did Sunday really cost Chastain? He’s in the postseason, so not winning Pocono is not a huge hit. It didn’t do anything to impact his season. If something like this happens in the playoffs, however, it would.
And with Hamlin noting on Sunday that he’d still race Chastain how he’s been raced?
As Yogi Berra said, “it ain’t over till it’s over.”
By all accounts, this feud is not over.
3. Does making the postseason define success?
By all accounts, you could call the seasons that Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex, Jr. have had successful. Here were are in August, and on points alone they’re third and fifth in the standings, respectively. Ask any driver when they unload in February at Daytona, and they’d call…