NASCAR Brings Great Racing

The sports desk is found beneath the levels of RedState and we are sorry for the long absence. The first step was to locate the desk. It was hidden under heaps of gold and blue glitter left from the Golden State Warriors championship parade. And just as we were moving along on this aspect, Sammy the Shark and Karl the Kraken were engaged in a fish cracker fight to mark the NHL season's final game, which culminated with the Colorado Avalanche hoisting the Stanley Cup. It took forever to remove everything from behind the couch cushions. We're now back, and enjoying some fantastic NASCAR action.

In what is easily the most exciting race from start to finish of the season, Chase Elliott held off the hard-charging field to take home the Quaker State 400, presented by Walmart, in the face of a small but packed crowd at his track home, Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 10th. The win is what makes Elliott the first time, three-time winner of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series.

Atlanta's recent redesign, which added additional banking facilities, has transformed into a mini superspeedway. The cars can be driven in tight lines and a proper technique for drafting is essential. Elliott is comfortable in any track configuration, performing an excellent job manipulating the draft and knowing when to push or be forced back to win the victory.

The race was a source of several plot lines along the course including one of which was the escalation of Denny Hamlin's beef on the track with Ross Chastain. The dispute began some time ago on World Wide Technology Raceway, which is located near St. Louis. Chastain caused a crash for Hamlin in the facility's first NASCAR Cup race, and while he uttered the right things following the incident, it appears he did not learn anything because a piece of careless, aggressive driving at Atlanta drove Hamlin's vehicle into a spin, following Chastain hit him on the rear of his left. Hamlin took his post-race remarks carefully, and from now on, heightened focus will be on the race every time Hamlin or Chastain are near one another at any race.

Positively, it was the solid run of Corey Lajoie, whose 21st place finish does not in any way indicate how impressive his performance was. Lajoie spent the majority of the race in the front, but he fell short on the final lap when his attempt to squeeze past Elliott in the middle fell short. Elliott threw a block and Lajoie crashed into the outer wall, which led to the end of the race with a multi-car crash. 

As mentioned, the performance from the green flag to the checkered flag was the main event of the day. The lead changes were often frequent and Elliott winning the opening two races was an indication of the level of his performance and not a sign of a lack of competition on the track. The disappointed crowd will surely be permanently in the rearview mirror the following year, since even an ignorant NASCAR enthusiast will be eager to experience this type of racing pure excitement in the flesh.

It also demonstrated the fact that, despite efforts from NASCAR managers to be a “woke” game, it's still the sport of the masses. While there's nothing really modern about the cars of today, they have an equivocal resemblance to the cars we see in showrooms of dealers. The drivers are grounded, and are easily accessible to people who love them. In the realm of racing the car that was introduced this year has demonstrated that it's the four-wheel version of the classic Timex commercials for watches, in that it is able to take a beating and continue to tick. This is different from the Formula One car which disintegrates when a butterfly sneezes in its direction. Are you looking for action and excitement? Watch clips from this race and you'll be very happy.

NASCAR has seen a decline in its popularity over the last several years. Events like those scheduled for 2022 Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Atlanta Motor Speedway will bring it back quicker than you could claim “boogity boogity boogity.”

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