Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Revved Up! Readers React to Week’s Biggest Racing News, Feb. 22 Edition

Icon SportswireGetty Images

The green flag has dropped on the start of the 2023 motorsports season, with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pulling off the surprise win in the Daytona 500.

Now, get ready for a lot more surprises not just in NASCAR, but also IndyCar, NHRA, Formula 1 and more!

Speaking of surprises, let’s look at some of the most surprising, most-read and most responded to stories from the past week in this week’s edition of REVVED UP!!

Ricky Stenhouse kept ahead of the ’Big One’ at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday.

getty images

Crash Bang Wallop! How Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Dodged Mayhem for Daytona 500 Victory

Readers Say:

• Motionman: The reason Daytona is so popular for the fans is that anybody can win, as has been proven year after year.

Autoweek Contributor Jerry Bonkowski Says:

JB Says: Exactly. Who would have guessed that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. would win this year’s 500, or rookie Austin Cindric would have come out of nowhere to win last year’s race or Michael McDowell the year before that? And the list of Daytona 500 surprises goes on and on over the 65 years of The Great American Race. Even if Stenhouse doesn’t win another race this season (like Cindric failed to do last season), Sunday’s win was a defining career moment for Stenhouse and JTG-Daugherty Racing. Going forward, they can proudly say they are members of one of racing’s most exclusive fraternities, namely, they are and always will be considered Daytona 500 champions. Even guys like Rusty Wallace, Terry Labonte and Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, among others, don’t have that accomplishment on their racing resumes.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. became the 42nd winner in Daytona 500 history.

getty images

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG-Daugherty Racing Slayed the Giants with Daytona 500 Win

Readers Say:

ccr5793: The problem with the superspeedway is no strategy, preparation, or execution matters in the final result. NASCAR does put on many great races during the year, examples being Bristol, Pocono sometimes, Darlington, etc. Just mho. I actually agree that superspeedway is not good racing. The best drivers and cars only win by luck. I only watched it because it is the first and only major series that starts this early. You do need to understand that many younger fans enjoy the high-speed parade.

• daninGA: I will never understand why so many people make negative comments. Whether you like it or not, it is an amazing accomplishment. Give the guy, and the team, some credit.

• sea2988: I watched, very boring parade for the three quarters. I think the driver of the day was Kyle Busch, from last to the top three, then knocked back to almost last again, then to work his way up to first was astounding. I think to be taken out by a bunch of clowns behind him was once again NASCAR’s obsession with a demolition derby for the last few laps to entertain the crowd.

Autoweek Contributor Jerry Bonkowski

JB Says: Daytona can appear to be a race of little strategy, more so just put the pedal all the way to the metal and hold on for dear life. But actually, there is more strategy than one might think. As for the comment from “daninGA”, I couldn’t agree more. Let’s give Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the whole JTG-Daugherty team their due. They won a race that 39 other teams would have given anything to win themselves. As for the comment from “sea2988”, I also thought the 500 was Kyle Busch’s to win. But it just shows how fickle Lady Luck can be at a place like Daytona or Talladega. Just when you think a win is in the bag, it only takes the last lap – heck, sometimes, even just the last couple hundred feet – for the expected anticipation of winning and (borrowing a well-work sports analogy) the thrill of victory to turn into the agony of defeat once again.

Brad Keselowski led late in this year’s Daytona 500.

Icon SportswireGetty Images

Why Brad Keselowski’s Bittersweet Daytona 500 Finish was Sweet for RFK Racing

Readers Say:

• TheStick: Keselowski needs to take up farming and drive tractors – has zero clue on bumping people except to push them into the wall. Worst driver I think I have ever seen in NASCAR and there are a lot of them but he takes the cake – not the sharpest pencil in the box either. Way to go Ricky – bout time.

Autoweek Contributor Jerry Bonkowski Says:

JB Says: Whoa, whoa, whoa, their “TheStick.” I’m going to stand up for Kes (and not just because he’s Polish like me! LOL). This is a guy who is a former Cup champion (2012) and has 35 Cup wins in his career. That is not the sign of a “worst driver” or a tractor driver, but rather, an outstanding driver. Admittedly, he’s had a rough go of it since shifting from Team Penske to part-ownership of Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing in 2022. But things will start turning around eventually. Sure, Sunday’s outing didn’t look great and essentially continued last year’s bad luck for RFKR, but Brad’s time will come again soon, mark my word.

Richard Petty is not a big fan of the Next Gen car.

getty images

Why Richard Petty ‘Feels Sorry’ for Current NASCAR Cup Series Drivers

Readers Say:

* ran8263: Each car needs a limited amount of “push to pass” and the cars should make dirty air to discourage long trains of cars.

* bowtie: I haven’t really followed NASCAR closely since Petty retired. Today’s NASCAR to me seems like nothing more than the old IROC series. I know it will never happen but the best thing NASCAR could do to increase my interest and I bet a lot of other fans would be to return to stock cars that actually have body work from the street cars and big block engines: 426 Hemis, 429 Fords, and 427 Chevys, all with no restriction plates.

Autoweek Contributor Jerry Bonkowski Says:

JB Says: I actually like the comment from “ran8263”, and anticipate that whenever NASCAR moves to a hybrid model (maybe 2027?), it will have a push to pass element just like we see in today’s IndyCar racing. I honestly can’t wait to see that happen and what it will do to NASCAR strategy and overall performance. As for the comment from “bowtie”, unfortunately, with EVs soon about to take over the motoring landscape, the days of the big block monster engines are over. May they (sadly) RIP. There’s also no more of the “run what you brung” mindset. NASCAR may be slowly adapting to changes, but most important is that it’s adapting nonetheless.

Jimmie Johnson is on board this year as a co-owner of Legacy Motor Club.


NASCAR legends Richard Petty, Jimmie Johnson not exactly seeing eye to eye

Readers Say:

• ChicagoGas: Petty and Johnson are two NASCAR greats from different eras. Love them both and am sure they will work it out. They both bring a lot to the table and only a tone deaf fair weather fan would think otherwise. Best of luck to them.

• tsd7139: Racing is all Richard knows. All he has ever done. He doesn’t know how to retire. The day The King stops going to the shop will be a sad day. When you get that age there isn’t a lot left.

• HaywireTX: I think the only reason Jimmy Johnson is back is he wants that 8th championship so he can be declared the King. He wants the Petty name erased which is why he changed the name of the race team. Sad to see that level of disrespect. Hopefully an 8th championship isn’t what NASCAR is scripting this year. It certainly won’t make up for the credibility they’ve lost. Jimmy will never be the legend Petty & Earnhardt were.

Autoweek Contributor Jerry Bonkowski Says:

JB Says: Like millions of others, I love Richard Petty. He is NASCAR personified. But his way of racing pretty much ended around the mid-80s, both in his final years as a driver, but then 30-plus years as a team owner. You can’t continue to live in the past or rest upon your past laurels. You have to adapt to change and not be afraid to try new things and not remain in your comfort zone. I’ve never seen a NASCAR team that maintained long-term success by not embracing change. Sure, Richard’s way and Jimmie’s way can be disparate at times, but deep down inside they’re both racers. They just come from different eras. Honestly, Jimmie taking over the team could be the best thing for Richard. The King no longer has to worry about running the team, but rather, can focus on what he does best – and has done best throughout his career – and that’s to be one of the biggest fan favorites the sport has ever had. I think it will take 2-3 years before Legacy Motor Club starts to achieve significant success, but mark my word, it’s coming. You don’t win seven Cup championships and learn at the right hand of one of the greatest team owners in NASCAR history, Rick Hendrick, and not pick up a few tips and pointers that will eventually bring about a lot of wins and, ultimately, championships.

Kurt Busch is at peace with the fact that his racing career might be over.

getty images

Kurt Busch Still Unable to Race after Suffering Concussion at Pocono in July

Readers Say:

• Lxsusrcks: I was never a Kurt Busch fan, but I feel for him and the other victims, past and future, of the terrible Next Gen car.

• justbob: I also didn’t care for Kurt in his younger days of NASCAR. But he did age and change to a fair extent that I do not mind him or think bad about him anymore. I actually am proud of his change in some ways. Personally, I think that he should totally hang up the helmet for good and concentrate on his health. He probably is not hurting for money. So if he wants to stay involved in racing, be a mentor or such. Don’t make the same mistake as Neil Bonnett.

Autoweek Contributor Jerry Bonkowski Says:

JB Says: Kurt is an old-school racer. No matter how old he gets, he still wants to be out there, in the middle of the battle and action. But as I’ve learned in recent years, no one is invincible and health always trumps wins and championships. I know Kurt pretty well and I’m sure it has to really be eating at him to be watching from pit road rather than behind the wheel. But he had a fantastic career, with one championship (2004), 34 Cup wins and the most recent driver to do the Indianapolis 500/Coca-Cola 600 “Double (2014). Sure, he didn’t leave the sport or retire on his terms, but he has nothing to be ashamed of in his career or how it abruptly came to an end. But he still has another 20-30 more good years to impart his wisdom and what made him such a great driver to the next couple of generations of Cup drivers. And, frankly, even though I know Kurt’s happy with his affiliation with 23XI Racing, don’t be surprised if he and younger brother Kyle at some point join forces to form a Busch Brothers Racing team, most likely in the next decade.

Follow Autoweek contributor Jerry Bonkowski on Twitter @JerryBonkowski

Read the full article here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button