NASCAR Early Observations

By Brian Berg Jr.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series left Martinsville Speedway without any real serious controversies.  The only thing close to a controversy was Jimmie Johnson not stopping for Dale Earnhardt Jr. when he spun around and was blocking the track.  Instead of controversies then here are some observations on the NASCAR Cup Series Season so far.

First, someone is going to take me to task about the non-controversy of Jimmie not stopping for Dale Jr.  Dale Jr. was already one lap down and it didn’t matter.  Besides if he had there would probably been a bigger controversy of those who thought he should not.  It really is a non-issue and did not hurt Dale Jr.’s day.

Relatively speaking the racing and the performance of the new car is as good as it gets.  The only observation that can be made is the lower tier teams are racing very timid and saving their cars.  The reason being is they don’t have many and there are no used cars available to buy.  You can tell this by looking at the other series on who is wrecking their cars vs. this series.  There have not been many wrecks by the lower tier teams.  Wrecks come from hard racing or on the edge setups it is as simple as that.

Danica Patrick was not expected to do well this season.  Well she is currently 26th in points and looking just at her statistics is living up to those expectations; except she is only sixteen points less than her boss Tony Stewart and fifteen points from her teammate Ryan Newman.  It is hard to blame Danica when the rest of the teams are also not doing well.  The big question for the rest of the season is if Tony and Ryan improve will she improve with them?

Looking at the points and the racing it looks like Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski have picked up right where they left off last season.  If Dale Earnhardt Jr. hadn’t gotten hurt and missed the last two races of last season you could add him to that list.  The driver who has changed the most is Kyle Busch; if he did not speed on pit road in those couple of races and make other mistakes he could be leading the points with the most wins at this point.  This is the driver who missed the Chase last year. The question going forward is can he keep from making those mistakes?

It is too early to be looking at the Chase for the Sprint and who is in or out.  Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne showed us that last year.  It isn’t too late to pay attention to who may have to repeat what Jeff and Kasey did last year.  Those drivers who were expected to make the Chase and are in that position are Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

The NASCAR season has just started but there is a lot happening and the next five weeks are expected to be exciting.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary. On Facebook at NASCAR News and Commentary. On Pinterest at NASCARnews. Also add to your network on Google.

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