As we approach the 5th race of the NASCAR season, I feel it is time to review the 5 most important stories to come out so far (in my humble opinion of course):
5. Kyle Busch: His 3 wide driving style so far this year has garnished him a win, shut up his critics, and has shown Rick Hendrick he should have not been the one released for Dale Jr (in Kyle's mind anyway).
4. The use and abuse of Owner Points: Not only has Penske used the owner points gained from the 2 car last year to help the 77 car stay in top 35 for the beginning of the year while using Kurt's Past Champion Provisionals, but it now looks like Petty Enterprises will be moving the points they currently have on the 43 car driven by Bobby Labonte to the 45 car driven by Kyle Petty, so that they can keep the 45 car in the top 35 to make the races and rely on Bobby's Past Champion Provisionals to get him into the show.
3. Dale Jr: Wins the Bud Shootout, and is Hendrick's top points getter so far this year. Has come close to winning (and will soon I think) and if not for some bad luck, just might of. This story will continue to be in the Top 5 throughout the rest of the year I imagine.
2. Tony Stewart vs Goodyear: After a lack lustre race at Atlanta Tony attacks Goodyear for giving the teams a crummy tire to race on which really didn't allow the drivers to race side by side and make competitive tires. Goodyear and NASCAR fire back that at least there was not a tire failure and every team had the same tire so each team had to deal with it - suck it up and race boy.
and finally, my number one story so far this short season;
1. Tracks need to be Safer For The Drivers: After Jeff Gordon's wickedly hard crash at Vegas the need for safer barriers on every wall (inside, outside, back stretch, front stretch, pit road, you name it) has become more evident, but the question remains, "Will NASCAR do anything about it?" BTW was there any black box data released about Jeff's crash? I haven't seen or heard of any - do they even put the data recorders in these CoT cars?
Honourable mention goes to the 'equipment malfunction' of Carl Edwards Oil Cooler lid, and to the reversal of NASCAR's decision in the Robby Gordon 'illegal bumper caper'.