Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Asphalt Is Terrible

Jimmie Johnson took home his first checkered flag of the season at Texas Motor Speedway. It was only a matter time before the 48 team would break through.

The biggest story from Texas would definitely be the repave. The speedway laid down new asphalt as well as reconfigured the profile of the mile and a half speedway.

The new surface proved to be a challenge for the drivers all weekend. Fridays practices were spent putting rubber down to try and make the surface able to handle multiple groves.

Saturday's Xfinity race was single file, follow the leader race that did not see the high line come in. The speedway then took all night Saturday to use the Texas Tire Monster and attempt to get the track more rubbered in.

A lot of drivers gave credit to the track for trying. The fact of the matter is that repaves suck. It takes time to get these things to work right. There's no tire fall off and the surface is far too slick for anyone to try and run outside.

It's disappointing that the next few years at this place will be relatively boring but it's the nature of the beast. Texas did not have a choice to keep their old surface, it was too much of a liability with rain.

The two different corner layouts have potential for awesome racing. I even noticed some drivers, particularly Dale Jr., trying out a line a little higher than the bottom late in the race.

The race played out about as expected. The man that has owned Texas ended up in victory lane. Johnson owns seven cowboy hats with several coming in the November race. Typical Chad Knaus, if a track is in the chase, the 48 team will learn to own it.

Toyota seemed to struggle again. The new bodies must be giving these guys trouble. The new nose design is playing with downforce and it's clear more work is needed for these guys to snag more wins at aero tracks.

The biggest story of 2017 outside of Kyle Larson, who would've won if he could've gotten by Logano a few laps sooner, is the resurgence of Ford. Penske has been dominant week in and week out. Blaney had the best car all day Sunday. SHR is competitive. If they can find a way to get rid of Danica, the would have 4 top 10 cars every week. Clint Bowyer is back to his old ways. He was around the top 5 all day Sunday and has been all season.

Long story short, despite the repave Johnson still owns Texas. Repaves still suck. Ford is still dominant.

Hopefully November brings a better race.

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