A couple of thoughts about some of the weekend happenings at Bristol.
1. Casey Mears to RCR
Now this, of course, had been speculated about since it was announced that Mears would not be returning to Hendrick Motorsports.
This weekend it became official, along with the announcement that he would move into Clint Bowyer's Jack Daniel's sponsored 07 car, while Bowyer would move into the new 33 car. That had also been rumored for quite some time because General Mills, the sponsor of the 33 car, did not want to sponsor Mears considering he's been driving a Kellogg's sponsored car this season.
What did come as a surprise to many was that Bowyer would take his points with him. As of right now, Mears will be the driver guaranteed a starting spot in the first five races next season, while Bowyer will be forced to qualify on speed.
After giving it a little thought, this actually does make sense. My guess is that Jack Daniels did not want to give up Bowyer and one of the concessions to do so was that they would keep the points Bowyer earns, thus not getting penalized by possibly missing a race with a new driver that is not locked in. After all, they're not the new sponsor.
But there's more. Speculation is that RCR could be working on something behind the scenes, perhaps buying an existing team that is locked into the top 35 but that was having trouble finding sponsorship and was unlikely to run next season. I'm sure we'll hear more on that.
The other part of the equation is that it appears Bowyer's current pit crew, including crew chief Gil Martin, will not be moving over with him to the 33. Now that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's possible (probable?) that the Nationwide Series team, with whom Bowyer leads the point standings, gets a promotion.
2. The Race
I don't know about you, but I thought the race was a bore again. I mean, thankfully, Edwards and Busch were able to provide some late theatrics, but just like last year, once all the contenders made their way into the top 10 or so, there was no racing.
Everything stabalized once the top cars found their way to the front and shortly after a restart, they all spread out and can't really challenge each other.
Look at what happened once Edwards took the lead. He ran away with the thing. Busch, who dominated nearly all night leading 415 laps, couldn't even mount a charge.
Speaking of Busch and Edwards, I didn't think Edwards did anything wrong. He gave Busch a little nudge. We've all seen far worse things at Bristol. Busch would have done -- and has done -- similar things during a race. That's just short-track racing.
I had the feeling Busch would react the way he did, which was a bit over the top the way he was banging into Edwards on the cool-down lap. I could certainly see why Busch would be upset considering he lost the race after dominating all night, but that was just ridiculous. I'd have preferred he just said "what goes around comes around" and be done with it.
The on-track scuffle and the name calling was just childish.