Three massive tales: Richmond – Final Phrase on Motorsports


And similar to that, NASCAR reaches the quarter-mark of the season.

Sunday was the primary of a number of weekends that includes the NASCAR Cup Sequence, the NTT IndyCar Sequence and Components 1. All three gave us tales to debate. Along with his victory at Richmond Raceway, will Alex Bowman take the subsequent step in his growth? Martin Truex Jr. channeled his interior Lewis Hamilton, as he rebounded from a dashing penalty to complete fifth. Additionally, FOX and NBC dropped the ball by scheduling each NASCAR and IndyCar’s races Sunday on the similar time.

Observe me, as I dive additional into the three massive tales of Richmond.

Three massive tales: Richmond

1. The subsequent step of Alex Bowman’s growth?

RICHMOND, Va. – APRIL 18: Alex Bowman, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after successful the NASCAR Cup Sequence Toyota Homeowners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 18, 2021, in Richmond, Virginia. Photograph: Sean Gardner/Getty Photographs

Bowman’s journey is nicely documented.

A as soon as rising prospect within the ARCA Menards Sequence, his profession stalled out with a number of back-marker Cup Sequence groups. It culminated when he discovered through Twitter on the gymnasium that he misplaced his experience with Tommy Baldwin Racing. Within the final 5 years, he revived his profession at Hendrick Motorsports and received for the primary time within the Cup Sequence.

However very like Ryan Blaney, Bowman nonetheless hasn’t taken the subsequent step in his growth. The one the place, like Chase Elliott, he churns out multi-win seasons and elevates himself right into a severe championship contender.

A win within the Toyota Homeowners 400, Sunday, helps, however he wasn’t the dominant driver of the race. Additionally, he was over 12 seconds behind Joey Logano, when Kevin Harvick’s right-rear tire blew and he spun into the Flip 1 wall. Take that out of the equation, and both Logano or Denny Hamlin drive into victory lane.

Will we glance again at Sunday as the beginning of Bowman’s rise to championship contender? Solely time will inform.

Three massive tales: Richmond

2. Martin Truex Jr. pulls a Lewis Hamilton at Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. – APRIL 18: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Auto-Homeowners Insurance coverage Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Specific Toyota, lead the sector on a tempo lap previous to the NASCAR Cup Sequence Toyota Homeowners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 18, 2021, in Richmond, Virginia. Photograph: Sean Gardner/Getty Photographs

A number of hours earlier, 1000’s of miles away from Richmond, Virginia, Hamilton rebounded from a spin right into a gravel entice and drove by means of the sector to complete second at Imola.

Whereas not a spin, Truex served a cross by means of for dashing on pit street. Fortunately for him, nonetheless, with so many automobiles lapped, he fell again solely to thirteenth.

Nonetheless on the lead lap.

A well timed warning with 20 laps to go put him again in place to regain floor. Whereas he didn’t end second, like Hamilton, he rallied to a fifth-place end.

You’ll be able to’t script this.

Three massive tales: Richmond

3. FOX and NBC drop the ball on scheduling

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – APRIL 18: Alex Palou celebrates his victory within the NTT IndyCar Sequence Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on April 18, 2021, in Birmingham, Alabama. Photograph: Chris Owens/IndyCar Images

Who at FOX and/or NBC although beginning each the NASCAR Cup Sequence Toyota Homeowners 400 and the NTT IndyCar Sequence Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was a good suggestion?

We’ve clamored for years that NASCAR and IndyCar work extra carefully, as a result of it’s not in both’s greatest curiosity to go head-to-head, time-wise.

But that’s precisely what occurred, Sunday.

NBC and IndyCar had the excuse of help races working beforehand. What’s NASCAR and FOX’s excuse?

Transfer that begin as much as 1 p.m., and Sunday’s race at Richmond overlaps just a few laps at Barber Motorsports Park. A number of laps is significantly better than the whole race.

In the event you dedicated to NASCAR, Sunday, you missed Alex Palou rating his first IndyCar victory, in his first profession begin.

Certain, FOX has no incentive to assist IndyCar, however NBC carries each IndyCar and NASCAR occasions.

There was NO REASON this wanted to occur.

There’s a bonus story, this week! And it comes from the land of Components 1.

Three massive tales: Richmond

BONUS. Lewis Hamilton’s rally

IMOLA, ITALY – APRIL 18: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Crimson Bull Racing and second positioned Lewis Hamilton of Nice Britain and Mercedes GP shake arms in parc ferme throughout the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 18, 2021, in Imola, Italy. Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Photographs

Good drivers win in nice tools. Nice drivers end nice in subpar tools. God-tier drivers flip a disastrous run into a superb end.

Hamilton picked choice No. 3.

The seven-time Components 1 world champion fell again to ninth, after he went off observe in Flip 7 at Imola, on Lap 31 of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. A shunt by George Russell and Valtteri Bottas saved his day, as he made the repairs to his automotive below the following pink flag.

Then he picked his method by means of the sector. Sure, he had the assistance of DRS, however any avid viewer of Components 1 will let you know that solely does a lot. Particularly at Imola, the place overtaking is notoriously a premium.

This sort of drive bolsters Hamilton’s case as arguably one of many best drivers within the historical past of auto racing.

TOP IMAGE: Sean Gardner/Getty Photographs

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