We are sorry for our long absence from the Sports Desk located below the decks of RedState’s Good Pirate Ship RedState. The desk was first found. Unfortunately, it had been covered in blue and golden glitter after the Golden State Warriors championship parade. Then, just as we were progressing on that front, Sammy the Shark and Karl the Kraken had a fish cracker fight to celebrate the NHL season’s conclusion, with the Colorado Avalanche hoisting the Stanley Cup. It was a long time before I could get everything out of the sofa cushions. But we’re back, and watching some excellent NASCAR action to boot.
Chase Elliott defeated a strong field to win Quaker State 400, presented by Walmart. He did this in front a small but passionate crowd at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s July 10th track. Elliott is now the first and third winner of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series.
Atlanta’s recent reconfiguration, adding more banking, has turned it into a miniature superspeedway. Proper drafting is crucial as cars can race in tight spaces. Elliott was comfortable on any track and did an excellent job manipulating drafts, knowing when it was time to push or be pushed. This led to Elliott’s victory.
The race developed multiple plot lines throughout its course, not the least of which was an escalation of Denny Hamlin’s on-track beef with Ross Chastain. World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis was the first to notice this issue. Chastain wrecked Hamlin during the facilities’ inaugural NASCAR Cup race, and although he said all the right words following the incident, apparently learned little if anything, as a piece of sloppy, over-aggressive driving at Atlanta sent Hamlin’s car into a spin, after Chastain clipped him in the left rear. Hamlin carefully weighed his post-race thoughts. However, Chastain and Hamlin will be paying more attention to one another on every track.
A positive aspect was the run of Corey Lajoie who finished 21st. This is no indication how strong he was. Lajoie ran up front for most of the day, but was unable to catch Elliott outside. Elliott then threw a block, and Lajoie crashed into the wall outside, ending the race with caution.
As noted, superb action from green flag to checkered flag was the day’s mainstay. Elliott’s wins in the first and second race stages were a testimony to his ability and not lack of competition on the tracks. Next year will be even more exciting than the disappointing crowd, and anyone who is a casual NASCAR fan will still want to experience this level of racing thrills in person.
The race also showcased how, despite occasional attempts by NASCAR management to play the woke game, it remains the people’s sport. Although there is nothing truly stock about today’s stock cars, they still bear a passable resemblance to what we see in dealer showrooms. Fans can approach the drivers with ease and they remain friendly, down-to-earth. On the racing side, the current car introduced this year has shown it is the four-wheel equivalent of old Timex watch commercials, in that it can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. It is not like a Formula One car that will explode if it comes in contact with a caterpillar. Are you looking for action and excitement Look up clips of this race, and you’ll be richly satisfied.
NASCAR’s performance has declined over the last few years. Races such as the 2022 Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Atlanta Motor Speedway will bring it back faster than you can say “boogity boogity boogity.”