Consider our Takeaways feature to be the home of our random and sometimes intelligent musings. Sometimes the post may have a theme. Sometimes it may just be a mess of unrelated thoughts. Make sure you tweet us your thoughts after the race or email your post-race rants via the link in the signature line below.
• NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway deserve congratulations for letting common sense prevail on Sunday. Race winners typically shoot blanks from six-shooters in victory lane at Texas. In the aftermath of a mass shooting that left over 25 dead in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that celebration would have made for awkward optics.
Thankfully, the celebration was scrapped. That’s the right call. There’s no need to carry on a tradition as another massacre dominates the headlines in the United States.
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) November 5, 2017
• Six of the eight playoff drivers finished in the top 10 on Sunday. One of the two who didn’t is Kyle Busch, who won last week at Martinsville. He’s automatically going to be racing for the title at Homestead.
The other driver is Jimmie Johnson, who finished 27th. Johnson is facing a win-and-in situation at Phoenix to make the final four at Homestead.
“We’ve got to figure something out,” Johnson said.”Kansas [where Johnson spun twice] was a lot like this.It was just extremely difficult to drive the car and carry entry speed. And then we had a loose wheel and then contact on a restart. We started off in a hole and just kept digging a deeper one as we went. I’m definitely disappointed. And, I honestly just feel bad for my team. These guys are working so hard. And to work this hard and not see any speed go back in the car and have bad results as the last three weeks have been is pretty disappointing.”
We’re convinced an eighth title for Johnson is in the cards, though it may not happen in 2017 at this rate. While we’ll never count Johnson out we’ll also recognize that his chances of advancing to Homestead this year are pretty slim.
“But this last half of the year has been really weird,” Johnson said. “In places where we expect to run well and traditionally do, we haven’t. But I know we’re building a better race car and taking a few new ideas to Phoenix and we’ll go there and fight as hard as we can. And that’s one thing this team will never do it give up.”
• After crashing out at Texas, Kyle Larson has failed to finish in each of the last three races.
Even if Larson had made it through to the third round of the playoffs his chances of making the championship race would be quite slim.
“Whether it’s bad pit stops or bad luck with whatever happened to our right-front we had a loose wheel and then had to pit a couple of times to fix it,” Larson said. “We just gave up track position. We took the best car and just whatever, I don’t know, it’s frustrating because I know I had the best car and lose track position and that is what happens. You try and move forward and it’s so hard to pass here you try and find some stuff and get in the wall.”
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