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The Art of Racing - A tale of two tracks
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The past two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races have shown us the problem fans have with the race schedule. The Overton’s 400 race in Chicagoland was 267 laps long but the only thing worth talking about was the final two laps. Granted, the last two laps were probably the most exciting two laps this year, but the first 265 laps were probably the most boring.

Kyle Busch won the race after trading paint with Kyle Larson during the final two laps. Larson came from more than three seconds back to catch Busch for the lead. On the white-flag lap, Larson hit Busch in the left-rear quarter panel. While running side-by-side, Busch returned the favor, causing Larson to spin. Larson managed to straighten his car out but finished second behind Busch.

There are too many 1-1/2 mile tracks on the Cup Series schedule where fans see this type of racing all too often.

The following week, the Cup Series ran a restrictor plate race in Daytona and the excitement was seen during the whole race. It was a race of survival as only 18 of the 40 cars finished the race.

The first major wreck occurred on lap 54, involving 26 cars. Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney were all knocked out of the race because of the incident. Two more major incidents occurred during the race knocking out several other major contenders including Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Jimmy Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick.

Erik Jones was involved in one of the wrecks but was able to continue racing. At one point of the race, Jones was a lap down but managed to get back on the lead lap. Because of wrecks at the end of the race, two overtimes were necessary. It seemed that Truex was in control of the race but Jones managed to slip ahead of him on the final lap to win his first Cup Series race. Jones becomes the seventh driver to go to Victory Lane this year, leaving only nine playoff positions for drivers to get in on points.

“Today was not a day that I necessarily thought was going to be our day,” Jones said. “I just didn’t. We were laying back and dropping back and at one point, we had to repair quite a bit of damage and went a lap down. I didn’t give up at that point, but thought, OK, we’ve really got to do our best to salvage a solid day.

Kyle Busch continues to lead the standings but had his lead shrink by five points over Harvick. Truex gained 22 points on Busch to remain in third place. Logano and Keselowski round out the top five.