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NASCAR and other series have used virtual racing to keep fans engaged during a shutdown forced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Spoilers, tension, a sense of urgency. Heroes, villains. The NASCAR playoffs are playing out with all the drama Brian France envisioned for the elimination-style playoff system he helped launch in 2004.
Chase Elliott crashed head-on into a wall and still recovered to win a pivotal race. That wasn’t even the most exciting thing to happen in NASCAR last week. The series so short on superstars and spicy story lines had a frenetic week surrounding the first elimination race of the playoffs at the quirky Roval hybrid road course-oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
It feels like the 1990s again in IndyCar, which closed its season with a throwback tour to a pair of treasured old haunts, a compelling championship race and a rookie class that proved the little series can still attract top talent. Is IndyCar back? Not exactly.
The most prolific month in motorsports arrived with two strong races with IndyCar and NASCAR both opening May with momentum-grabbing entertaining events that should carry the series through their Memorial Day showcases.
Anything and everything could have gone wrong at Talladega Superspeedway, where the cars were too fast, engine makers feared their motors couldn’t go 500 miles without overheating and drivers insisted they had no idea whatsoever how they planned to race.
Somewhat overshadowed by the stifling scrutiny of NASCAR’s new rules package was another Team Penske victory. Joey Logano held off teammate Brad Keselowski’s last-lap push to win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – the fourth victory for a Roger Penske car in seven days.
NASCAR did not have its finest day at Texas Motor Speedway, where things first went awry with an erroneous penalty even before the race.
Sebastien Bourdais was once considered among the best drivers in the world. In case you forgot, refer to the breathtaking pass he made Sunday on the streets of Long Beach to move into second place that will make every highlight reel this season. OK, so IndyCar ruled the pass illegal and made Bourdais return the position to Scott Dixon. No biggie. The Frenchman simply passed Dixon again.
A late caution at Atlanta Motor Speedway gave Kevin Harvick one futile, final chance to beat Jimmie Johnson.