Twitter-style thoughts on racing, events

By: By Andy Cagle - NASCAR Columnist

I love Twitter. It’s kind of a sickness really.

I have this carefully curated feed that is filled with juvenile humor, nuclear energy stuff (don’t ask) and lots and lots of racing. Keeping it carefully curated is part of the fun.

I had a writing instructor in grad school who said my style was well-suited for the medium and that short, staccato 140-chunks of content worked well for me. I am not sure if it was a compliment or a cue to shut up and say less.

I told you all of that to tell you this. This week’s column is going to be my Twitter-style brain dump that are my random thoughts, without the 140-character limit. When I wrote this column before, this was a staple. Roughly once a month I will clean out my brain — racing and non-racing — and lay it all out for you to read.

Enjoy. I’m sorry in advance.

I watched that whole dang race from New Hampshire. That would be a good track for stock car racing if it had 15 degrees more banking. Kind of like Indianapolis. How this place has two races and Darlington has one is one of the great mysteries of the world.

If you are reading this on Wednesday, you have to tune into the truck race from Eldora Speedway tonight. I am a firm believer that you can’t race enough on dirt.

I feel as though Tiger Woods and Tony Stewart are in the same places in their careers and it’s just sad.

So Kyle Busch has three wins in four races and it’s now a matter of when, not if, he will get in the top 30 in points to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup. I have to say that he has done one heck of a job since coming back from all those broken bones. He still doesn’t deserve to be in a position to win a championship. It takes away from the integrity of the process of a 36-race season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had an interesting take on the whole be-in-the-top-30-and-attempt-every-race-or-get-a waiver rule: take away the part about the attempt all the races and just make it top 30 in points and have a win (as long as there aren’t more than 16 winners in the first 26 races) and you’re in. I’m sure the sponsors who pony up the money for all this speed to happen would love that.

I think the change needs to be to the other part. Make it win and be in the top 25. The bottom third of the Sprint Cup field aren’t a bunch of world-beaters. To get in, right now Busch has to pass the Front Row Motorsports trio of Brett Moffitt, Cole Whitt and David Gilliland in seven races. Those drivers have one top 10 and three DNFs among them this year. I’m betting on Busch to make up the 58 points needed to leap frog them by Watkins Glen in two weeks.

I have been going to Martinsville Speedway for a long time. It is one of my favorite tracks ever and a big part of the reason why is Mike Smith, who until last Friday was the track’s public relations director.

Mike had been at Martinsville since 2000 and was one of the most friendly and welcoming people I have ever met. He took time to talk to everyone in the media center or the pressbox. It mattered not if you were brand new to covering the sport to a veteran reporter, he was always accommodating.

When Rockingham got a truck race for the 2012 season, I spent time with Mike to learn what I could about putting on a major NASCAR event. Even on hectic race weekends, he always made time to help me out. I am definitely going to miss seeing him on my trips to the paperclip.

Andy Cagle writes a weekly column about auto racing. Follow him on twitter @andy_cagle or email him at

By Andy Cagle

NASCAR Columnist