Rob Fahrni

Follow @fahrni on

NASCAR - Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Denny Hamlin landed a knockout punch in the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Some random observations from a NASCAR noob.

Denny Hamlin looks strong at the right time. He always seems to be fast and has a crazy high racing IQ.

Kyle Larson also looks amazing. He can drive up through anything to get to the front. He’s been first, fourth, and second in the first elimination round of the playoffs. Definitely the strongest of the field at them moment.

Christopher Bell continues to land pole positions and can’t manage to make it to victory lane.

Corey LaJoie finished the second stage in second place and I couldn’t be happier for him! He’s a “middle of the pack” racer and is not supposed to be up in front. He even lead a number of laps. He’s part of a smaller team and is getting better and better each weekend. 👍🏼

Last years Cup Champion, Joey Logano, is out of contention for this years championship after an accident forced him to retire the car.

Bubba Wallace continues to his race craft each and every week and has managed to get into the round of 12. I’m super happy for him and I hope he can make it to at least the round of eight. That would be an amazing accomplishment for 23XI Racing.

I know the Bristol Night Race is very popular but I found it extremely boring. After a couple laps of racing up front it seems like it turns into a single line of cars doing laps. Now, there were times where the racing did get interesting, but overall I found it boring. That’s not typical of a NASCAR race for me.

Bristol is not doing a dirt track next season. That’s too bad. I found that race to be much more exciting. Cars had multiple lines to choose from and the racing was exciting, not to mention Michael McDowell’s two spins that resulted in 360 degree saves. It was an incredible sight to behold.

Kevin Harvick is also out of the playoffs. It’s a real shame as it’s his final season as a driver and he has yet to win a race this year. The man proves his excellent fact crave as a driver every week as the Stuart Haas Racing cars aren’t very competitive, except for Harvick’s. Yes, he’s that good.

It was good to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Xfinity race on Friday night. He drove really well, lead a number of laps, and I have to believe he had a really great chance to win the entire thing but his car caught fire late in the race and he had to retire it. Let’s get that man back in a Cup car a few times a year!

Favorite livery was Tyler Reddick’s 45.

My picks for the Final Four.

• Kyle Larson - Hendrick Motorsports
• Denny Hamlin - Joe Gibbs Racing
• Chris Buescher - Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
• Tyler Reddick - 23XI Racing

Champion: Kyle Larson

If it’s not Larson I think it’ll be Denny Hamlin.

Of course I could be full of hot air with that list but I really like it!