Beyond the format: How about the racing?

Most everyone wants to discuss the format from this past weekend's All-Star Race while not nearly enough people are looking at the racing.

Beyond the format: How about the racing?
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford race winner
Start segment 1
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota crash
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Michael McDowell, Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford race winner

But before going any further, I guess it's obligatory to mention the format...

So did it work? No. Was it confusing? Not on paper. Why did it all go wrong during the race? Because teams tested the limits (as they should) and NASCAR wasn't prepared for every possibility with it being a brand new concept. Should we be angry? No, it's an exhibition race. Just enjoy the bonus racing you got and calm down. Should the format be simplified? Yes, just make it a straightforward sprint race (maybe with an invert) and if the cars are raceable, then the drivers will put on a show.

Okay then, now moving on. The racing in both the Sprint Showdown and the All-Star Race was remarkably entertaining. Three segments in the Showdown with two ending in a thrilling photo finish. Then you had the great battle between Kyle Larson and Joey Logano in the main event that culminated with the Ganassi driver in the wall with less than two laps to go.

Racing reminiscent of days long past

It was the first pass for the win in the final segment of the All-Star Race in seven years and as Dale Earnhardt Jr. said, it wouldn't have been possible without the tweaked aero package. There is no panacea to cure every issue stock car racing faces, but it's becoming pretty clear that if you want better on-track action, less and less downforce is the way to go.

We also saw something in both races that's been missing from NASCAR. Drivers, who were running up front, we're losing their cars and shooting up the track, forced to either quickly gather it up get a piece of the wall. Along the same lines as that, there was plenty of moments where cars were getting loose when on the inside of another in the corner. It was racing reminiscent of days long past, back in the pre-COT days.

This year's All-Star race was more than that, it served as an experiment for the future of NASCAR and it was successful in that aspect.

Personally, I'd wish NASCAR would just mandate this package for the Coca Cola 600 this weekend. I don't want to have to wait until 2017. 

I mean, they went four-wide, two rows deep on a restart at Charlotte (and didn't wreck). 

No matter how you may feel about the way the race played out, I think we can all agree that the racing was impeccable and it's a shame that it is being overshadowed. What I saw at CMS last weekend has me looking forward to how this package is going to evolve.

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