Trust me when I tell you that everyone in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series appreciates this break. Stop and think about it: The last time the series had an off-weekend was clear back in early April for Easter. We’ve been all over the map since that last break including Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Michigan. I don’t care who you are, that is a lot of zigging and zagging across the country.
Fans ask me all the time which team will benefit from the off-week, and my answer is always the same: Every single team benefits. Everyone needs a chance to re-energize, take a breath, re-focus and spend time with their families.
The neatest thing about this off-weekend is for all of the dads in our sport, this is the first Father’s Day in forever that I can ever remember us not racing on. I’ve been a dad for 26 years and I have never spent Father’s Day at home. I mean never once since I’ve been a dad. So for all the dads in our sport, it’s going to be really neat that they finally get to spend Father’s Day with their children and family.
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Now sure, the No. 78 and the No. 4 teams are probably a little edgy about having an off-weekend. They both have so much momentum that they might be a little fearful that not racing this weekend will break their momentum. I really don’t think it will. I mean, heck, having Easter weekend off didn’t slow down either of those teams in the least.
It’s also a good time for a break because we’ve got some serious crisscrossing of the country coming up. Next weekend we’re in California at Sonoma. We leave there and go all the way down to Florida for the July Daytona race. Then it’s over to Kentucky, up to New Hampshire, back to Indiana and on and on.
If you’re a team that’s struggling like the No. 24 or the No. 15 that just made a recent crew-chief change, they probably welcome the off-weekend with open arms. It gives them a chance to breathe for a few days and sit down to try to analyze what they need to do to get their programs pointed in the right direction.