It has been quite a season so far. The Gen 6 car has brought so much more to the sport than just a new look of the car. It has revived passion and made for some of the most exciting racing we’ve seen since NASCAR’s heyday in the early 2000’s. With the action packed races comes many memorable ones. Tracks that typically didn’t have great events before have had incredible ones this season and that’s the reasoning behind this week’s Favorite Five.
5. Auto Club 400 at Fontana
Prior to the race in March, when you thought of the Auto Club Speedway, you would think of the long and uneventful races. That stereotypical assumption went out the window after the race this season. This race had it all. Lots of action, cars running around the corners more than three wide, and one heck of a finish that featured plenty of fireworks.
The cars were running side-by-side for almost the whole race and that triggered the action which left fans feeling excited. Besides that, the finish was a remarkable one since it featured two drivers who had gotten into it the week prior at Bristol racing for the win. Former teammates Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin were in the media’s eye for the whole week and when they met up in the race, they knew they weren’t going to let the each other win and they didn’t.
4. Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire
Much like Fontana, these races are usually spread out and eventless, but the amount of action in this race was unprecedented for New Hampshire. Eleven cautions on the day made for eleven thrilling restarts where drivers fought for the track position and each and every spot on the track. That created lots of rubbing which is what racing is all about.
Along with all of that came a winner that couldn’t disappoint anyone. Brian Vickers had battled back from adversity for years and for him to get this win for the No.55 team was absolutely huge. It made for a great story along with knowing that this guy will be back and competitive again in the Cup Series very soon.
3. Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte
Over the last few years, this race had a bad named tagged along. It was considered “boring” with very little competitive racing going on throughout the event. It was basically follow the leader for 600 miles with an exciting finish thrown in there during select races. Well, this year’s version of NASCAR’s longest night reverted back to its dramatic history.
There were drivers going hard for each position throughout the night and not to mention a weird break thrown-in there after a cable fell on the track and damaged cars. It may not have been a traditional race, but it sure was one that made the price of admission worth it. Fans loved it, drivers were passionate about it, and the media had little to say negatively about it. Overall, it was everything good about racing crammed into one wild and exciting night.
2. Coke Zero 400 at Daytona
This was a huge race for NASCAR. After a not so happy fan base after the Daytona 500, they needed the fans to like this race for all that restrictor plate racing features. The race was successful and fans once again were in love with the crazy restrictor plate racing.
Just about every lap except a little segment towards the beginning featured cars running two or three wide throughout the field. That made it exciting for the fact that a little mistake could take out a bunch of competitive cars. Fans love this racing for that thrill and the thrill was missing from the 500, but it was ever so present in this race.
1. Aarons 499 at Talladega
Topping the list of my favorite five races so far this season is the Talladega event that always is a crowd favorite. Tagging along with white knuckle racing was an incredible finish that sent an underdog into victory circle after a wild day. Rain, mistakes, and wrecks shaped the field on the final lap for a dash for the finish that could have put anyone in victory lane.
David Ragan wasn’t even near the front on the final restart, but he made his way to the front to claim victory. He ducked, dodged, and darted his way up there on the final lap to reward Front Row Motorsports’ years of hard work with a trip to somewhere they had never visited before, victory lane. The finish alone made the race one of the best, but the three-wide racing throughout the day contributed to the liking of the race by many fans.