– So it is time now for “The Pulse.” Our very good friend, Dave Moody, here now from Sirius XM NASCAR radio to help us put a bow on all things Las Vegas and to start to look ahead to Phoenix. Hey there, Dave. Welcome to the show.
– Hey, Shannon.
– Let’s start with the most recent breaking news, stuff that just came down on that 4 team of Kevin Harvick. They lost their seven playoff points from the victory this past weekend. 20 driver/owner points were assessed, and car chief Robert Smith suspended for two races. Surprised, not surprised at these penalties?
– Well, I’m neither, because you kind of had to look at the parts and pieces involved to know what we’re talking about here. But based on how the rule actually reads, it says that those rear window braces must keep the rear window glass in place and undistorted, for lack of a better term– that’s mine, not theirs– in all directions at all times. It very clearly did not do that. There was a significant amount of distortion on that rear window. So based on the sheer letter of the law something had to happen, I’m sure.
– David Ragan and Drew Blickensderfer are on the show today, and they basically just said that this is a statement by NASCAR to let guys know moving forward where they stand on all of these policies for post-race inspection. What do you think?
– Oh, I couldn’t agree more. I think NASCAR has drawn their line in the sand. They’ve drawn it early in the season, and they’re letting people know, now for the second year in a row, as Joey Logano well remembers, that this is not going to happen, and you’re going to lose a lot. You’re not going to lose everything, you know? It’s still like, you know, like going in and shoplifting five steaks and a six pack of beer and having the cops take back four steaks and three of the beers. You still get to keep something, but it hurts, no doubt.
– So this is a little different than what Joey Logano experienced last season, of course, because Kevin Harvick, he is locked in because of the victory at Atlanta. But Dave, you’ve been in this sport for a very long time, and we know that it is a momentum sport. Does this at all affect that momentum for the 4 team?
– Well, it does if you buy into the premise that that rear window distortion made Kevin Harvick the class of the field, not just last week but also the week before. I’ve not seen any allegations or any evidence of distorted windows two weeks ago. So I still think the bottom line on this is that 4 team’s got the baddest hot rod on the planet right now, and they’re heading to a track in Phoenix, Arizona, where they’ve been virtually untouchable over the years.
– Yeah and he’s got a couple or eight victories, right, something like that.
OK. Let’s move on. Let’s talk about another manufacturer. First up, we’ll talk about Chevy. You know, we knew that there was going to be some growing pains with the new teammates and the new car. What have you seen out of the Hendrick Motorsports guys so far?
– Quite honestly, I’m not at all surprised at what we’ve seen, because last year Toyota struggled mightily with the exception of Martin Truex Jr., who won in race three of the season. Joe Gibbs Racing didn’t win until July. Stewart-Haas Racing, when they changed over to Ford, struggled for about 2/3 of the season before they got it together. So I’m not at all shocked that with a brand new racecar to learn, Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports have not come out that strong.
– OK. We’re almost out of time, but we have something fun for you this season. It’s a little segment we’re going to call “Godfather’s Hit List,” moving forward. So cue the music. We have your music for you. You hear that, Dave Moody? All right. So what is on your hit list moving forward to Phoenix this weekend? What are things you’re looking for?
– I’m looking at Martin Truex, Jr. He was in position for a top five at Daytona before he got taken out in somebody else’s wreck, came from the back to the top five the next week, raced in the top 10 all week and finished top five again. A lot of people are kind of ignoring the 78 right now, and I think that’s a big mistake. They’re not winning stages the way they did a year ago, but they’re in awfully good shape right now.
– They might make everyone an offer that they can’t refuse.
– Oh, I see what you did. I see what you did.
– Thank you, Dave. Have a great week.
– Thanks, Shannon.