Long: Three thoughts on Texas race from a bump that won’t be forgotten to pit calls that were memorable


1. While Joey Logano downplayed the late contact from Kevin Harvick, understand that drivers never forget. With both drivers having won at least once this year, they can afford to be more aggressive. That could lead to more contact. Logano and Harvick are developing a rivalry that could blossom if they continue to race for wins. If so, they could make things interesting this season.

2. A few teams had issues with loose lug nuts, forcing drivers to pit again. It’s a tough penalty but better than what could happen. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was among those who had to come back in and pit. He said the key is for tire changers to be honest if they got enough lugs on or tight. NASCAR no longer monitors this, putting the responsibility on the teams. As long as teams react quickly enough, this system works.

3. Possibly overlooked Saturday night was Jamie McMurray’s sixth-place finish and the performance of rookie crew chief Matt McCall. Three times within the last 110 laps, McCall called for two-tire stops. The first time helped McMurray climb into the top five – where he had not been running. By gaining that track position, it allowed McCall to make two-tire calls later and help McMurray to his third top-10 finish in the last four races. They didn’t have one of the fastest cars, but they manufactured a strong finish.