Bump & Run: Who are drivers worth watching?

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A newspaper headline recently asked: Is there any driver in NASCAR worth watching these days? What do you say?

Nate Ryan: Yes. The premise of the headline seems flawed (though maybe I need more context to understand the story). There are several drivers “worth watching” in NASCAR for their impressive skill sets and verve on track. Besides being one of the greatest drivers in the world, Kyle Busch is worth watching because there’s the potential of him doing something mesmerizing in every race.

Dustin Long: Yes there are drivers worth watching. Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch rank toward the top for what they can do with their cars. But they aren’t alone. Put Brad Keselowski and Busch in close quarters and enjoy the show.

Daniel McFadin: Absolutely. Kyle Larson is a delight to watch. Seeing what he’s able to do when put in a predicament, like starting from the rear, makes for exciting TV. Also, you always have to keep any eye on Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, especially when they’re racing angry.

NASCAR’s Scott Miller stated this week it could take 5-10 minutes to review a potential penalty and in that case that “is not the time to be calling the penalty.’’ Is there a better way penalties or potential penalties can be reviewed by NASCAR?

Nate Ryan: Having been in the PRO system truck, I think NASCAR’s system is good. Any potential infraction is sent to the tower by the video reviewers and then the call is made by NASCAR’s primary stewards on whether a penalty is necessary. I think Miller is referring to looking at borderline calls and determining later if the call should have been made differently. That doesn’t affect how the process happens in real time. It always will be a split-second judgment.

Dustin Long: I hate reviews in all sports. The games are played by humans and officiated by humans. Mistakes are going to be made by all. I accept that. But if we must review penalties or potential penalties — and I’m not convinced it needs to be done — then do it. If it takes 10 laps, so be it. If it takes 20 laps, so be it.

Daniel McFadin: If NASCAR is reviewing a pit penalty that occurred under caution, simply don’t restart the race until the review is complete. If it occurred under green, NASCAR could stop scoring the driver while it’s under review while allowing them to stay on the track. If it confirms the penalty, bring them to pit road. If not, resume scoring the driver.

At Atlanta, Kevin Harvick suggested the next time a young driver could win a Cup race would be at Talladega later this month. When do you think a young driver will win?Nate Ryan: I don’t know “will,” but Erik Jones could be in victory lane at Bristol Motor Speedway, given that he almost was last August.

Dustin Long: I consider Joey Logano (age 27) young and I could see him winning either at Bristol or Richmond, so I think it happens soon.

Daniel McFadin: I think you could see a young driver – specifically Erik Jones or Kyle Larson – win this weekend in Bristol. I’ve been somewhat surprised Austin Dillon‘s been the only one to steal a win so far, but the veterans have flexed their muscles each and every race since when closing time came.