Was Joey Logano right to race the leaders hard at the end of stage 2 Sunday at Dover even though he was more than 20 laps down? Or do you agree with what Denny Hamlin said about what Logano did?
Nate Ryan: It’s hard to decide this on moral terms. As long as Logano is willing to live with the potential consequences (and he consistently has indicated he has), he has every right to race as hard as he wants, as any driver would.
Dustin Long: It is often understood that when multiple laps down to get out of the way. With passing as difficult as it was at Dover, that guideline was more important. Logano’s decision to be aggressive in defending his position could hurt him later in the playoffs when the stakes are even greater.
Daniel McFadin: I see both sides of it, but I lean toward Hamlin’s argument. Logano was on his own lap pretty much from the time he returned to the track to the end of the race. He’d have lost nothing by not putting up a challenge to the leaders at the end of Stage 2. Who knows if that could come back to haunt him in the next six races.
Jerry Bonkowski: Hamlin had a valid point, as Logano was impeding him from winning and earning a stage point while Logano was not a factor in the race. But at the same time, it’s no surprise Logano raced that hard because that’s his style, regardless of how many laps down he was. Logano was trying to make up even a few laps – despite the fact he was so far back.
Give us a prediction on something that will happen this weekend at Talladega (2 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC).
Nate Ryan: Cars will crash.
Dustin Long: Talladega Blvd. in the infield will be wild. Oh, you want something about what will happen on the track? I think I have a better chance of predicting the winning lottery numbers since anything can happen at Dega.
Daniel McFadin: Someone who didn’t make the playoffs at all will win and send the postseason into a frenzy heading to Kanas Speedway.
Jerry Bonkowski: In addition to likely having several “big ones,” I predict we’ll see Joey Logano and Chase Elliott roar back in a big way to make up for the damage they suffered at Dover.
Jimmie Johnson’s sponsor, Ally Financial, recently announced that it will sponsor the No. 48 car through the 2023 season. Johnson has a contract through 2020 and says he’s focused on his team instead deciding when to retire from Cup. How much longer do you think he will race?
Nate Ryan: It still depends on the next six races. If he wins or shows strong results with new crew chief Cliff Daniels, he probably will race beyond next year.
Dustin Long: I think he retires from Cup after 2020.
Daniel McFadin: Jimmie Johnson said on the Dale Jr. Download a few weeks ago that if pressed by owner Rick Hendrick for a decision, he’d take more years of racing. I think he’ll race through 2022 and his eventual successor will have Ally’s support in 2023.
Jerry Bonkowski: Johnson has the luxury of time to decide whether he will extend his current contract after 2020 or retire. The most important thing for him right now is to right the No. 48’s ship and get back to winning races consistently. That will go a long way toward helping him decide whether he wants to keep racing for another year or more after 2020.