Before we head to Phoenix next weekend, I can promise you that these race teams are burning up wind-tunnel time and on-track testing time trying to get a better feel for this new spoiler. Phoenix, as many know, is a mile track, but I believe the real test for this new spoiler will be the week after that at Texas.
Once we get through Good Friday and Easter, golly these teams have a hard stretch. There are 14 consecutive weeks of racing. So the other focus these teams will have is keeping their guys fresh. Think about this: After this weekend and up until Thanksgiving, these teams will only have two off weekends. There is one in late July and another one in late August.
Looking at some teams in particular, Tony Stewart had a great run at Bristol, but honestly, he had a disappointing run at Martinsville. It really was surprising to see him run so poorly at a track he really loves going to.
As we mentioned in our NASCAR on FOX broadcast, Martinsville has always been the Achilles' heel for Roush Fenway Racing. Martinsville is its own animal. But teams that had bad runs these last two weeks can't dwell on it. They know we are headed to substantially different race tracks starting next weekend in Phoenix.
I am sure after running so strong up until Martinsville, the No. 29 bunch of Kevin Harvick has to be devastated by what happened to it Monday. Harvick's team not only came out of the race with a lot of issues and problems, but also gave up the points lead by a lot. At least the group knows what the problem was, so they can't dwell on it and need to move on.
It's just one race. Everyone knows it is a 26-race schedule to get ready for the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. There is one team that I am keeping my eye on. That No. 42 car of Juan Pablo Montoya ran so well last year and made the Chase for the very first time. However this year, even though they are running well, they can't seem to close the deal and get the finishes to match. I see that team as one that is probably starting to wring its hands a little bit.