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Interesting Events Throughout the Weekend: Chicagoland Edition

JOLIET, IL - JULY 11: Mark Martin, driving the #5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet, leads a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 11, 2009 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Danielle hendersonCorrespondent IJuly 13, 2009

This past weekend at Chicagoland speedway I noticed a few things that happened during the race that were really interesting, with the first being how wild the double-file restarts are becoming.

That alone leads me to ask, are shootout-style restarts getting too wild?

Just ask Jeff Burton. For the past four weeks he has been wrecked due to shootout-style restarts. I am sure guys like Martin Truex Jr. aren't to fond of them either. He was wrecked at Loudon because of the restarts.

I think most drivers like them becaue of the side-by-side racing, but that's also the reason a lot drivers don't like them.

Don't misunderstand me. I love the double-file restarts. They make the races much more exciting and give more drivers a shot at winning or at least finishing in the top five.

Jimmie Johnson put it the right way after the race Saturday night by saying guys are getting too comfortable with the car and the restarts, causing more wrecks and more controversy.

But is that a bad thing?

No, it's not. We want drivers to show more emotion and what better way then to put all lead lap cars up front where they belong!

Now moving on to the next issue at hand, how about Jimmie Johnson's behavior?

Kurt Busch obviously doesn't like Johnson racing hard.

Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon were going into a corner three wide, Johnson got into Busch, and Busch retaliated by slamming into Johnson, sending both Gordon and Johnson on the to the apron.

I am not defending Johnson, but doesn't NASCAR have a no retaliation rule? Or were they going to have but decided not to?

This could be seen as a product of double-file restarts, but I see it as having too much testosterone on one race track.

Well, now that we have mentioned the restarts yet again, let's just move on to the final contoversial event from Saturday.

It was the restart that sent Johnson to mid field leading up to the Busch incident.

Johnson was leading with Mark Martin on the inside and Denny Hamlin was running third. Martin was trying desperately to get the lead away from Johnson and was doing a good job of it. Just then, Hamlin forced his way between the No. 5 of Martin and the No. 48 of Johnson.

That sent Johnson up near the wall and then evetually to the rear of the top ten.

In my eyes, Hamlin had no reason to make it three wide, but from evidence of his behavior, he must have had a reason.

Once again, as Johnson stated in a post race interview, guys are getting to comfortable with restarts and the cars. This would be counted as a combination of the two and a just a little too much testrone on one race track.

The race winner Martin didn't seem to care much about anything but wishing team owner Rick Hendrick a early Happy Birthday.

Happy 60th Birthday to Rick Hendrick and Congrats to the No. 5 team on their fourth win of the season.

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