Originally posted on From the Marbles  |  Last updated 11/13/11
The whispers started early. Why repave a track that didn't really need repaving in the first place? With track quality balancing on the head of a pin as it is — did we learn nothing from the repaves of Daytona and Talladega, which gave us 2x2 racing — why mess with a track that, by and large, fit the bill as the penultimate Chase race? But Phoenix did repave, and as soon as drivers got out on its new surface for the first tests, two of the most dreaded words in NASCAR burbled to the surface: "single groove." One groove means one good line of racing, and that means that a NASCAR race will, for long stretches, devolve into a follow-the-leader parade. Which is exactly what happened on Sunday, at least after the pack got its early running-on-ice-rinks skating out of the way. With rare exception, the inside groove was far stronger than the outside "second groove;" any driver with the misfortune of starting on the outside line had to feel he was spinning his tires through cement as car ...
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