Not strictly a NASCAR comment. But anyone follow Formula 1? Today Renault fired their top two people! During a race last year the team instructed one of their drivers (Nelson Piquet Jr.) to crash in order to bring out a safety car (yellow flag); this allowed their star driver Fernando Alonso to get out of sequence with his main rivals and allowed him to win the race, when his car was not as good as many others. This is very dangerous not only to the driver who crashed (you want to hit a concrete wall at 150-200 mph in a car that weighs sometihng like 1700 lbs?), but also to other drivers (any impact shatters carbon fiber wings on the car, leaving razor sharp pieces on the track which tend to shred tires, causing other accidents....) but also potentially to fans and track workers (this was at a street course with very close proximity to fans, etc.). This came out this year because Renault fired Piquet for not being fast enough and wouldn't you know it, that left a bad taste in his mouth, and the best way to get rid of a bad taste is to talk to the press.
I like Fernando, but this will shake things up a lot.
In re: to NASCAR. I'm happy that JPM made the chase. They made it by being pretty boring (consistent top tens, without really challenging for too many wins will do that). Hopefully they've been running at about 80% to be safe and can turn it up a bit and win a couple races before the year is out; I don't think they'll win it all (more likely Mark Martin, Jimmy Johnson or Tony Stewart), but its good to see him make the playoffs.