NASCAR'S new rules package for the Monster Energy Cup Series for the cars on the intermediate speedways is like the kid, let's call him "Little Johnny", who's starting his first semester in college. It'll take at least one semester, if not two, for him to figure out just how good a student he can be.  The first week or two he's just feeling around in the dark, unsure of his surroundings, and just trying to figure where he stands.

So, when it comes to Las Vegas and the first race run with low horsepower - high downforce package it's fair to give the rule and the teams a grade, but let's remember it's not a mid-term or final exam. Let's call it a pop quiz and I give it at C+ or B-, a passing score for sure, but with more homework to be done.

I thought there was a lot of good racing. Sometimes it was for the lead, other occasions it was for fifth, tenth, and there were interesting dogfights back in the pack for 20th .  The action was compelling, especially on the restart following the end of Stage 2 and in the closing laps. Anyone who says otherwise either wasn't watching close enough or wasn't about to give the new rules a fair shake to begin with.

Said Penzoil 400 winner Joey Logano, "There's so much strategy that goes into driving these race cars now that I thought it was entertaining as can be.  I don't really know what to say if you don't like that.  It's not very often where you're going to have a green flag run that long and have a finish that close between three cars.  That's something, I'll tell you what."

"I'd say it's a big thumbs?up for the sport.  I'm proud to be a part of that, and something that ?? it'll be interesting as the year goes and as these teams keep evolving and changing their setups and things like that, but so far, Atlanta was a good race, this was a great race.  You know, it proves that we don't have to have big crashes to have a good race."

Sorry, I disagree. Part of what is going to make this new rules package really compelling is an increase in wrecks as more teams get their cars dialed in and too many drivers end up fighting for the same real estate. We need sheet metal torn up and we need these asphalt jockeys fired up. Hopefully, hurt feelings will lead to rivalries, which NASCAR needs more than anything right now.

I said this time and time again. First, race fans want close competition. Secondly, accidents drivers walk away from, and thirdly a dramatic finish, which doesn't necessarily have to happen on the last lap.

No doubt, this new package for the 1.5 to two-mile tracks appears to have a lot of promise and its debut would have to be considered a step in the right direction.   I think NASCAR deserves high marks for taking such a big gamble and Steve O'Donnell for his honesty following the race.   "We're not going to every race say, was that a good race, was that not.  I know fans do that, but for us directionally are you improving upon where we wanted to be, and if you look at last year versus this year, I would say we are.  Was it a tremendous improvement?  Probably not.  But again, as a fan you want to see lead changes.  We saw that today, and I think if you would have looked in the past with no cautions, we would have seen someone check out all race long and we wouldn't have seen a lead change."

"What we said from the beginning was we wanted to see the best cars still win.  We wanted the ability if you look up in Turn 2 or Turn 3 during a run and wanted to see the leader and the ability for second or third to be in that shot and have the ability to pass.  We saw that.  You certainly saw the last stage, 100?hundred lap green flag run with no cautions, top four within 2.5 seconds, so directionally I think better for sure, but not satisfied.  I'm a race fan first, and liked what I saw, but I think there's also more to come hopefully."

I believe there is more to come and I'd like to think "Little Johnny" is going to ace this tough course and make the honor roll.