The Final Word – Dover is over and now to Pocono where Jimmie has not won for an entire year!

Even a ball player could appreciate Jimmie Johnson’s average at Dover, having gone 9 for 25 for a sweet .360 average. Sunday, Johnson led much of the way to lock down his second of the season. Brad Keselowski, who has a win, finished second while Matt Kenseth, who does not, was third. That fact should not be cause to worry at the moment, as Kenseth still has more points than anyone, even without a victory to his credit. If this keeps up, he might not need one.

Tony Stewart needs a win to make the Chase, but a seventh place result was as good as it got. Kevin Harvick has two wins, but a flat as they came to green after a caution removed him from the lead and contention. Kurt Busch, who has a win and precious little else, was one back of Harvick, in 18th. As for Danica Patrick, if 25th is a decent day, she was better than decent by two positions.

Some teams you expect to be better, some not. Not much is expected from the BK Racing trio of Cole Whitt (27th), Ryan Truex (32nd), and Alex Bowman (40th) and we were not surprised. We thought Roush would be running better, but Carl Edwards (14th) was as good as it got for those boys as circumstances left Greg Biffle (38th) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr (41st) all torn up. Hendrick may have won, but Penske had the better average with Keselowski and Joey Logano both in the Top Ten.

When is all clear not all clear? Ask Clint Bowyer or, better yet, ask Kyle Busch. Seeking the weekend Dover three-peat, Busch was charging to the outside of Bowyer, but that is not what his spotter told him. It was clear to us that Rowdy was looking to the outside, only to wind up squeezed into the fence and out of the race. He had definite evil intentions aimed at his rival, but the guy he really should have wanted was high up in the grandstands. Oops.

When is debris not really debris? It is not if you run over a chunk of concrete and reduce it in size by blasting it to chunks and dust. Ask Jamie McMurray, who was the beneficiary of the gift of masonry Ryan Newman kicked up just in front of him from the newly formed pothole. McMurray clobbered it but good to split his splitter and send him fence-ward. Interestingly enough, he was 16th at the time, yet finished 13th.

While I shall miss FOX, I believe TNT’s coverage of NASCAR is the superior. Should we discover Pocono to be boring, yet we continue to watch primarily due to the entertainment provided by the announcers, then we have found folks who know how to do their job.

Why don’t the New York Yankees play three of four games a month against minor league teams on national television? The reason is that would be stupid, but enough about Kyle Busch.

As long as there are less than 16 race winners, wins lock you into the Chase while being the best in points will still get you there. Welcome to a world where Kurt Busch can lead Matt Kenseth in the standings, where a single victory trumps having more points than anybody else. That means that by this time next week, anyone from the top 36 could find themselves in the Chase by simply winning this Sunday at Pocono. Nothing to it.


1 Jimmie Johnson – 2 WINS – 436 Points
2 Joey Logano – 2 WINS – 414
3 Kevin Harvick – 2 WINS – 373
4 Jeff Gordon -1 WIN – 461
5 Carl Edwards -1 WIN – 438
6 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 1 WIN – 429
7 Kyle Busch – 1 WIN – 411
8 Brad Keselowski – 1 WIN – 404
9 Denny Hamlin – 1 WIN – 379
10 Kurt Busch – 1 WIN – 241
11 Matt Kenseth – 463 POINTS
12 Kyle Larson – 377
13 Ryan Newman – 374
14 Brian Vickers – 366
15 Paul Menard – 362
16 Austin Dillon – 358


17 Greg Biffle – 357
18 Clint Bowyer – 350
19 Kasey Kahne – 349
20 Aric Almirola – 344
21 A.J. Allmendinger – 337
22 Tony Stewart – 336
23 Marcos Ambrose – 331
24 Jamie McMurray – 317
25 Casey Mears – 301
26 Martin Truex, Jr. – 289
27 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. – 261
28 Danica Patrick – 239
29 Justin Allgaier – 223
30 Michael Annett – 188

31 Cole Whitt – 181
32 David Gilliland – 175
33 Reed Sorenson – 165
34 David Ragan – 158
35 Alex Bowman – 156
36 Josh Wise – 149


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


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