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The Final Word – Keselowski Owns New Hampshire, Logano and Johnson Got Owned

You sure could not beat the car that had Brad Keselowski behind the wheel Sunday in New Hampshire. And nobody did. He might have loaned out the lead from time to time to the likes of Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer, but make no mistake about this one. The 30-year old Michigan driver owned this race as the former champion recorded his 13th Cup victory. With his third of the season, his moves atop the standings, 36 points up on Jimmie Johnson.

To be honest, this was not one of the more visually stimulating events we have seen. It did provide a few surprises, though. Just ask Johnson. He might have three wins of his own, but he just picked up a pair of points at Loudon. First, a tire went flat, then its replacement blew out to send Six Time into the wall. That was all she wrote before five percent of the race was run.

Morgan Shepherd provided a surprise of his own. Just ask Joey Logano. Fifteen laps down, the 72-year-old Shepherd slipped up to clip the 24 year old, who found the wall himself to end his day in 40th. The lad, who had been running second at the time, was not terribly understanding, wondering how the slowest guy on the track could eliminate him in such a fashion. As there was no camera shot that showed the event as it unfolded, we are left hearing arguments on both sides.

We do know Shepherd was running above minimum speed. We know the driver who experienced the bulk of his Cup career from 1981 to mid 1990s has passed all the requirements needed to satisfy NASCAR that be belongs out on the track. It would appear his age was not a factor, just the quality of his ride that had trouble staying at the bottom. As for his being a friend of Logano’s team owner, Roger Penske, I think that ends the discussion right there.

Are there more commercials or have we just become too impatient these days to sit through them? TNT had enough of them, and while I see the Canadian sponsors rather than what is seen in the U.S.A., most are not much to look at, especially for the tenth time in three or four hours. Thankfully, they invented the PVR/DVR, and as I do not watch the race live they last as long as it takes for me to hit the 30-second jump button six times. I might wear that button out in the upcoming weeks.

Even though the work of Adam, Wally, and Kyle was not enough to keep me glued to this one, they are the best crew in NASCAR. Not even FOX is close. ESPN? Damn near unwatchable, as they will illustrate when action resumes in Indianapolis in a couple of weeks. As much as it saddens me to see TNT’s 32-year run come to an end, I look forward to seeing Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte on NBC next season, as long as it signals the removal of Allen, Rusty, and Brad.

On the other hand, a win means inclusion in the Chase if you are still without one going into the seven race run from Indy to Richmond. If we have less than five first-time winners in that span, at least one driver will make it on points. Probably more. Eleven have their victories, two (Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman) do not need to worry about that just yet, but there are 19 others who can punch a ticket to the Promised Land by taking a checkered flag. For more than half of them, that stands as probably their only chance for an invite to the dance.

1 – Brad Keselowski – 3 Wins – 634 Points
2 – Jimmie Johnson – 3 – 598
3 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 2 – 658
4 – Carl Edwards – 2 – 574
5 – Joey Logano – 2 – 551
6 – Kevin Harvick – 2 – 528
7 – Jeff Gordon – 1 – 670
8 – Kyle Busch – 1 – 567
9 – Denny Hamlin – 1 – 530
10 – Aric Almirola – 1 – 473
11 – Kurt Busch – 1 – 440
12 – Matt Kenseth – 0 – 621
13 – Ryan Newman – 0 – 573
14 – Clint Bowyer – 0 – 548
15 – Paul Menard – 0 – 541
16 – Kyle Larson – 0 – 524

17 – Austin Dillon – 0 – 524 Points
18 – Greg Biffle – 0 – 519
19 – Kasey Kahne – 0 – 515
20 – Brian Vickers – 0 – 507
21 – Tony Stewart – 0 – 502
22 – Marcos Ambrose – 0 – 489
23 – Jamie McMurray – 0 – 475
24 – Martin Truex, Jr. – 0 – 446
25 – Casey Mears – 0 – 444
26 – A.J. Allmendinger – 0 – 440
27 – Danica Patrick – 0 – 380
28 – Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. – 0 – 377
29 – Justin Allgaier – 0 – 326
30 – Michael Annett – 0 – 311
31 – David Gilliland – 0 – 276
32 – Cole Whitt – 0 – 270


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.


  1. Roger ever the nice guy..but in reality friend or not he has got to be pissed. How in the world can you justify what happened as a “racing deal” when the old guy does the Cup series as much as us can afford multiple cruises around the world, in other words..not often. I find Morgans attitude horrible considering he obviously was out of his pay grade and actually blamed the younger driver who was in contention to win. How arrogant. Defend all you want senior lovers, but if you really want to believe that Nascar’s top tier is for top tier drivers, then having a senior tour in the middle of a grade A race, isn’t the way to do it. Imagine if this happened during the horrible Chase? Or in the name of Morgan’s safety he did this to Junior? Logano was actually kind about it and in no way mentioned his age. The whole thing was a joke, Nascar was to blame, Morgan too for being selfish. As for the hubris of Morgan being a “pioneer”, I don’t see Richard Petty in the car, and he is a damn sight better by far than Morgan can ever dream of being. Four Cup wins, in many decades ..come on. A vanity run was all about Morgan, no way was he a “competitor” or “peer” that took Logano out. Logano owes him nothing, I think Morgan owes Logano. Morgan’s little ray of sunshine happened a long time ago, and has no bearing on what happened at Loudon. Nobody says for him not to race, but at Nascar’s top level, how insulting.

  2. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! You are, aren’t you? You actually believe that Tweedle-dumb and Tweedle-dee are your choice of announcers? Neither of them, after the choking to start their words, can come up with an original thought. NEITHER. They have nothing new to say. They can’t explain a loose car from flat tire. Wise up. The best thing that happened to we fans is for TNT to quit their charades of announcers. AA is good. All he has to do, like Larry Mac, is explain with TD and TD just tried to say.
    As far as Fox announcers, they have forgotten more than the rest of the bunch ever knew. DJ and Andy, having the quality experience, (which TD and TD lack) can explain things. You just admitted that you couldn’t stand to hear them, so you are talking out of both sides of your mouth.
    Can’t wait for the Brickyard, quality announcing.

    As far as the wimpy Yankee Logano, he also seemed to have a lot of trouble in the NW series in the past driving around people without running into them. He is one quality Jerk and will never with a championship with his driving.

    • It would seem we see the world rather differently. ESPN, quality announcing? Sweet Jesus.

      All is not lost, however. We do seem to see eye to eye in regards to Mr. Logano.


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