Weather forced a day delay at Pocono, and was it worth the wait? For me, it was, though I could not help but notice that it was a day too late for some who might have been in the grandstands. Soon, NASCAR will institute a dress code where fans must wear the same color as the seats in their section so everything will just blend in on television.
It was worth it for Kurt Busch. With his crew chief Tony Gibson on the shelf due to a lug nut related suspension, team engineer John Klausmeier sat on the box and apparently liked the view. If you remember, he took over last year when Gibson was suddenly advised to jettison his appendix. For a car that arrived on fumes, Kurt sure had more than enough to get those burnouts in as he claimed his 28th career victory.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski were the runners-up, with young Chase Elliott just behind them. Not sure if ole Brad will collect all his points, as post-race the car had an honor guard of NASCAR officials surrounding it. Something tells me “they who must be obeyed” are not happy. Earlier in the day, the shoulder of jackman Braxton Brannon reshaped the side of Keselowski’s car and it was required to return to pit road to have that alteration corrected. Come to think of it, wasn’t Brannon the same guy Keselowski clipped in a pit road incident last August at the same track? It would seem that being a jackman is truly a full contact position.
It was not worth it for Martin Truex Jr. to wait a day. He got slammed on pit road early by Matt DiBenedetto to leave him 19th on the day. As for DiBenedetto, it was a day better spent at a barbecue, as the Truex incident was the first of at least three times he was featured in a negative light, but none of them was his fault. He finished dead last after a crash. Another wreck took place with Tony Stewart’s car getting loose at the wrong place at the wrong time, as his employee Danica Patrick was left with no choice but to pile into the boss. Too bad, as Stewart appeared to have a Top Ten car. That leaves him with a dozen races to pick up a win and make up the 71 point difference between his current position and 30th place in order to make the Chase.
Sunday’s storm clouds left the sky but were all over the track. When Kasey Kahne cut below Ryan Newman, it shot Newman up into Kyle Busch who found the fence. Rowdy would not be the only top contender to be outside the Top 30 when things came to a conclusion. Jimmie Johnson was near the front on a restart, but found himself too low for his car to handle, and it stepped out and stepped into the inside barrier. Five laps earlier, Austin Dillon had wrecked on Turn One. That leaves him just 14 points to the good among the current Chase placers, down from 36 coming into Pocono.
June is a great time to be a racing fan in Michigan. On Sunday, Will Power won the IndyCar event while the boys and girl from NASCAR make an appearance this Sunday…weather permitting, of course.