Dale Earnhardt Jr. started on the pole at Talladega. Most years, that is just par for the course. In this, his final season, it was a return down memory lane. Talladega is where anything can happen, where any lead lap car has a shot to win it, and a where one’s dreams can go up in flames, smoke, and mangled metal without notice.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) continued their playoffs run this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the second race did not disappoint. Kyle Busch jumped out to the lead after a restart with 23 laps to go and was able to hold on to win his third MENCS race of 2017 and his first ever playoff win.
History and tradition. Often NASCAR sells it out for a corporate buck, but the Southern 500 was a race to win long before they went round and round at Daytona, Talladega, or all those generic races on cookie cutter 1.5-mile tracks across the country. It was the race a driver wanted to win. That legacy continued in Darlington, South Carolina on Sunday night at the track too tough to tame, the famed Lady in Black.
With the Southern 500 coming our way from Darlington this weekend, it seems like a good time to talk about tradition. The first one in the books was back in 1950, making it the oldest of the sport’s iconic events. Most of the time, it goes to someone who is in or will be in, the Hall of Fame. That number will only grow once Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson get in, along with a few other contenders I can think of.
Ryan Blaney scored his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coors Light Pole Award Friday at Kansas Speedway.
Blaney raced to the top of the qualifying leaderboard with a lap of 189.600 mph in his No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford to earn his first pole in 64 Cup starts.
So, let us talk about Talladega. We had Ricky Stenhouse Jr. start on the pole. Then we had a race full of excitement with a host of “oh, my God, did you see that?” moments. That pretty much covers the highlights from the opening 168 laps. It was as thrilling as I had hoped, but this one came down to the final 30 circuits on that big track.
Drama, that is what we were waiting for at Richmond on Saturday night. Drama and answers. We wanted to know if Chris Buescher would be close enough to David Ragan and 30th in the standings in order to be eligible for the chase?
Who is the greatest country singer ever associated with NASCAR? There has been Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley, Brooks and Dunn, Hank Williams Jr., Toby Keith, Cledus T. Judd, and lately Blake Shelton. That is a pretty impressive list of talent and it is far from complete. However, there is no question that the King of NASCAR Country was Marty Robbins.
At Michigan on Sunday, Kyle Larson punched his ticket with the first Cup win of the 24-year old driver’s career. To say he was pumped would have been an understatement as he jumped into the arms of his crew with checkered flag in hand.