Michigan. A big track, a fast track. Sadly, not exactly a legacy event, like winning at Daytona or Bristol or Talladega or Indianapolis or Darlington or either road course. What it is, is a track where legends have celebrated since 1969. In fact, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Richard Petty, Dale Jarrett, and Bobby Allison have combined for 46 victories there. That is a lot of suds for a lot of Hall of Famers.
Sometimes you earn by doing, sometimes you earn by succeeding. In NASCAR, perseverance seems to trump performance as it announced the Charter teams heading into 2016 and beyond. It has everything to do with how tenacious a team has been in at least attempting to run, and absolutely nothing to do with their success, be it yesterday, today, or even at some future date.
Three drivers. When it came to the story of the Pocono race, only three mattered. You probably wanted to know who led the race for the opening few laps, and that would have been Carl Edwards. He finished 15th. For the rest of the way, it was down to two names, right down to the final lap; Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick. No one else much mattered on Sunday.
Crown Royal attaches a hero's name to the Brickyard 400 as part of their sponsorship, and this year that honor went to 12 year military veteran John Wayne Walding. Yet, to be honest and if the length of the title could go on to infinity, this should have been called “Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard to be Dominated Once Again by Jeff Gordon.” That sounds about right.
This Saturday we are off to Kentucky, a day early and an entry short. Well, early if you think of Sunday as the usual race day, and short as we will have 42 entries instead of the usual 43. Michael McDowell, who was 24th at Sonoma last Sunday, won’t be joining us.
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.
The small snippet on the scanner conversation between Jimmie Johnson, who had just blown a sure win by jumping the start in Sunday’s Fed Ex 400, spotter Earl Barban, and crew chief Chad Knaus. I thought I heard the quote, but having it replayed today on SiriusXM’s NASCAR Radio channel proved I did hear that. My only question is who is “they” and why do they not want Johnson to win?
My friend Monte Dutton, who is one of the best or probably was one of the best writers on the NASCAR beat, tweeted Saturday night that unlike normal races, the format actually seems to encourage all hell breaking loose UNTIL the end.
After a week of tremendous joy with David Ragan slaying the giant on Sunday, things got a little testy on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. First, NASCAR’s Chief Appellate Officer, John Middlebrook, weakened NASCAR’s penalties to Penske Racing’s No. 2 and No, 22 teams.
t’s finally Silly Season time and moves are happening fast. The season started prematurely with A.J. Allmendinger’s failed drug test and Matt Kenseth’s shocking announcement that he was leaving Roush Fenway, but this is the time of year when Silly Season starts in earnest and started it has.