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Dennis Michelsen · Monday August 21, 2006
Get well soon, Bennyâ€¦we miss you!
And then there were eleven. More guys than that are mathematically in the race, but then again, so are the Chicago Cubs in baseball!
Roush enjoyed the home track advantage again Sunday with three drivers in the Top 10, including the winner! That was Jack's ninth win at Michigan International Speedway.
Race Grade: A
Nineteen on track passes for the lead under green flag conditions is a great total for a track like MIS. Sometimes, a driver can get hooked up here and drive away from everyone, but Sunday, the competition was closer, which led to another exciting Nextel Cup race!
F for Kevin LePage
Sure, you had a flat tire and wanted to get down off the track fast, but you almost took out the leader! Not sure if that was your mistake or your spotter’s, but you were the one holding the steering wheel, so the buck stops there!
D for Richard Childress Racing
The key to making the Chase is to avoid mistakes. Two engine failures in the same day shows this team was perhaps trying to get a little too aggressive with the engines at the wrong time. Jeff Burton's 42nd place finish will put added pressure on the team the last three races to get in the Chase.
C for Kenny Schrader
There is no doubt this guy can still drive, and I am a little surprised he is not being looked at for Michael Waltrip's third car. An eighteenth place finish can't earn him more than an average grade, but he did show some strength on old tires for a while on Sunday. Kenny does get an “A+” for his part in the new Little Debbie's commercial!
B for Elliott Sadler
Having the pressure of needing to qualify on time didn't bother Sadler one bit. Add all the media hoopla with him taking over the No. 19 car this weekend, as well as all the circus-like nonsense with Jeremy's comments in the background, and this team could have failed. Instead, they did anything but…qualifying on the outside pole and grabbing a Top 10 in week one is a great start!
A for Matt Kenseth
In the Media Center following his victory Matt said, “The only thing different between this year and 2003 is that this year our cars are much faster.” Considering he ran and hid from the competition in 2003, that is a scary thought going into the Chase! As the No. 48 team just hangs on, the DeWalt Ford Fusion team is starting to show signs of peaking at the right time!
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Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.