The Irish Hills of Michigan once again produced a fuel mileage finish that will have people buzzing for weeks. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s strategic win — one that came packaged with a little luck — was enough to move him up the rankings. But did he knock off rival Kyle Busch? We’ll tell you this much; for the first time in months, Busch is not alone atop the charts. Who were those surprises, and which Penske Racing driver is just barely receiving votes these days? Read on to see if you agree or disagree with the latest choices by the Frontstretch writers.
Joe Gibbs Racing scored its 10th win in 16 Nationwide Series races on Saturday night, and this time added a fourth winning driver to its roster. Joey Logano, after scoring his second consecutive pole award, scored his first career Nationwide Series win in convincing fashion, leading five times for 76 laps, including the final 54. Logano took the lead for the final time on lap 147 when he passed teammate Kyle Busch. Busch, who started at the rear of the field after missing qualifying due to running the truck race at Michigan, rocketed to the front of the field and led 85 laps before wrecking himself late in the running in a single-car incident.
Michigan is a wide open 2-mile track that offers drivers plenty of options and room to make moves which, hopefully, will lead to on-track passes and its fair share of racing action. But for fantasy players that worry about their drivers being caught up in someone else’s problems, they can rest assured that it generally will not happen at Michigan. You have all of the racing room of a multi-groove track to thank for it. Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally break his losing streak, and what driver should you avoid at all costs? Only this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans will tell… read below to find out.
When asked if the races at Pocono Raceway should be shortened to 400 miles, track owner Dr. Joe Mattioli said that the 500-mile races are done for television, and that the networks want the extra 100 miles to sell more advertising. Is there merit to this argument, or are the races at Pocono so long as to be detrimental to TV? Based on this week’s race, is there any reason for Pocono to stay at 500 miles?
The tricky triangle in Pennsylvania had several twists and turns for the Cup drivers this past weekend. Who left the track climbing up the Pocono mountains? Read on to find out in the latest edition of our Power Rankings, and see if you agree or disagree with the choices of your favorite Frontstretch writers.
In a Nutshell: Saturday’s race was dubbed the “Opportunity 300,” the first of numerous standalone events for the Nationwide Series this summer — and a number of drivers took advantage, making runs at their first career wins. But while Joey Logano was untouchable in the early going, and David Stremme ran up front all race long, it was Brad Keselowski in the No. 88 who cashed in, scoring his first career NASCAR victory on the 1.33-mile speedway. Stremme, David Reutimann and Clint Bowyer all stayed out on the track trying to stretch their fuel to the end, but a late-race caution allowed Keselowski — who took four tires later in the race — to run down the leaders and score JR Motorsports’ second series victory this season.
Today’s Question: There’s much speculation that Jamie McMurray will lose his ride at Roush Fenway Racing. You make the call: should he be retained in the No. 26 car for 2009? Or if you were in charge, would you be sending him to the unemployment line?
There truly is no track like Pocono Raceway. The longest straightaway in Sprint Cup, three distinct turns, and a triangular shape distinguish the Pennsylvania facility as one of the most unique in all of motorsports. The track’s wildly different characteristics require drivers to compromise handling in one turn for the sake of the other two, and require an inordinate amount of focus in navigating the track. But fear not, fantasy gamers. Pocono success tends to be sustained for a driver rather than sporadic, making picks for this weekend a science rather than a crapshoot.
After their 1-2 finish at Dover — the second time it’s happened in the last month — people have been quick to point to Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards as “the next great rivalry.” Do you agree with that statement, or is there another one that sticks out in your minds that’s far more combative?
The Monster Mile wasn’t as much of a monster as it’s been in the past — that is, after an early race melee involved six of the top 12 drivers in the point standings. But while the rest of the day may have put you to sleep, it did allow for some decisive moves in the rankings this week. The Roush Fenway brigade all climbed up in the order except for David Ragan, while Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, and Clint Bowyer were among those who took big hits in the poll this week. Behind them, what underdog driver received enough love to move back into the top 15 — kicking out someone who’s spent nearly all year cruising along in the top 12 in points? Read on to find out, and see if you agree or disagree with the latest choices by our Frontstretch writers.
1. Are They Baaack? – Television ratings for NASCAR have seen resurgence this race season after experiencing at least two years of declines. The Memorial Day weekend Coca-Cola 600 tallied a 4% boost over last season’s telecast, and posted the first increase in viewer numbers in three years. But the 4% improvement, though noteworthy, is less than the 5% increase that FOX TV has seen in its race broadcasts for the season to date.
I might as well write a template for this portion of the Nationwide Series Breakdown. This Saturday, Joe Gibbs Racing dominated the NASCAR Nationwide Series X (Heluva Good! 200). Driver X (Denny Hamlin) smoked the field, leading X (131) of X laps (200). Joe Gibbs Racing has now won X (nine) of X (14) races in the Nationwide Series this season.