Each week, we’ll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race to capture the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find; the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what some select few were thinking after the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway.
3 hours, 47 minutes, 55 seconds – Time it took to complete the Pennsylvania 500… but it felt more like an eternity.
On lap 154, Kurt Busch assumed the lead yet again, and the rest of the field couldn’t pedal fast enough to keep him in sight.
Jeff Gordon – Gordon won here in June to score his first Pocono victory since his 1998 “dream season.” It was his fourth win and 20th top-10 result at this track in just 29 starts.
As the excitement winds down from the second-biggest race of the year at Indianapolis, reality sets in for the Nextel Cup faithful – Sunday’s race at Pocono is the second of a 17-week stretch to finish off the regular season. With no off-weeks left to recharge and refocus, it’s crunch time for those in contention to make their final push to make the Chase – or, in your case, the pinnacle of your fantasy league. The competition continues at one of NASCAR’s most unique racetracks – the three-turn, triangular-shaped track in the Pennsylvania hills offers a refreshing change of pace from the cookie-cutter ovals that dot the landscape of the Nextel Cup schedule.
While Tony Stewart was kissing the bricks at Indianapolis for the second time in three years, some drivers almost kissed their Chase hopes goodbye in the wreckfest that was the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday. In the first 60 laps of the race, a total of 18 drivers had been involved in at least one accident, with defending race winner Jimmie Johnson making the most spectacular exit from Indy. As Johnson ran for cover from his burning car, several other key Chase contenders were in the garage area; namely Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray, who were involved in earlier incidents. But what could have been a terrible day for those drivers turned out to be nothing more than a tiny bump in the road when current Chase bubble driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s engine went up in a plume of smoke.
Jeff Gordon – Gordon has won a track record four Brickyard 400s, including the inaugural event in 1994. He’s also managed 10 top-10 finishes here in 13 starts. The Indiana transplant is hugely popular with the fans in Indy, as well.
After a one-week breather, Nextel Cup racing resumes this week with just seven races remaining until the end of the regular season. Heading into that final stretch, who among the top 12 is the most vulnerable to drop out and why? And if someone does fall out, who slips in their place?
Now that we have survived the final off weekend of the year, it’s time to turn our focus to the upcoming seven-race slugfest that will determine the field for the 2007 Chase for the Championship. Obviously, there are certain drivers that are all but locked into the field barring some sort of meteor hitting their …
Chicago is known for football, deep-dish pizza, shopping, and the Sears Tower; sadly, it’s not yet known for great racing. However, there was at least one driver who didn’t sleep through the Chicagoland snoozefest; that would be Tony Stewart, who celebrated the end of his 20-race winless drought with another climb up the fence.