Joey Logano was so close to victory he could smell it, and it smelled a lot like rain on a humid summer day. Unfortunately for Logano, who had grabbed his third career pole on Saturday, the rains let up, the race ran its complete distance, and the third-year driver faded to a disappointing 26th. For Logano, who is breathing a sigh of relief now that Edwards is no longer a threat for his ride, Silly Season isn’t quite over until other potential replacements like Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers and Mark Martin have contracts somewhere else. Good finishes still have extra importance for the No. 20 right now.
*Who…gets my shoutout of the race?*
It was a particularly tough choice this week as drivers battled back from spins and mechanical issues to pull down top finishes, but one driver avoided the drama altogether to simply be there at the end. As he has done so often in his career, *Bobby Labonte* used patience, skill, and experience, to finish seventh, his second top 10 of the year and first since finishing fourth in the Daytona 500. Today’s run was vintage Labonte as the driver flew under the radar to steal a top spot when it counted.
A few random observations from the past two weeks of Sprint Cup competition. Walking through the garage area at Michigan International Speedway a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by a number of things, the least of which was the tool crib of the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Team. One thing that is …
Employing strategy similar to the Penske Racing cars, David Gilliland had to scratch and claw for his 12th-place result at Infineon. Gilliland ran in the top 10 much of the afternoon and held off stiff challenges from Juan Pablo Montoya and others to score a commendable top-15 effort. This track has been good to Gilliland in the past, with a second-place finish back in 2008. With a solid effort today, he gives his Front Row Motorsports team a bit of breathing room in the Top-35 owner points battle.
While it doesn’t have much to do with this weekend’s race, it has everything to do with NASCAR history. It was sad enough to hear that a piece of history, Smokey Yunick’s Daytona Beach garage, was lost in a fire, but it’s heartbreaking to hear that that fire was intentionally set. With one act of selfishness, the Best Damn Garage in Town stands no more. Luckily, its legacy will stand for much longer.
Juan Pablo Montoya wants an oval win in NASCAR, and 2001 is looking more and more like the year he could do it. Montoya grabbed and held onto the pole, and when all was said and done, finished 10th, keeping his eighth-place points standing and altogether looking like a legitimate contender early on with three top-10 finishes in five races.
After more than three years, Juan Pablo Montoya racked up his second career Cup win, this one coming on the winding road course in the wine country of western New York.
Sad but true: the 2010 NASCAR racing season, for all intents and purposes, is over.
Let’s not waste any time after an action-packed Texas; instead, it’s time to figure out who’s in the best position to capitalize on their late-season success – or run from their failures – with Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in NASCAR.
It may have been the curse of the ancient Indian burial ground popping up once again on Sunday, as Talladega saw some crazy twists and turns that led to a rather unpredictable ending. Clint Bowyer had his nose in front at just the right time while AJ Allmendinger was busy going upside down, winning the …