Sprint Cup Series: Power and Tires – Enzo Ferrari once stated that aerodynamics are for people who don’t know how to build engines. That may be a paraphrasing of the Italian icon’s words, but you get the idea. This concept could not be found in better evidence than after the Sprint Cup race at Michigan. How’s …
The Nationwide Series has long been a source of contention for NASCAR fans because of general dominance from Sprint Cup Series drivers, the series regulars struggling to rise above and grab their share of attention as they wallow in the shadow of their supposed superiors. If you’re looking for a storyline that breaks the mold …
If there is one aspect of Paul Menard’s Sprint Cup career that stands out, it is the fact that he is good… just never great.
Dale Jarrett said it best: as much as everyone wanted to see the race end, and as close as some teams were on fuel mileage, there needed to be a caution for Danica Patrick on the green-white-checkered attempt. NASCAR’s failure to throw the yellow was costly. As Harvick took the checkers, several cars sustained heavy damage as their drivers raced for position coming to the finish line, only to realize that there was fluid on the track from Patrick’s limping car. Menard slammed into the back end of Patrick’s slower car so hard that the No. 10 was thrown into the air. Ryan Newman, Mark Martin, Menard and Brad Keselowski all suffered damage. Kurt Busch’s car was destroyed and on fire.
As much of a pleasant surprise that Paul Menard was in 2010, very few dreamed that 2011 would be even better.
With three laps to go Paul Menard had saved enough fuel he could relight the afterburners and hold off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon for the final few laps.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas exiting the fourth corner on the final lap, allowing Kevin Harvick to streak by and claim his third win of the season.
If there had been a few more laps, Brad Keselowski might have watched the All-Star Race on TV, because Marcos Ambrose was driving it like he stole it in the closing laps, gaining like a freight train overtaking a tortoise. He ran out of time, finishing third, but Ambrose showed that once again, his Richard Petty Motorsports team could indeed be there at the end. Teammate AJ Allmendinger finished fourth to cap off a great night for the organization.
Kyle Busch’s team got the No. 18 car off pit road first on the final stop and while Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson kept him honest at the end there was no catching Busch.
It’s kind of weird to give a shoutout to the same guy who wound up this race’s villain, but you can’t really vote against Paul Menard here. Menard raced near the top of the pack all day long, leading early and finishing a respectable fifth, the best in the Richard Childress stable. Whether the success he’s had early this year will be long-term remains to be seen; Menard has shown flashes of brilliance before but not a lot of staying power in the long-term talent department. Still, other than tangling with one of NASCAR’s most respected veterans, he ran a great race at Bristol.