Found April 23, 2012 on Start 'N' Park Blog:
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Welcome to the April 23, 2012edition of Start ‘N’ Park Blog’s Stock Watch. Each week we’ll take a look at who’s rising, falling, and treading water in the world of NASCAR. This stretches all division and all aspects of NASCAR, including drivers, owners, crew members, media and fans. Finding their way onto this week’s watch includes Turner Motorsports, Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Todd Bodine, and Kansas Speedway. Is your favorite NASCAR personality rising, falling, or treading water? Find out below what Greg and Mike have to say below. Rising Turner Motorsports – With James Buescher’s win Saturday at Kansas that gives Turner Motorsports two wins in a row after Kasey Kahne won last Sunday at Rockingham. This team is rising as their Nationwide and Truck teams are finally running where they should be in each series. I’ve been a fan of them since they were once Braun Racing and good to see a team that supports both lowers series rewarded for their hard work. – Mike Todd Bodine – Bodine finished in 5th place Saturday in the Truck Series race to help bring him up to 11th in the standings. That doesn’t sound overly good, but he needs to run well to try and impress sponsors. Bodine has Toyota’s backing until Charlotte next month, so the better he does the easier (they hope) it will be to sell his quarter panels. – Mike Martin Truex, Jr – Yet another solid MWR race in general, Truex dominated the entire race until the last run, eventually settling in for a very hard to swallow Runner-Up finish. You really can’t call this much of a fluke anymore. Truex has been on the lead lap at the finish of every race this season, with 3 top 5′s and 6 top 10′s. That is as many top 5′s on this season as he had in all 2011. The guy is really putting together a remarkable season for his team, and you really have to wonder if he might actually be a contender….. I’m not sold that far yet, but it’s really beginning to look like he is almost a lock for the chase. And no, I can’t believe I just wrote that, either. – Greg Falling AJ Allmendinger – Lofty expectations for Allmendinger going into this season and he has yet to really deliver. He won the pole for Sunday’s race but finished in 32nd place. Ryan Newman found out in his run with Penske Racing that they do not award bonus points for poles, only wins. Allmendinger needs to turn that corner and get himself a win, or else the goals at the beginning of the season might drive him out of Penske after one year. – Mike Hendrick Motorsports Engine Department – For the umpteenth time this season, Hendrick engines had issues. Jeff Gordon dropped a cylinder and eventually blew up. Kurt Busch saw his first good solid run go by the wayside with his own cylinder issues. Gordon blew up at Daytona, and Jimmie “5-Time Playoff Champion” Johnson blew up (but as the checkers flew) at Auto Club Speedway. Hendrick has prided themselves on rarely having any issues for the last decade. This can not be a good sign for the future. – Greg Treading Water Kurt Busch – Busch turned in another mid-pack performance that is below what the former champion should be finishing. Why he’s treading water is because he didn’t tear up any equipment in the process of finishing 17th. This team, despite what they say, needs sponsorship and finishes like this will not bring them in. The catch is a team down on its budget needs finishes like this that don’t involve ruining equipment. – Mike Kansas Speedway – The race this weekend, from what I saw and am catching up on reading reviews, was a good race. It went by quick with only 3 cautions and had a semi-close finish. If Truex doesn’t get loose in the corner with three laps to go, he could have made it stuck and win. With that said Hamlin wouldn’t just roll over either, so, could have been exciting. The problem is I’m talking in hypotheticals versus reality. The reality was quick, uneventful race, and leaves you with “eh, Kansas was ok, but Richmond is next and exciting!” I wonder what the re-pave will do to the track, improve or ruin what they’ve built in 11 years. Again, does it need two races? Probably not. – Mike Yellow Flags – These poor, neglected pieces of wayward fabric…..They have to be getting so bored sitting in the flag holders tray. Only 3 yellows this week at Kansas (with one being rather dubious….I fail to see how Montoya brought out a yellow for just scraping the wall. I’ve seen harder hits by girlscouts!). 5 cautions last week. Every blog out there has commented on the massive decrease in yellow flags. I wish I knew what was truly causing this phenomenon, but I certainly won’t argue with it. – Greg
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