Found June 11, 2012 on Start 'N' Park Blog:

Welcome to the June 11, 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 Johnny Sauter, TRD Motors and Kyle Busch, TNT Coverage, Justin Lofton, and Joey Logano’s future with Joe Gibbs Racing. Is your favorite NASCAR personality rising, falling, or treading water? Find out below what Greg and Mike have to say below.

Rising

Matt Kenseth – Kenseth came home in 7th place, but more importantly was able to get ahead of his teammate Greg Biffle for the points lead. He has 7 top fives, 10 top tens, and zero DNFs in 14 starts this season. Only two other drivers have double digit top ten finishes, Jimmie Johnson has 10 and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has 11. – Mike

Johnny Sauter – Johnny Sauter picked up with the win Friday night at the Texas Motor Speedway. It was his fifth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win, but more importantly stops what was a pretty uninspiring season to date. His finishes before this race were 24th, 29th, 4th, 24th, 25th, and 24th and had him 17th in the points standings. That was behind John King, who had one less start than Sauter on the year. That helped him jump up two sports to 15th in points, but still 90 points behind leader Justin Lofton. – Mike

Justin Lofton – Lofton rebounded at Texas for a 9th place finish after starting first via his points position. Lofton’s 7th top ten of the year ties him with Ty Dillon for the most in the year (both are 7 for 7), but him up by five points over Timothy Peters to continue leading the points standings, and 18th of his career. He always showed potential on the race track, but is not cashing in on that potential. – Mike

Falling

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s luck – Junior was the man to beat most of the race and played the strategy to put himself into position to run hard when others needed to pit. Unfortunately, not only did the leaders get an extended caution then Junior pitted, but another caution later so fuel was not an issue. – Mike

TRD Motors and Kyle Busch – Second week in a row that engine issues have snake bit Kyle Busch at a track he’s had some success at. Joe Gibbs Racing went to TRD Engines beginning this year to not only prevent this situation from happening, but have more power. Might be some hiccups for right now, but makes you think maybe they shouldn’t have made the switch over because it’s not like they’re really blowing away the competition when they do stay together. – Mike

Kyle Busch – Two weeks in a row going out with a DNF due to engine failure has dropped Busch out of the top ten in points. Busch has a victory under his belt, so he leads the wildcard spot while sitting in 12th place. Drivers like Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, and Joey Logano have wins and are just waiting for Busch to continue to falter.– Mike

Treading Water

TNT coverage – I’m just going to say I’m probably never going to be happy with the TV coverage of NASCAR. TNT is a step up from FOX, especially when you don’t have the Waltrip boys yacking in your ear all race long. I enjoy TNT’s whole crew they have, Adam Alexander, Wally Dallenbach, and Kyle Petty are a good mix in the booth calling the race. Pit reporters are a solid bunch of veterans, and Larry McReynolds in the tech garage is perfect. I took points off for the over use of Twitter, ironically encouraging fans to tweet but never quite showing their tweets. They got all sorts of people in the sports’ tweets up though. And as always seemed like a barrage of advertisements during the race and on the commercial breaks they seem to ALWAYS take, whether that is the reality of just perception not sure. This was the first broadcast of the year, so I’ll chalk it up to a warm up to the “Summer Series.”– Mike

Joey Logano – Odd that a race winner and someone who got their first win in three years is in the treading water section. But when you look at it closer, you begin to realize why. Joey Logano won the pole and won the race Sunday at Pocono and looked like a driver driving for his job. He is, The Home Depot tried to dump him last year and had Joe Gibbs Racing throw everything they had at Carl Edwards, but they came up short. Now comes a report via Tireball.com < http://tireball.com/2012/06/09/could-home-depot-join-penske-as-sponsor/>. Penske Truck Rental now has a deal with The Home Depot. On the surface means little to nothing to most people, but (as pointed out in the article linked) right before Shell/Pennzoil joined Penske Racing as the sponsor of the #22 car they signed on a deal with Penske Truck Rental to be the official oil of them. It could all be a mere coincidence, but it definitely makes you think. Logano has been great in the Nationwide Series but hasn’t really put it together on the Sprint Cup Series side. This win can help smooth over some at The Home Depot, but don’t count this as a cure all to this team and sponsor. – Mike

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