NASCAR made its first visit of the season to New Hampshire Motor Speedway's "Magic Mile" this past weekend, sending the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series up north for a pair of events on the mile oval. At the end of the weekend, Kasey Kahne had cemented his comeback from the depths of the Sprint Cup standings, while Kevin Harvick had made a new enemy in Nationwide competition.
Much of the news over the course of the week dealt with A.J. Allmendinger's drug suspension. Stories ranged from speculation over the substance—which some believed may have been caffeine-related, given Allmendinger's sponsorship with an energy shot brand—to when Allmendinger's B sample will be tested. The date was eventually set at July 24, four days before practice begins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after this weekend's break. Depending upon the results, Sam Hornish Jr. will remain in Allmendinger's car for the time being.
But Allmendinger wasn't the only Penske Racing driver in the news this weekend, as Brad Keselowski's comments about supplements rattled much of the garage. According to Keselowski, no driver in NASCAR should be on any sort of supplement, "even Flintstone pills," he told the press on Friday. "I think it’s a bunch of bull---- that people are allowed to take supplements or any of those things. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think any athlete should be allowed to take that, but that’s my own personal beliefs."
Keselowski was in the news again on Saturday, but more a much more positive reason: his victory in the Nationwide Series F.W. Webb 200, in which he led 131 of 200 laps. Keselowski took the lead for the fourth and final time on lap 179 from Kevin Harvick, who had been held up by a major gaffe by Amber Cope, who finished over 30 laps down. After the race, Harvick swerved his car at Cope's to show displeasure, and told media "She wants to be Danica Patrick, but she can't even hold her helmet." A defiant Cope tweeted a picture from half a lap before her block, attempting to coerce an apology out of Harvick; his only response was "at least I know the 24 car will drive straight on Sunday."
Kyle Busch started from the pole on Sunday and led until the first green flag pit stops, when he took a pit road speeding penalty and handed the lead to teammate Denny Hamlin. Hamlin would dominate much of the race until final pit stops, when miscommunication with Darian Grubb led to a four tire stop instead of two and bounced him back to 13th. Kahne would take the lead from there, but Hamlin's masterful charge to the front was the real story of the final green flag run. Hamlin pulled to second place and within a second of Kahne in the final laps, but couldn't take back the lead.
Kahne now holds the top wild card spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup as the only driver between 11th and 20th with two victories. Hamlin, meanwhile, moved up multiple spots in the points, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. cut Matt Kenseth's points lead from 25 points to 16 going into the off week.