All three series were in action, but in three different tracks. From Texas to Iowa to Pocono, let’s get caught up in the action!
WinStar World Casino 400 thoughts:
Rough night for Kyle Busch Motorsports without the boss at the track. While Kyle was in Pocono, he had Joey Coulter, Chad Hackenbracht making his series debut, and Darrell Wallace, Jr. driving in Texas. Hackenbracht got loose on the straightaway and hit the inside wall, ruining his day and relegating him to a 26th place finish. Coulter was making moves when he got loose in the corner and pop the outside wall, relegating him to a 25th place finish.
I spent most of the night swearing they were saying Jeff Burton instead of Jeb Burton.
Obviously since I picked him to win and he didn’t, I was disappointed that Brendan Gaughan finished fifth. But more so, he’s a driver who has been close a lot and you just want to see him be rewarded with good finishes. Plus he’s a great guy too with fans, so he deserves it.
It was great watching a race not dominated by a Sprint Cup Series driver for once. That allowed Jeb Burton to pick up his first victory. The kid has been fast all year with three poles already and now has the victory. Great for the 20-year old driver and great for Turner Scott Motorsports, a team that gives chances to young drivers.
The Trucks take a week off and will be next in action June 27th from the Kentucky Speedway.
DuPont Pioneer 250 thoughts:
It was a long weekend in Iowa as the race was rained out Saturday and run Sunday. Mother Nature came back a second time to delay the race and put it into the Sprint Cup Series race in Pocono. While annoying, it was good to be able to flip to another race during the cautions.
Newly wed Trevor Bayne picked up the win after Austin Dillon dominated the race. Dillon held the same fate as his brother did in Texas, leading the most laps, and coming up short in the end. I was glad to hear that the contact made by both fighting for the lead was in good racing, per Dillon, and no hard feelings. That’s what this series needs is it’s young drivers going fender to fender for wins like that.
Elliott Sadler might have finished third, but it seemed like a struggle at a track he excels at. He and his team still need to find some magic in his Toyota.
Ryan Blaney pinch hit for Joey Logano and got a 9th place finish. Not bad for a guy who was having trouble reaching the peddles due to their height difference.
Mike Bliss got himself a top-10 finish. Other high finishers include Drew Herring getting 11th in his first start of the year, and Johanna Long got 12th.
Tough break for Travis Pastrana. I think he’s finally got the stock car thing figured out, he just needs luck to get on board with him.
The Nationwide Series is back next weekend running the Alliance Truck Parts 250 from the Michigan International Speedway.
Party In The Poconos 400 by Walmart thoughts:
I’ll admit, I’m a hypocrite, as I’ve spent all year blasting FOX’s coverage and the moment it turned on TNT, I bemoaned them taking over. For me, I would love to see the TV package go back to rotating around different networks during the year. The biggest con to that is confusing fans as to where to tune in. What I like about it is you don’t get burned out on one broadcast. FOX is good for the first couple of races, then I get annoyed with Waltrips2. If I could get a break, then come back to them, I might be fine.
Jimmie Johnson got his third win of 2013 and his third win at Pocono by dominating the race. He led 129/160 laps and got his revenge after last week’s late race penalty at Dover. When I did my picks, I should have known he would be running 120% with a chip on his shoulder.
Ryan Newman played the strategy card and was rewarded with a solid fifth place finish. Boss Tony Stewart turned in a fourth place finish and gave Stewart-Haas Racing some hope for the coming weeks. SHR’s other driver, Danica Patrick, was 29th.
Title chasers Brad Keselowski (16th), Carl Edwards (23rd), and Matt Kenseth (25th) all had off days.
Kasey Kahne had a terrible day after having to go to the garage on lap 5 to fixed a gearing issue. He ended up 36th, 19th laps down.
Next on tap for the Sprint Cup Series is the Quicken Loans 400 from the Michigan International Speedway, Sunday June 16th.
Labonte Hitting The End Of The Road?
It was announced over the weekend that AJ Allmendinger would replace Bobby Labonte at the next race in Michigan and four additional races in the future. Co-owner Tad Geschickter swears Labonte is not out of a ride, rather they want to confirm what he says is the problem with performance. Despite what he says, I believe this could be the end of Labonte. He’s been a drifting soul ever since Joe Gibbs Racing let him go after the end of the 2007 season. At 49 years old, I’m not sure what else he has in the tank and his numbers have been stagnant since about 2007. What the JTG-Daugherty Racing team needs to do is put a young driver in the car and build around that. If you’re running 20th/30th with a young driver you can at least point at the potential he might have rather than hanging onto a championship won 13 years ago.
Patrick: The New Bench Mark Of Struggling
Juan Pablo Montoya was asked how he knew his team was struggling, his response was hilarious: “I think when we got to Richmond, around there, Danica (Patrick) was ahead of us in points. We were 30-something in points.” Basically, if you’re behind Danica in points, you know there’s a problem.
Burton Not The Only 2nd Generation Winner
Chase Elliott led 21 of the 80 laps Saturday at the Pocono Raceway to pick up his first win in the ARCA Series. Elliott, 17 year old son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, started from the 32nd position in the race. Being associated with Hendrick Motorsports has given Elliott the tools to succeed and he is doing so.