Indianapolis, IN- The Brickyard 400 has come and gone and now teams look forward to making a run at the Chase.
Ryan Newman capitalized on a late Jimmie Johnson pit stop mishap to win for the first time in 49 races Sunday. Now he looks to keep the momentum going for a second straight week.
For those that watched the race Sunday you would have been used to seeing the No. 39 Quicken Loans/Smurfs Chevy and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy driven by Newman and Johnson respectively dominating up front. The duo combined to lead 118 of the 160 Laps.
Expect to see more of the same this weekend at the Pocono Raceway.
Pocono is very similar to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Both are flat 2.5-mile tracks with long straightaways. Many times the same results happen in both places.
This is the second trip the NASCAR Sprint Cup has made to Pocono in the last two months. Back in June Jimmie Johnson dominated the race leading 128 of the 160 laps en route for the victory. He backed that up with 73 laps led in Indy. With having a very good car at both races why would it change this weekend?
Newman led 45 laps in Indy and was the only other driver besides Johnson to lead in double digits at Pocono back in June. The “Rocket” led 19 laps and finished fifth. He and Johnson had the two best cars that day and this past Sunday.
To make it even more similar, six of the top 10 finishers at Pocono finished there at Indy.
Johnson won at Pocono and was second at Indy; Newman placed fifth at Pocono and first at Indy; Tony Stewart came home fourth at both Indy and Pocono; Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third at Pocono and sixth at Indy; Kyle Busch placed sixth at Pocono, 10th at Indy; and Joey Logano was 10th at Pocono and eighth at Indy.
That’s why I don’t expect things to change this weekend. What worked in June worked at a similar track in Indy last weekend.
It clearly is working and Johnson and Newman have a leg up on the competition. Unless something crazy happens these two will once again dominate this weekend.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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