Starting today, I will offer my unsolicited thoughts following each Cup series event from here 'til the end of the season.
So here we go with: Pocono.
--There's slight hope that we may crown a different champion this year. For the umpteenth time this year, JJ, Chad and the 48 team showed the rest of the garage that they are anything but flawless. After starting 6th, JJ drove straight to the front and held the lead for a dominant 96 laps. However, he and Knaus could not keep up with the car and after the track had cooled about 10-12 degrees, they started sliding back. After sliding down into the bottom half of the top 10, things got dicier for Jimmie when his poorly-executed bump draft of Kurt Busch resulted in two destroyed race cars.
--Now I've seen it all......twice. Speaking of destroyed race cars, I haven't seen an engine ripped out in a crash since Geoffrey Bodine had arguably the worst wreck in NASCAR history at Daytona in 2000. It's an event seldom seen, and one that I (and surely most of you) don't care to see. Eliott Sadler is a lucky man and had he had that wreck 10 years ago, he wouldn't be here today.
--Tony Stewart is coming. Unlike last year, but like many years before, Tony Stewart is peaking at JUST the right time by hitting his all-too-familiar 'summer stride'. Over the past 10 races, Smoke had logged 8 top 10's, 5 top 5's, and has led at least 1 lap in 5 of those races. Tony seems to have almost inverted his results from last year. Rather than being at his best over the FIRST 26 races of 2009, he looks to be at his best in the LAST 26 races of 2010. Look for him to be solid again this weekend at The Glen, if he doesn't just go out an win the thing.
--Jeff Gordon just can't seem to catch any sort of break. No matter what he and Letarte do, they're wrong. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this team, as far as I can tell. Many calls made by Letarte this year would have won them races in say 1998 or 2003. However, these days (and especially this year itself) the long-steady conventional wisdom of NASCAR has been turned on it's ear.
--Greg Biffle's victory was important to a LOT of people. Between Roush's 2010 victory drought, FORD'S 2010 victory drought, and Jack's plane crash this past week, Biff's victory on Sunday was the best possible outcome for all parties involved. Logic dictates that this may not be the last we'll see of Biffle in victory lane this year.
--Pocono Raceway is in dire need of an overhaul. Between the 'tree fence' on the Long Pond straightaway, the acres of fast & wet grass, poorly-angled infield walls, and no SAFER on those poorly-angle infield walls, the place is quite obviously teetering on the edge of tragedy.
--Pocono Raceway is completely and utterly bi-polar. It happened in the June race, it happened in yesterday's race and it's happened there many time before: The first 100-125 laps were just abysmally boring. On the third toughest track to lose a lap on, only 20 cars were on the lead lap at the halfway mark. And yet the final 50-75 laps? Pretty damn compelling.
Well, that wraps up my maiden blog. Hopefully I managed to not come off as biased or condescending. If there are any topics/events of note from this past weekend that I forgot to include or touch on, then join me in the comments section and we'll do some jawin'.
Opinions expressed in blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views of racing-reference.info.