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No one has ever accused Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski and his No. 2 team of following conventional wisdom when it comes to race strategy. Every point will matter this week. It is the first of two road course races on the NASCAR circuit. “They want to go out there and they want to run good”.
Although there were relatively few cautions in the race, it still had plenty of fender rubbing, spins, and wrecks, none more so than when Danica Patrick tangled with Dale Earnhardt Jr, causing her to spin around and straight into the path of the oncoming Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
A seven-time victor previous year in the Truck Series, Byron broke through just a week after an agonizingly close defeat to Monster Energy Cup star Denny Hamlin at MI.
Kevin Harvick pulled away late to win the Toyota Save Mart 350 after Martin Truex Jr. encountered engine troubles on Sunday. Bowyer and Keselowski provided a challenge, but weren’t able to stop Harvick from closing out the victory. “We know we need to put this auto in the winner’s circle a few more times to move to the top spot in the standings, and that’s really what we are trying to do”. That probably explains why road course racing in NASCAR has enjoyed such a renaissance. He is 8 in overall points but he also is without a win. Jimmie Johnson has just one career win here but leads all active drivers with nine Top 10 finishes.
In a race with remarkably few cautions – other than those ending each stage – the race still contained plenty of incidents, including a race-ending engine blow-out for stage one victor Martin Truex Jr. The runnerup was teammate Clint Bowyer who brought his battered “Lightning McQueen” auto home despite a spin, some bumping and scraping that left his vehicle dented and creased, a pit road speeding penalty, and worn tires. He’ll run some races for his JR Motorsports XFINITY Series team in 2018 and mentioned he’d consider competing in the Daytona 500 under the right circumstances.
Scott and Sean Engel analyze the DFS field for the Toyota Save Mart 350.
“To finally check this one off the list. being so close to home and having raced here so much, this was one that was on the top of the list”. We had just had good middle speed and that worked out for us.
And here’s another anomaly: While NASCAR has made efforts to diversify its pool of athletes, the sport’s fans and drivers remain mostly white and Christian – at times to a controversial extent.
Like Bowyer, A.J.
The variation of winners at Watkins Glen is a little less dramatic, but still notable.
“The biggest thing is just waiting for the clearance from my doctors that the bone is healed enough that I’ll have the confidence and the reassurance from them that if I get in another crash or if I get in an impact, that I’m not at more jeopardy”, Almirola told ESPN in the Sonoma garage.