Denny Hamlin Pulls Past Martin Truex Jr. and Wins STP 400 in Kansas

With 30 to go, Denny Hamlin put the hammer down, and passed Martin Truex Jr. who led 173 laps of Sunday’s STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Truex Jr. tried to dive to the inside twice on the last lap to make a winning move on Hamlin, but wasn’t able to make it stick.

Much of the race was ran under cloud cover, but once the sun decided to poke through it seemed to have changed the complexion of the race. While the sun was shining on the track it was also shining on Denny Hamlin. Denny said that his car was tight in the corners while it was cloudy out, but once the sun came out late in the race, it made the track a little slippery which was fine by Denny, he was finally able to gain ground on the 56 of Truex that was dead ahead.

Under the cloud cover track position seemed to be oh.. so important, the easiest way to pass the guy in front of you was in the pits. Once the clouds gave way to some sun, set-ups that other guys had dialed in seemed to come to life, and the race was on.

Jimmie Johnson also had a fast car and took third place, while Matt Kenseth finished fourth, and Gregg Biffle drove her home to claim a fifth place finish.

Clint Bowyer was hoping to have a better day than he did, his motor decided to expire during the race along with teammate Mark Martin.

Other drivers whose motor decided to go south were Jeff Gordon, A.J. Allmendinger, Bobby Labonte and Kurt Busch. Yes that’s a pretty hefty list of drivers who had engine woes.

 

 

 

 

Tires at Texas

If you watched Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the race last week was anything but exciting.

They all can’t be exciting, but this is a track where things  tend to happen to make it exciting, kind of like Jeff Burton taking out Jeff Gordon and getting into a fist fight over the incident on the backstretch, oh and wait let’s also put them into the ambulance together too…HA!, I wish I was the medical escort for that one.

It seems as though the most exiting thing that had happened was a caution for a baseball cap that managed to find its way onto the track. I was almost hoping that it would happen again just to shorten the long monotonous green flag runs.

Let’s face it, it happens. I don’t think Texas needs to shorten the race at all, however they may want to get together with Good Year and test a softer compound tire, so that they wear out faster, causing the cars to have to make pit stops more often.

The tires that they ran on Saturday seemed to be to hard, enabling the drivers to make long green flag runs. It seemed as though that the only way to pass a guy during Saturdays race was to pass them in the pits, because once you got out on that track most of the cars seemed to be stuck in the positions that they were in.

 

Next Stop is Martinsville Speedway “The Paperclip”

This weekend race fans should expect to get their Bristol fix at Martinsville AKA “The Paperclip”. If you remember the last two races at Martinsville they were everything but boring. I don’t think there was one straight panel left on any of the cars at the end of the day.

Then there was the Matt Kenseth vs Brian Vickers battle. The two of these guys traded paint and took nips at each other all day long, until at one point Brian Vickers spun-out trying to get the rear bumper of Kenseth for one last swipe. Clint Boyer seemed highly amused by the whole ordeal by chuckling on the radio and making a few funny comments.

If your looking for a fantasy league pick for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on April Fools Day, Jeff Gordon currently has the most wins out of all the current drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 7  under his belt.

However, my eye is on the 88 this weekend. Earnhardt has had a great start to the season with top five runs, and he’s fast at Martinsville. He almost won last season and finished in second place to Kevin Harvick who passed Earnhardt late in the race and never looked back.

After A Wild One At Daytona The Boys Head To Phoenix

If you caught this years Daytona 500, it seemed as though the race would never get started, and then it almost seemed as though the race would never end. Lucky for Dale Earnhardt Jr. (being the night owl that he is) the race went to 1:00 Tuesday morning. Matt Kenseth claimed the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway,  Dale Jr. came in second, while “The Biff” finished in third.

Right out of the gate it seemed as if something was in the air at Daytona. Jimmie Johnson hit the outside wall on lap 2, taking with him Kurt Busch, Danica Patrick and also a couple of other drivers.

There were wrecks and crashes all night long, the biggest one came from Juan Pablo Montoya when he was trying to catch up to the field, while the track was under a caution. Montoya came out of the pits after complaining that there was something wrong with the car. As he made his way around the track something broke in the rear end and send the Target machine skidding sideways right into the tracks jet dryer truck which exploded on impact.

Both Juan and the driver of the track truck were ok, and evaluated. Juan was checked out and released from the medical center right away, while the truck driver was kept for observation and then released. Montoya’s car sat in the infield grass in a smoldering heap.

This week the Camping World Truck Series is off, the Nationwide Series will run on Saturday, and the NASCAR Sprint Sup Series will run on Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson seems to be the fan favorite at Phoenix with 14 top tens and 4 wins, and Jeff Gordon also knows how to get the job done at Phoenix with 2 wins and 18 top tens. Both driver should be a great pick for you fantasy league. It will be interesting to see how Jimmie Johnson does this week with a new fill in crew chief for the short-term.