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.
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.