How fitting that on the 110th birthday of the Ford Motor Company, Greg Biffle gets Ford their 1,000 NASCAR Cup victory. This caps off a period of resurgence for the manufacturer that got out of the gate slow to start 2013. Not only was Biffle good Sunday, we saw a good amount of Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and even a dash of Ricky Stenhouse near the front.
For anyone paying attention, Danica Patrick ended up running better than her fellow rookie boyfriend Stenhouse. The former Indy car racer finished 13th, while the former Nationwide Series stud fell back to 16th. Not really a fan of the number 10, but by the same token, I can’t say I bear the same animus towards Danica.
Those who bear ill will towards Hendrick Motorsports had a good day yesterday. Jeff Gordon got caught up in Bobby Labonte’s mess, Kasey Kahne tagged the wall while in the lead, Dale Junior blew a motor and Jimmie Johnson blew a Goodyear while trying to reel in the Biff. For all Jimmie’s misfortune, he’s still running nicely out front in a meaningless points race.
Yep, Tony Stewart is truly back. He said his car wasn’t top five quality, but he kept his ride free from carnage and reeled off a top five. Wild card? Who needs it? Smoke is stout for summer. Another guy known for nursing less than stellar cars to top finishes, Kevin Harvick found himself the beneficiary of Jimmie’s foul fortune for a handy second place finish.
Did anybody else noticed Jeff Burton finished tenth? It seems like a million years since he won a race, but I am noticing he’s getting closer than he’s been in a while, and between all the penalties and back luck, who knows? He could end up in the Chase.
Has Toyota found the happy medium? Well, let’s put it this way: Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer all made the top ten. Kenseth, Truex and Busch didn’t appear to have winning cars, but were solid all day. Truex lamented that he had a good long run car, but just didn’t have it for the short ones.
Speaking of Toyota, you can all but stick a fork in Denny Hamlin. In light of his injury, what he’s doing is nothing short of remarkable. It’s just too darn hard to make up a four race absence. Would he be better off taking more time off to heal? I don’t think his competitive nature will let him.
Did anyone else notice A.J. Allmendinger ran 19th in the 47? It’s things like that that make you wonder what that says about Bobby Labonte. Yes, this fan is in denial. I thought it was a bit amusing when TNT’s Adam Alexander said the Labonte’s spin that collected Jeff Gordon was a wreck combining the winners of five Cup championships. Ahem, Gordon won four those. With that said, in this opinion, if you win a season championships, you’re Hall of Fame caliber. It’s definitely not a blind squirrel finding a nut moment. I’m just saying.
By the way, I thought TNT’s broadcast was much better this go around. Without picking on anybody else, I appreciate the cable networks less carnival like, buttoned down approach. I REALLY like the “through the field” feature. I also think TNT does a better job than the others of chronicling races for position behind the leaders.
I call it “Race React,” because this is just this obsever’s off-the-cuff reaction to what he saw. Feel free to throw in anything else you noticed from Sunday.