Back we go to Pocono, where Martin Truex Jr. won in the spring, where all of the Hendrick drivers shared in winning the previous five. A Busch has won there, twice. His name is Kurt.
Kyle Busch has not…yet. He swept Indianapolis last weekend, meaning he ran and won the XFINITY race there on Saturday. It was his second junior circuit win in five tries this season. That now means series regulars have won just three of 18 events, with Chris Buescher taking two while Ryan Reed won at Daytona in February. Truck series wonder-kid Erik Jones has a pair while six Cup drivers have shared the other 13. Of course, most see what the problem is. I guess stupid is as stupid does, as Forrest Gump reminded us.
NASCAR spent tons of time and money figuring out a package to run at Indy. Then they got teams to spend their own time and money to ready their cars with that new package. In the end, they appear to have wasted a bunch of time and money. The racing was not much different than it has ever been, which is not all that good while making them a bit more sensitive to losing control after losing air on the spoiler, spoiling their day. Next month, they will use the same package in Michigan. You can never have too much of a bad thing, I guess.
Word is that Danica Patrick is expected to stay with Stewart-Haas after this season, a new contract and new sponsors. Why? It has everything to do with being a competent attractive female in a sport dominated by men. She might never contend for a title or even a Chase berth, but as long as she continues to enjoy the following she has, she does not have to.
Cameron Hayley is a 19-year-old Canadian sitting sixth in the truck series standings. He is a Calgary boy, making him as likely to be a cowboy as a hockey player. Instead, he turned to racing. Too bad the truck series is not broadcast in Canada this season. However, if you want to watch soccer instead, I got great news for you.
Heading to Pocono, our Hot 20 does not include our hottest driver. Heading out of Pocono probably will be a different story. If you are wondering if it is all about Kyle…it seems it is.
1. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 4 WINS (675 Points)
Will remain first overall, unless Kyle wins Pocono.
2. KEVIN HARVICK – 2 WINS (777 Points)
All the talk is about Kyle, but Harv’s finishes over the past five have been fourth, fourth, eighth, third, and third.
3. DALE EARNHARDT JR. – 2 WINS (677 Points)
The last driver not named Kyle Busch to win a Cup race.
4. KURT BUSCH – 2 WINS (612 Points)
Kyle’s first bridesmaid was his own brother.
5. JOEY LOGANO – 1 WIN (708 Points)
Bridesmaid No. 2…and No. 4.
6. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 1 WIN (668 Points)
Could have helped Kyle and Kevin in late restarts…but I guess they were on their own.
7. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 1 WIN (638 Points)
Kyle’s other bridesmaid, as Penske finished second in each of the past three.
8. MATT KENSETH – 1 WIN (615 Points)
As a teammate, he personally knows Kyle.
9. DENNY HAMLIN – 1 WIN (591 Points)
So does Denny.
10. CARL EDWARDS – 1 WIN (519 Points)
So does Carl.
11. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 602 POINTS
Has enough points that Kyle’s expected jump up the ladder affects him the least.
12. JEFF GORDON – 575 POINTS
Forget Kyle. Until further notice, the goal is to finish ahead of Bowyer every week.
13. RYAN NEWMAN – 563 POINTS
After Pocono and Kyle’s expected rise in the standings, things get a little more tense.
14. KASEY KAHNE – 558 POINTS
Same as above.
15. PAUL MENARD – 558 POINTS
16. CLINT BOWYER – 538 POINTS
If Kyle moves up, 16th becomes the new 17th.
17. ARIC ALMIROLA – 508 POINTS
Forget Kyle and forget making the Chase on points. A win is the only way in.
18. GREG BIFFLE – 462 POINTS
Kyle is the least of his worries.
19. AUSTIN DILLON – 453 POINTS
Like Kyle, Austin was a speed racer at Indy. Unlike Kyle, he did his speeding on pit road…twice.
20. KYLE LARSON – 452 POINTS
The other Kyle.