Once again, Denny Hamlin had the car to beat at Pocono. He led a lot of laps, it seemed he could move to the front anytime he wanted and it looked like it was going to be another dominating performance and Pocono victory for him. Unfortunately, the continuation of his 2011 racing luck, (or lack thereof), was more than evident Sunday afternoon and he finished nineteenth.
Carl Edwards was another that had high hopes of finishing up front at Pocono and possibly improving his points lead. He dropped a cylinder, went to the garage for repairs and finished thirty-seventh 141 laps down. He went into Pocono with around a forty point lead and came out with a six point lead over Jimmie Johnson (which really makes the points race in the top five or six very interesting.)
The Hendrick teams faired very well at the “Tricky Triangle” and three of them finished in the top ten. Dale Jr finished sixth, Jimmie Johnson finished fourth and, yes, Jeff Gordon won his second race of the 2011 season. That’s a pretty good showing for teams that were showing a severe lack of speed just a few weeks ago. It seems they are beginning to turn the corner a bit and becoming much more competitive than they were earlier in the season.
Kurt Bush finished second after starting on the pole and after Hamlin had his problems, he and Jeff Gordon were the ones to beat for the rest of the race.
Juan Pablo Montoya finished seventh and lead a lot of laps. He had a good run, but with the way strategy was playing out, this fan never did think he was going to win. It was a very good run for him, though, and he is one that could show up in Victory Lane very soon. Looking ahead just abit, this fan expects the Ganassi teams to do well at the Brickyard at the end of July.
Kyle Bush finished third even with having to put up some harrassment from the RCR teams of Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick, (in particular, Kevin Harvick.) Now, if you think it came about because of the “misunderstanding” between Richard Childress and Kyle Bush at Kansas, you’d probably be right. No, I don’t think Richard handed down team orders to harrass the #18 but it was very obvious there was some definite hard feelings still lingering from previous weekends of racing, at least between the drivers if no one else.
It appears Kyle and Kevin are going to be mentally sparring for some time yet. From this fan’s view, it is possible the two could be the draw for fans in the races ahead. That’s not to say the fans aren’t coming to see the races, but it does mean they are also coming to see what will happen between the two…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 16, 2011 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman and Nascarfansview.com
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