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Dale Jr. Takes on Kevin Harvick… Oh, and Kyle Larson Won Michigan, Too.

(Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)

Yes, there was a race this weekend that had a most surprising finish but I will get to that in a little bit.

(Photo by Rusty Jarrett for Chevy Racing)

Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have had a little back and forth this week, although not really talking to each other, more at each other. It all started with Earnhardt making some comments about the business side of NASCAR. Earnhardt thinks that the latest spate of driver changes is being at least partially fueled by economics. When you don’t have sponsors paying $20-30 million any more, you can’t pay your drivers as much any more and the younger drivers will take a lot less than a veteran to drive that car.

Martin Truex, Jr Wins 4th Race of Season at Watkins Glen

While Martin Truex, Jr is a threat to win at any track this year, he didn’t look like the most probable winner this weekend. Even though he started third, Kyle Busch looked like he was going to run away with the race in the early stages, but then contact between Busch and Brad Keselowski about halfway through sent them both spinning and opened the door for anyone else.

Salty Dog’s Grand Prix and the Future of American Racing

I started late. I didn’t drive in my first professional auto race until age 21. Before that, I was addicted to go kart racing. No, not the World Karting Association or the National Karting Alliance. I’d never heard of them.

My karting career began by paying five dollars for ten minutes of track time in a 5 horsepower, 25 mile per hour fun kart at tiny, tourist-driven venues during our family vacations. We stopped at go kart tracks from Virginia to Utah. Any track, any time. It wasn’t real racing, but it was the only racing I had.

The tracks were minuscule. The karts were poky rent-a-wrecks. Sometimes they didn’t even require a helmet. My first races were on tracks like the Salty Dog Grand Prix against other vacationing kids, most of whom never realized they were locked in bitter competition with a teenager and his visions of grandeur.

Kasey Kahne Wins the (Extended) Brickyard 400

(Photo by Jim Fluharty for Chevy Racing)

An exhausted and unexpected Kasey Kahne won the 2017 Brickyard 400 after enduring the 6-hour event. With heat and humidity once again settling over the historic track, a small crowd even by NASCAR standards endured a nearly 2 hour rain delay and then watched the race fall apart with 50 laps to go.

It looked like Kyle Busch was going to win his third Brickyard 400 after winning the first two stages relatively easily. Busch and Martin Truex, Jr looked to have the fastest cars and left the audience wondering if Kyle could hang on or if Truex had something left in reserve when go time came.

Kevin Harvick Finally Wins At Sonoma

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The 4-team has to breathing a lot easier this week… now that Kevin Harvick has that Sonoma win monkey off his back.

He led the second most laps (24) to Martin Truex, Jr (25) who had a mechanical failure that ended his day.

And if it’s true about winning in bunches, the rest of the field had better look out. Harvick isn’t known as “The Closer” for nothing.

Silly Season In Full Swing… Oh, And Kyle Larson Wins at Michigan

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Even with all the griping, warranted griping mind you, about debris cautions at Michigan, at the end of the day you have to find a way to persevere and win. And that is just what Kyle Larson did. Would he have won if the final caution had come out with about 20 to go? Maybe, maybe not. But the caution was called and he did win and that is all that matters.

On the way to Larson’s victory, Martin Truex, Jr grabbed two more stage wins giving him a league-leading 10. Call me crazy but I think Truex would rather have the race win, even in front a less than full stands.