What can you say?
We saw a pretty good race at Pocono and as I said last week, put your wager on an existing winner and probably a Joe Gibbs Racing team.
So I got it half right.
Denny Hamlin and teammate Kyle Busch, who finished second, were both disqualified in post-race inspection giving the win to Chase Elliott (a multiple time winner this year).
The offense was for an aero issue on the front nose. Hamlin failed pre-race inspection twice but passed on the third time. During post-race inspection, officials discovered something amiss on the two cars and issued the penalty quickly.
Both Hamlin and Busch are going to be fine as far as the playoffs are concerned but this was a huge boost to several other drivers who all moved up a couple of positions.
Busch led the most laps and Hamlin had some issues during the race the least of which was some payback to Ross Chastain with 18 laps to go. The two were battling for the lead when Hamlin ran Chastain up the track. He left him sone room but Chastain caught a piece of the wall causing him to spin down to the inside retaining wall where he caught part of that too. The accident put a crimp in Kevin Harvick’s day but I am sure he was OK with the payback Hamlin dealt out. Just one of them racing deals.
It’s hard to imaging Kyle Busch not attracting top sponsorship for 2023. The guy can drive it like he stole it, is the only multiple championship winner still active and knows how to win. But today’s teams require a substantial income to keep things afloat. Gibbs might be trying to piece together more than a couple of sponsors to keep Kyle driving the 18 for the foreseeable future. But with Ty Gibbs in the waiting room known as Xfinity, someone is bound to be the odd man out at Gibbs in the next few years.
Good on ya, mate
- Chase Elliott (P1) has 5 straight top 2 finishes. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Or just have both.
- Tyler Reddick (P2) will take the runner up position no questions asked.
- Daniel Suarez (P3) thought P5 was good. Then this.
- Christopher Bell (P4) will not look a gift horse in the mouth.
- Kyle Larson (P5) is putting points up but no recent wins.
- Michael McDowell (P6) is showing some nice strength late in the reason.
- Bubba Wallace (P8) had a nice run.
- Austin Dillon (P10) really needed a Top 10.
- Ty Gibbs (P16) was just happy as heck.
So you had a bad day
- Kyle Busch (30) has to be mad as heck.
- Denny Hamlin (P29) raced hard all day and is proud of it whatever the outcome.
- Ryan Blaney (P35) started in 6th but crashed late.
- Ross Chastain (P24) better be aware this is not over.
- Kevin Harvick (P29) is not looking forward to Indy.
- Joey Logano (P22) was the best finishing Penske car.
Next up: Indianapolis road course
AJ Allmendinger is the defending race winner so let’s see what he can do this time. If you recall, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Kurt Busch rounded out the Top 5. Larson (28) and Denny Hamlin (27) led the most laps with Chase Elliott (14) and Chase Briscoe (12) rounding out the main race leaders.
Race strategy may play into the finish as it often does on road courses. Should Allmendinger get into the lead, everyone else will have their hands full trying to pass him.
Turn left and right and keep the shiny side up! Also, leave your comments and thoughts on the Gibbs teams’ DQs below. If you want to read some of my past columns, click here. Thanks.
(Featured Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/NASCAR Media)