By Sarah Tonsmeire
One of the biggest weeks in racing is in the books.
NASCAR’s longest race of the circuit, the Coca-Cola 600, came down to who had the best fuel strategy. Perhaps Martin Truex Jr. had the most dominant car of the race, but it was Carl Edwards’ race-winning pit and fuel saving strategy that earned him the coveted spot in Victory Lane. In addition to Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin were all front runners throughout the night, but late race pit stops kept them from being in the front when it counted most. In only his second race since his February injury, Kyle Busch claimed a notable eleventh place finish in Sunday’s race. Finishing seconds behind Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five. Jimmie Johnson is probably one driver relieved to move on from the Coca-Cola 600, as he spun out twice during the race, and has since been penalized by NASCAR for receiving written warnings at two consecutive events. The No. 48 team plans to appeal the P1 penalty.
Kevin Harvick remains the points leader after Charlotte Motor Speedway.
In other NASCAR news, Jeff Gordon announced that he will join FOX Sports in 2016 as a regular race analyst in the booth, alongside Darrell Waltrip and Mike Joy.
NASCAR heads north to Dover International Speedway, also referred to as the “Monster Mile,” for the running of the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. Drivers will maneuver 400 laps around the one mile, concrete oval track with twenty-four degree banking in the turns. As fast as this track can be, it can be challenging for many drivers. This week, drivers who have proven to be successful at handling a track of this nature have made their way into the Fast Five.
It’s difficult to count out Jimmie Johnson for Dover International Speedway, as he holds the most wins among active drivers with nine, has the best average finishing position and is the defending race winner. The remainder of this week’s Fast Five includes: Matt Kenseth, who posted a third place finish last year in this race and has proving to be a front runner on shorter tracks this season; Martin Truex Jr. who posted a sixth place finish here last May and has been on the verge of a win for weeks; Brad Keselowski, who has posted back to back runner-up finishes at Dover; and Joey Logano, who posted two top ten finishes in 2014 at Dover and has been consistently running well this season. In addition to the Fast Five, keep an eye on Kyle Larson as the dark horse pick this week.
Be sure to tune into the race Sunday on FoxSports 1 at 1:00.