By Sarah Tonsmeire
Last weekend’s race at Pocono quickly became one of the strongest headlines this season when Martin Truex Jr. finally found his way to Victory Lane. The pure emotion exuded from Victory Lane captured the hearts of many, and fellow drivers made their way to Truex’s car to offer congratulations. Truex Jr. has undoubtedly been one of the most dominant drivers this season, leading the most laps for four consecutive races, but he’s been unable to capitalize in the final laps of the race to get a win. Sunday, his 69-race winless drought came to an end when his pit strategy paid dividends. With his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex battling cancer, and mourning the loss of his grandmother, Martin Truex Jr. was overdue for a celebration. This story is perhaps the top “feel good” story in recent years throughout NASCAR.
Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Kurt Busch all proved to have dominant cars, but were no match for Truex Jr.. Harvick captured his tenth top two place finish in fourteen races. He became the second driver to make this accomplishment. Bobby Allison was the first.
There have now been ten different winners this season. Kevin Harvick continues to lead the points with Martin Truex Jr. right behind in second.
In other NASCAR news this week, Michael Waltrip Racing is shaking things up with crew chief changes. Effective immediately, Brian Pattie will serve as the new crew chief on the No. 55 car of David Ragan and Billy Scott will be the new crew chief on the No. 15 car of Clint Bowyer.
Jimmie Johnson was able to have a P1 penalty rescinded this week through the appeal process with NASCAR. The panel decided that one of the two violations that led to the penalty was shown by a preponderance of evidence.
This weekend, NASCAR heads to Michigan International Speedway for the running of the Quicken Loans 400. Michigan International Speedway is a fast, two-mile D-shaped oval track with eighteen degree banking in the turns.
This week’s Fast Five is not based solely on past performances at this track, but includes timely performances for many drivers. The Fast Five for Michigan International Speedway is as follows: Kevin Harvick, who is a previous winner at Michigan and has finished in the runner-up position multiple times at this track; Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is a previous winner at this track and consistently performs well at this track; Jimmie Johnson, who is the defending race winner at Michigan; Carl Edwards, who has two previous wins at this track and holds the best average finishing position; and Jeff Gordon, who won the fall race at Michigan and holds the most runner-up finishes at this track.
In addition to the Fast Five, keep an eye on Greg Biffle as the dark horse.
Be sure to tune into the race Sunday at 1:00 on Fox Sports 1.