Last weekend at Watkins Glen partially mirrored the previous week’s race at Pocono Raceway. Pit strategy became a major factor towards the end of the race where several of the same drivers were battling for the lead for the second consecutive week. Kevin Harvick worked his way through the field, but fell just short, roughly a few ounces short, of having enough fuel to cross the finish line first. Joey Logano capitalized on Harvick’s misfortune to grab his second win this season, and first road course win. Logano did sweep the weekend at Watkins Glen by winning the XFINITY Series race on Saturday. Kyle Busch followed closely behind Joey Logano and also passed Harvick before crossing the finish line to finish second. This second place finish bumped Busch into the Top 30 in points making him fully eligible for the Chase. Busch now has to maintain that spot inside the Top 30 to remain eligible.
Sunday was a disappointing day for two of NASCAR’s best road course racers, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon. A faulty brake line demolished Gordon’s chances of having a stellar finish Sunday, leaving him with a career-worst 41st place finish at Watkins Glen. While running fifth, Stewart’s promising day ended abruptly when a part failed in the rear end of the car, forcing him to be pushed to the garage and finish 43rd.
Leaving Watkins Glen, Kevin Harvick remains the points leader over Joey Logano with only four races left before the Chase begins.
This week, the NASCAR family grieved the passing of one of NASCAR’s greats, Buddy Baker. Baker lost his battle with cancer. As a regular on SiriusXM radio, Baker encouraged fans to remember the good times when he revealed his diagnosis. He said, “Do not shed a tear. Give a smile when you say my name. I’m not saying goodbye, just talk to you later.” Drivers will carry decals on the B-post of their cars this weekend in memory of Buddy.
NASCAR returns to Michigan International Speedway this weekend for the second time this season to run the Pure Michigan 400. Michigan International Speedway is a fast, two-mile D-shaped oval track with eighteen degree banking in the turns. The Sprint Cup Series will head to the track with a package similar to what the series raced a few weeks ago at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Heat is a major concern going into this weekend.
The Fast Five for Michigan: Matt Kenseth, who is a two-time winner at Michigan and has an average finishing position of tenth; Joey Logano, who has won previously at this track, but handled this new car package well; Kurt Busch, who won the first Michigan race this year, and ran well with this car package at Indianapolis; Kyle Busch, who continues to be impressive week after week and is a previous winner at Michigan; and Brad Keselowski, who isn’t a top rated driver for this track, but posted a top ten in the earlier race and has a good opportunity to be a front runner this week. In addition to the Fast Five, keep an eye on Greg Biffle as a dark horse.
Tune into the race Sunday at 2:00 on NBCSN.