Juan Pablo Montoya and his #42 EGR team finally went all the way to the end with the strongest car and won at The Glen Sunday afternoon. As road races go in NASCAR, this one was as interesting and hard fought as any. There was strong competition at the front and all the way through the field all day long and even a few surprises on the last lap.
Along with the #42 team’s win on the weekend, there was another shakeup of the points and the race for the last couple of positions in the Chase became a bit tighter. Mark Martin moved into 12th place and Clint Bowyer fell back to 13th. Still, only 10 points separate the two and with four races left until the Chase begins, it is anybody’s guess which of those two will make it.
Of course, it is also possible someone else could surprise all of us by making up a bunch of points over the next four weeks, but, that also means a couple of drivers would really have to have some bad weeks over those weeks, too. The two I think still have a shot at it are Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray. Their chances are slim but it is not out of the realm of possibilities they could break into the top twelve IF times turn against those already in the lower spots of the top twelve, namely Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer. (Heaven forbid if it is someone higher up the list…)
I would think some of the most disappointed drivers for the weekend would be Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and, yes, Marcos Ambrose. I’m sure it is pretty obvious why the Hendrick teams would come away disappointed but why Marcos Ambrose; didn’t he finish 3rd?
Yep, that’s true but right up to the last lap he was running second and before that he was in first and looked like he was going to be the one that could beat Montoya. With the way this year has gone for Marcos, finishing third had to be one of the most disappointing finishes since the one in Sonoma. He has been absolutely unable to catch a break all year. I believe he is feeling the crunch of the pressure of being in NASCAR, performing fairly well last year, struggling this year and it remains to be seen what he is going to be doing next year.
Kevin Harvick dropped several spots on the last lap from a flat left rear tire and it is fortunate he has such a comfortable lead over Jeff Gordon in the points. Both of them have been very consistent so far this season and it is this fan’s opinion that is why they are comfortably running 1-2 in points. One thing about NASCAR that hasn’t changed much over the old format (at least as far as getting in the Chase is concerned); consistency week in and week out has it’s rewards.
This was another road race the NASCAR regulars outperformed the “ringers” and it sure goes to show the regulars (and, of course, their teams) have stepped up their road racing programs. In my opinion, it just shows how good NASCAR teams and drivers are. That doesn’t mean the others can’t perform as well, it just means the regular drivers have the advantage of being in these cars on a regular basis and (once again, in my opinion) that really makes the biggest difference in the results at the end of the day.
The race at The Glen was just another example of showing those that qualify up front, have a good chance of finishing up front. That’s one obvious thing that makes road races so much different form the ovals. The difference between a qualifying package and a race package isn’t that different on the road course… and the rest…. Well, that’s the driver and a thing called “racing luck”. Either way, patience and performance pave the way to victory… at least at The Glen anyway…
See ya next time… Rusty
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© August 11, 2010 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman and NascarFansView.com
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