Sunday, July 15, 2012

Frankie G's Weekly NASCAR Pitstop: New Hampshire

While we have been praying for rain here in Kentucky, the people at New Hampshire Motor Speedway were praying that the rain would hold off long enough for Sprint Cup to finish this afternoon. The rain luckily held off, and NASCAR was able to complete both races this weekend as planned. Let's take a look at this weekends races.

In Nationwide Brad Keslowski won the pole and had the lead around lap 150 when a caution caused by Danica Patrick bumping Jason Bowels caused a caution. This allowed for Kevin Harvick to gain the lead. He eventually lost the lead when Amber Cope caused him to slow down. This allowed for Keslowski to regain the lead with 21 to go. Keslowski would hold on to the lead and take the checkered flag. After the race Harvick made this statement on Cope, " It's somebody who shouldn't be on the race track, who has no idea what their doing in the race car. She wants to be Danica Patrick, but she can't hold her helmet." The win added to a great year for Keslowski with 3 wins in Sprint Cup and now 1 in Nationwide.

Sprint Cup also featured a race where catching a break meant the difference between a win and a loss. Denny Hamlin showed throughout most of the race that he had the car to beat. Long green flag runs allowed for Hamlin to lap a majority of the field as he owned most of the race. However, a late miscommunication between him and his crew chief caused him to drop from 1st to 13th after a caution. Hamlin told his crew chief he needed tires and meant only two, however confusion caused the crew chief to call for all four tires to be changed out. This problem in communication allowed for Kasey Kahne, who had stayed near the front all race, to take the lead and hold on the final 60 laps. Hamlin would come close to taking back the lead but he would fall short of catching Kahne.

This win marked Kahne's second win of the season, which is big as he hopes for a wild card spot with the Chase quickly approaching. He now leads the group of wild card hopefuls which include Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, and Carl Edwards to name a few. With Busch, Logano, and Newman each having a win this season it would take another win from two of them and a drop in the standings from Kahne to put him out of the Chase. With 7 races to go it's still possible for any of these racers to help their hopes of making it into the 12 team points playoff. Stay tuned later in the week as I break down how each driver could make a wild card spot. Until then, we are left with a wonderful weekend of racing fresh on our minds and a weekend off this coming weekend.

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