Watkins Glen was exciting and the finish was filled with drama! Congratulations to Kyle Busch and his win at the Glen. That was Busch’s third win of the season, and the second at Watkins Glen. Now it’s back to regular left-handed driving from here on out, starting in the Irish hills of Michigan.
Next up is the Pure Michigan 400 and after this race, we should start to know some of the players for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. When it comes to racing at Michigan, a lot of emphasis is placed on the manufacturers, due to speedway’s proximity to Detroit. Greg Biffle has won the last two races here and the Ford Company has owned this speedway since its inception in 1968, winning 31 times. Chevrolet has 20 wins, Toyota has 4, Dodge has 9, Mercury has 12, Pontiac has 4, Oldsmobile has 2, and Buick has 4.
Last Year’s Winner: Greg Biffle
Most wins among active drivers: Mark Martin (5)
Prediction: Carl Edwards. If not for an ill-timed caution flag, Edwards might have ended up in Victory Lane in June, and not his teammate. However, he recovered from that pit road miscue and finished eighth. Edwards has won here twice before and might get win number three here on Sunday. He’s third in the points, but he won’t be there when the Chase starts. He would be tied for fifth as the points stand now and a win would tie him for third. Many people believed that since Edwards and his new crew chief Jimmy Fenig won so quickly in the season, that many more wins would follow. That hasn’t been the case, but Edwards was strong here in June and going to a track where he has won before has got to give him confidence that he can perform his back flip for the second time this season, should he win on Sunday.
Fun Fact: It was this race in 2004 when Edwards made his Cup Series debut, taking over the 99 after Jeff Burton moved to Richard Childress Racing. He finished 10th in that race and didn’t look back, finishing second in the point standings twice and scoring 20 wins so far in his Cup career and he won the 2007 Nationwide title for Roush Racing.
I would like to send get well soon wishes to Tony Stewart after he broke his right leg in a Sprint Car crash. We had already gone to press by the time I heard of Stewart’s accident, or else I would have mentioned it in my column last week. Stewart missed Watkins Glen, snapping a streak of 521 consecutive starts, and will miss at least the next two races, and with that, his chances for making the Chase are pretty much gone. These next few races won’t be the same without Stewart, who makes NASCAR more exciting with him in it, but hopefully Smoke will make a quick recovery and be back behind the wheel of the 14 soon.