Racin’ with Russ
Kasey Kahne picked up his second NASCAR Sprint Cup win of the year after race long leader Denny Hamlin had a miscue on pit lane during the final pit stop. Hamlin’s miscue involved getting four tires instead of two which found the Gibbs driver playing catch-up during the final 50 laps.
During that time, Hamlin kept growing larger in Kahne’s mirrors and had there been another five laps in the race, Hamlin may have claimed his latest win.The hot afternoon race in New Hampshire started with pole sitter Kyle Busch on point. While he led some laps, Hamlin appeared to have the strongest car and led comfortably and often.
Busch once again seems to be his own worst enemy with coming into his pit too hot and sped on pit lane, resulting in penalties.Throw in being slightly out of sync with their pit strategies, and the No. 18 Toyota driver wound up 16th on the day.
Kahne was among the top five for much of the day and got up on the wheel in the closing segments in showing the fast way around the one-mile track. As Hamlin worked his way swiftly through traffic late in the go, Kahne worked lapped traffic like the pro he is to capture his latest and 14th career trophy.
Capping off the top five runners included Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brad Keselowski. None of the top 10 in points had a bad day and drivers such as Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards still did accomplish a much needed win to get in the Chase. Edwards was never a factor winding up 16th and Gordon took a sixth. Edwards sits 11th but without at least one win, last year’s runner-up will be on the outside looking in.
Matt Kenseth stays atop the standings, now by 16 over Earnhardt Jr and 40 over his teammate Greg Biffle.
The Cupsters take this week off before embarking on 17 straight weeks of competition, starting with Indy.
Brad Keselowski dominated the race on Saturday afternoon in New Hampshire, doubling up in the win column his attributes for the season. Kahne and Harvick led quite a few laps and in the closing segments, Harvick ran afoul of rookie Amber Cope making it easy for Keselowski to zoom on by and into victory lane.
Harvick expressed his displeasure with the situation after the race by bumping into the side of the 28-year-old's car on the cool down lap. The rest of the top five included Harvick, Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr and Ricky Stenhouse.
The long race and above average temperatures left Stenhouse on the ground next to his car shortly after the race. He was treated for dehydration and was fine about an hour later.
Elliott Sadler’s seventh place run keeps him stop the points by only by three over Dillon and 16 away from Stenhouse.
Danica Patrick started 18th and wound up 14th after spinning out on her own late in the race.
The Camping World truck series made the trek out west to Iowa Speedway where pole sitter Timothy Peters took his first win of the season and remains on top of the overall points charts.
James Buescher had the strongest truck while distancing himself from the pack, however suffered a right front flat, sending his truck hard into the outside wall. Extensive repairs sidelined the young driver, netting a 30th place finish and dropped a spot in the standings to fourth, some 40 points back.
Not far behind at the stripe were the trucks of Ron Hornaday Jr, Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter and Justin Lofton.
The biggest rumors this week involve what will happen with A.J. Allmendinger after the “B” test is taken and results are announced. For now, owner Roger Penske is backing his driver and remains confident with what NASCAR’s procedures encompass.
For now, Nationwide driver Sam Hornish Jr will fill the seat until there is a conflict in scheduling. (Speed)
That’s it for this week. Next week, RWR will review the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World truck action from Chicagoland Speedway and more racing news from around the globe.