Battle to the wire as it should be
• With three races left in the Sprint Cup Series season, the two drivers who have won the most races and been up front the most – Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson – are tied atop the standings. Yes, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick are mathematically in the hunt, but for all intents and purposes, the next three weeks is man and machine vs. man and machine with two of the best drivers and organizations (Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports) NASCAR has ever seen. How could it be any better?
• It became evident early Sunday, several drivers were purposely slowing while exiting pit road to end up in line which would allow them to restart the race on the inside line of the track (which clearly was the preferred line). At times, that effort seemed to create a logjam exiting pit road – an issue which NASCAR might need to address before it gets out of hand.
• Gordon’s win clinched the 11th consecutive manufacturer’s championship for Chevrolet in the Cup series and the 37th overall for the automaker. “This championship is the result of teamwork by all the owners, drivers, crew chiefs, crews and technical partners,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports.
“It’s going to be a dogfight to the end. The way that I would want to go racing for a championship, and I know that’s exactly what the fans want to see,” he said.
“That’s probably the most patience I’ve had to be here or in a race in a long time,” Gordon said. “I didn’t see Matt’s car fading like I though it would.”
“This tire was a struggle for us last year, and the last time we were here and we felt like we made a lot of good gains on it in practice and had some good speed,” Earnhardt said. “I don’t know what we have to do to get that extra bit.”