Miles the Monster must be going on a diet.
As the lap wound down during the third Chase race this Sunday, I had to shake my head. All I saw was a strung-out race that came down to fuel mileage. In all honesty, I dislike fuel mileage races. I know drivers hate them, too. Those races go against everything a driver’s been taught, slowing up instead of going fast.
Then, with ten laps to go, things changed.
That’s when Chase spoiler Kyle Busch pitted under green to gas up. A lap later, pole-sitter and race psychic Denny Hamlin came in for fuel.
Brad Keselowski shook out to be the leader, and the rest is history.
Keselowski, to me, is a guru at saving fuel, and it helped him grab his fifth win of the season, second one of this Chase. His previous best-finish at this track was 12th, which he captured in June. This win has handed him the points lead and the title as favorite to win the championship.
The winning driver pointed to Penske Racing for the win, saying, “I know you guys are going through Hell right now, but thank you.”
He also asserted with his trademark confidence, “We have a great team for The Chase.”
Other Chase drivers who had a good day are Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, and Clint Bowyer. A few Chasers who had a bad day? Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, and Greg Biffle
In the So-So pool I put Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kasey Kahne. The first two didn’t make much noise, ending up 11th and 13th. However, Kahne’s up and down day resulted in a 15th-place finish. The driver of the #5 went from two laps down to fifth place to penalties on pit road.
With non-Chasers, I see a pattern of consistency forming; they are always up there, demanding some spotlight. Those who had a good day are Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, and Joey Logano, all finishing in the top ten.
Next week is Talladega, and that race will show us who’s still in contention for the championship.
Here are the points after Dover:
Brad Keselowski (-)
Jimmie Johnson (-5)
Denny Hamlin (-16)
Clint Bowyer (-25)
Tony Stewart (-32)
Kasey Kahne (-32)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-39)
Martin Truex Jr. (-42)
Kevin Harvick (-46)
Jeff Gordon (-48)
Greg Biffle (-51)
Matt Kenseth (-72)