Monday, August 8, 2011

View From The Flagstand: Keselowski Pounds Pocono

After a head-on wreck, at over 100 mph, while testing on Wednesday, Brad Keselowski could have been excused for sitting out Sunday's Cup race at Pocono. After all, the driver of Penske Dodge #2 suffered a fractured ankle and other injuries when his brakes failed at Road Atlanta. Instead, he turned it on at the end, and won his second race of the year.


Keselowski is all but locked into the Chase now with that second win. He earned this win, driving through the pain, and racing hard on the last restart. His Penske Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, was also strong and finished third.


Kyle Busch looked to have the fastest car at times, before settling for second place. Dale Earnhardt Jr's 9th place run helped solidify his grasp on a Chase spot. In fact, all four HMS Chevys were in the top 13 at the end. Paul Menard backed up last week's Indy win with a nice 10th place finish.


Jimmie Johnson appears to have displeased both Busch brothers with his late race driving tactics. With the Chase looming, I don't look for this to go any further.


It just would not be Pocono without a long rain delay, or three. The deluge came with about 65, of the scheduled 200, laps to go. Pole winner, Joey Logano was leading, and had been stout, at that time. The track crew worked hard to dry the triangle shaped surface, leaving Logano to finish 26th.


The lack of short tracks on the Cup schedule while dinosaurs such as Pocono have two races each year. The Nationwide Series has produced exciting events the past two weeks on just such short tracks, before huge crowds, that the Cup Series continues to ignore.


  1. Gene...

    Methinks young Keselowski just picked up a lot of fans, racing and otherwise! Personally I thought his chances at the Chase had taken a major hit when it was announced his ankle was actually broken. The kid toughed it out and I've gotta hand it to him not only winning but doing it on a track that required him to use his left foot to operate the clutch over and over again. That took some doing!

    So you figure JJ and the Busch boys will cool it? Seems Harvick and Kyle are living with each other right now...

    BTW, did you notice during one of the televised green flag pit stops that while one of Allmendiger's pit crew members merrily cranked on that car's track bar adjustment the young lady ESPN had describing what was happening in the 43 pit was saying "No adjustments, just 4 new tires and top off the Sunoco fuel!" The heat of the moment? Those people have one purpose at the track (at least while on the job) I'd think they might get it right... Too critical?

    There are some pretty big names that might not make the Chase this year...

    Thanks Gene!

  2. Dwindy... Kes will be in the picture for years. His driving style is reminiscent of Busch the younger... great car control.

    Kyle screwed himself on the last restart... again. At least the second time this year that he chose the inside lane for the last restart... after all the leaders had chosen outside all race long. Has not worked yet.

    Sometimes the pit reporters just go by what they hear over the team's radio. Other times their audio bit may have been taped seconds before the live video is shown. It's a tough job keeping up with all those teams. I wouldn't want to do it.

    The strangest pit reporting I've seen was a few years ago, after a race, they had a reporter interviewing Dale Jr... just out of his race car. Seconds later, they went to another reporter in the garage area... and there goes Jr riding by on a golf cart, all showered and changed. The network had to admit that they tape a lot of those post race, pit road interviews and show them as soon as they can.

  3. Woot Team Penske! While I agree in theory that nothing will come of the rivalry between JJ and the Buschies - I do think Kurt is well sick of JJ and his entitlement and if Kurt is in position to make JJ pay without hurting himself he will punt him...Glen and Bristol might make for some opps! opportunities.

    Would be interested to hear from Kyle on why he picks inside vs. outside...he must have a rationale.

    Yup, Pocono needs only one race - but alas how long have we been saying that???

    and Dwindy - yes the pit reporters are often wrong because they get the info from team radio before the stops - and then flip to another driver to get their info and miss any changes called as the cars come into the pits...some of the TV guys come up to TR and check what was done before they go on air but they cant always do so. She sure looked stupid though!

  4. Kris.... Kurt definitely owes JJ. I can't see either KB punting Jimmie unless they are enraged, or many laps down in a race... or both. LOL

    Kyle chose the outside lane on an earlier restart, just like every other leader did all day. He may have known JJ was going to dive bomb that 1st turn, and wanted to be there to block... that did not go as planned. I thought JJ had the car to beat also, so maybe Kyle does know what he's doing. lol

  5. I hope Keselowski makes it, but I don't think his Chase spot is locked up. It has been quite a struggle for him to get in the top 20 in points. One wreck and he'll be right back there.

  6. JM.. I think if he gets through Watkins Glen, he'll be okay. The two wins are big. He'll bypass all other wild card hopefuls that only have one win.