NASCAR Pocono 400 [Live Thread]

Joey Logano starts up front again, but can he get a win?

6/10/12 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Blog Photo - NASCAR Pocon 400 [Live Thread]It was no surprise that he set a new qualifying record.  After all, with brand new pavement and wide open racing surface, Joey Logano was able to pick his line to get the best time.  What was a little surprising, however, was the lack of competition up front.  Drivers participated in test sessions and two practice sessions on the newly repaved Pocono and speeds after final practice were fairly close together.  Joey was the fastest, and carried that into qualifying, where he won the pole position early on, and never looked back.

Today, however, the car setups are different and racing is the name of the game, not qualifying.  Some of the other drivers who were near the top of the speed charts in practices are also up near the front, including Denny Hamlin, who will roll off 5th. The rest of the top ten on the grid looks like this:

1. Logano
2. Edwards
3. Menard 
4. Kyle Busch (remember Kurt isn't in this race)
5. Hamlin
6. Martin
7. Regan Smith
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
9. Ambrose
10. Kahne

It isn't quite the starting lineup we are used to see, but nonetheless it is good to see some of the not-so-prominent drivers getting good starting positions.  Paul Menard is showing he is a good race car driver this year, now that he has some quality equipment under him.  He currently sits 15th in points but that is better than his teammate, Jeff Burton, who is in 18th.  Interestingly enough, Regan Smith is in 25th in points, while Mark Martin is in 24th.  Mark has only run 10 races to the rest of the pack's 13.  Makes a person wonder where he would be were he running the full schedule.

As mentioned above, Kurt Busch is fulfilling his suspension and won't be in the 51 car for Phoenix Racing this weekend.  Instead, David Reutimann will step out of the 10 car for this weekend, and into the 51 car.  James Finch is a very well respected member of the NASCAR community.  When Tommy Baldwin saw he was in a bit of bind, he talked to Reutimann and a deal was struck.  Dave Blaney will jump into the 10 car, with Tony Raines taking over driving duties in Blaney's 36 car.  It might be a little confusing, but the important thing is, all the cars are in the race.  Reutimann will start 25th.

Blog Photo - NASCAR Pocon 400 [Live Thread]And I just have to ask, what the hell is it with these drivers and beards lately?? At the beginning of the season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sporting a rather bushy red beard.  Recently, Jimmie Johnson has let his facial hair grow, while Dale Jr shaved his off.  Now Kevin Harvick has joined the fray.  I'm definitely not a fan of the bushy beard.  Each to his own I guess, but that's my feeling on the subject.  I just have to wonder who will be next?

As far as winning the race goes, this could be the day Joey Logano shows that he belongs in this series and not the Nationwide Series.  He ran strong here last year, but lost out to Denny Hamlin, who said he is back to square one on the track.  I tend to believe it won't take long for both of them to get out front and show the rest of the guys their rear bumpers.  It could be a two car race today.  However, I am a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, and if Jr. can get his car working well for him at the END of the race, not just the beginning, I really think he could be a factor.  I had also thought Matt Kenseth was going to be strong, given his performance in practices, but they may have lost something when he qualified.  Matt is too strong a contender not to be a factor in the end, however, so look for him to be up front as well. 

Then, of course, there is Jimmie Johnson.  Love him or hate him, ol' five time seems to be showing some strength again.  Whether he and Knaus can pull off another win remains to be seen, but if he does, the rest of the crowd could be really unhappy.

The races are now on TNT, definitely not my favorite of the broadcasters, but at least we have racing on TV.  Unfortunately, I'm at the golf course, with no TV, so will be relying on Twitter, this thread and Live Leaderboard for my updates.  Enjoy the race!
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

6/10/12   |   JenX63   |   32760 respect

Canadianhick wrote:
I found out later after Nate Ryan who writes USA Today tweeted this, an unruly fan began berating one of his handlers 5 feet away, which broke his focus.

That would do it.

6/10/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

JenX63 wrote:
lol, I dont think he was ready. He needed a drink and a minute to collect his thoughts.

I found out later after Nate Ryan who writes USA Today tweeted this, an unruly fan began berating one of his handlers 5 feet away, which broke his focus.

6/10/12   |   JenX63   |   32760 respect

Canadianhick wrote:
Joey Logano said on TNT he hopes that win shuts up all the talk about his future with JGR.

WTF was with that Junior interview on TNT?

lol, I dont think he was ready. He needed a drink and a minute to collect his thoughts.

6/10/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Joey Logano said on TNT he hopes that win shuts up all the talk about his future with JGR.

WTF was with that Junior interview on TNT?

6/10/12   |   JenX63   |   32760 respect

I am absolutely thrilled for Joey. Great finish, kudos to Mark for his 2nd place finish and my boy Smoke bringing it in 3rd.

6/10/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

(Edited by Canadianhick)

Joey Logano finally wins a race that is not shortend by rain. He damn well deserved it too he ran inside the top 5 all day long. I bet Mark Martin wasn't happy with Joey Logano moving him over to take the lead.

6/10/12   |   JenX63   |   32760 respect

I don't know about that. Joey looking good right now.

6/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Have to go to work now :(  Won't see the end of the race, but will try to get an update on the phone.  Hate this :(

6/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Greg Biffle's car blew up finally.  He will give up the points lead today.  

6/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Although I'm not seeing the race, the twitter feed is full of praise for TNT's camera shots.  Can't tell if it is boring or not from my seat.

6/10/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Did I mention how boring this race is?

Second last green flag pit stops are done, I think it will be a Hendrick driver that wins the race.

6/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Green flag pit stops underway....

6/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Dale Jr around Biffle for second and is now consistently the fastest car on the track.  Gaining on the 17

6/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

I wasn't, but thanks.

Not at all surprised to see Matt Kenseth into the lead.

6/10/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

In case you're wondering, here's what Kurt is doing today in Houston, Texas.

6/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

"The race is now Busch Free!"  

Kyle Busch into the garage with engine troubles

6/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

yeah, the speeding penalties seem to be getting out of hand.  Jeff Burton caught a double whammy for not falling far enough back on the restart.  Drive thru penalty

6/10/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

(Edited by Canadianhick)

I have to agree with Kyle Petty that something is screwed with the timing lines on pit road. I believe that is now 10 guys who have been hit with speeding on pit road.

Some race teams believe trap No. 10 -- toward the end of pit road -- is not working correctly.

6/10/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

(Edited by Canadianhick)

Carl Edwards on the radio after not lining up in the right spot on the restart on the first caution as NASCAR black flagged him for that.

"That's the most ignorant thing I've heard since Richmond,"

"This is off the charts stupid,"