Could baby Otis help Kevin Harvick get his first win of 2012?
It's entirely possible that Kevin may do exactly the same.
AJ Allmendinger's Press agent, Tara Ragan, stepped up to the mic again this week and clarified AJ's situation, as much as she could. Apparently, AJ tested positive for a "stimulant" although she did not say, or did not know, what type. She says that AJ is gathering together all medications and supplements he takes to provide them to NASCAR to try to determine what was the trigger. They adamantly claim he did not knowingly take a banned substance, and would never do so. However, this is a slow process and Sam Hornish Jr remains in the car this weekend in Loudon.
There are only 8 races until the Chase and there are a few drivers who are in danger of missing the Chase all together. Carl Edwards, for example, is well off the pace, back in 11th. He has no win yet this season, and needs to pull himself together if he is even going to make the Chase, let alone win a Championship.
We've reminded you constantly this season that Jeff Gordon has had nothing but bad luck. He is mired back in 17th in points, also with a bit zero in the Win column. He and his team need to figure out what the problem is and get it fixed. His teammate, Kasey Kahne is only one position ahead of him, but Kasey has the win. That may be the deciding factor 8 races from now, depending on what Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are able to do from here on in.
After the high banks of Daytona, the teams are in Loudon, NH, a 1 mile oval. Some teams participated in a tire test here in May, so there may be an advantage, but like any short track, the beating and banging on the cars could have the most impact. Not because of damage, but because of tempers. Add in the hot weather, and the situation is ripe for another rivalry to form, or intensify.
Practice for the Sprint Cup cars is underway, and Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer are leading the pack, followed by Sam Hornish Jr in the 22 car, replacing the Dinger.
I'm off to my last day at work before vacation, but I'll catch up here a little later, with some more thoughts and picks. In the meantime, feel free to post your own!