Dover was all about two drivers, at least for much of it. Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards. They took turns taking the lead, at least they did until Clint Bowyer joined the party. Round and round they went, three cars, Bowyer, Edwards, and Johnson, one destined to be the victor at Dover. Then came a caution with 35 laps to go, and what was was no longer. This script underwent a complete rewrite quicker than an upcoming episode of Two and a Half Men. Charlie was gone, along with Clint, Carl, and Jimmie, and a new cast of characters led the parade.
[media-credit name=”Barry Albert” align=”alignright” width=”235″][/media-credit]After the caution, and thanks to a two tire stop, Matt Kenseth was the one in a rocket. He charged to the front and went on to take his 20th career Cup victory with nary a challenger. It would appear what happened in Vegas did not need to stay there, but could migrate to the Monster Mile. For Kenseth, it marked his second win of the season, and placed him 6th in the standings. Things are looking good for the 39-year old former champ.
52-year old Mark Martin has yet to win a title and never did visit the pits for new rubber when most of the rest did. He saved a few bucks and gained a bunch of positions, moving from 14th to first by staying out, and only allowing Kenseth to make the pass. That pit strategy now has him sitting 11th on the leaderboard, just four points, four positions, on the outside looking in. It would seem the only way to keep Martin out of the season’s Top Twenty is to leave him sitting for ten races a season. He may already have the rocking chair, but it doesn’t appear to be using it quite yet.
As for the trio who had their run of the place until near the end, Bowyer, Edwards, and Johnson finished 6th, 7th, and 9th. Their cars looked pretty fancy with their near new four Goodyears, but the decision to slip on those four skins, to the surprise of many, slipped them out of a shot to win. Johnson actually led more than half the 400 circuits. Oh, well, they all looked pretty sporty, just not over the final 35 miles.
This is a week for a good ole Canadian boy to celebrate. My Mom turned 75, while Saturday sees my brother Grant turning 52, the in-laws celebrating their 53rd anniversary, my boys playing in a Midget baseball tournament, and the stars of NASCAR in Charlotte for the all-star race. All this on a long weekend we Canucks refer to as Victoria Day. Hey, when a lady is Queen for 63 years (1837 – 1901) she should get her own special day.
Her grandmother, the wife of King George III, is the namesake for the city that will be hosting NASCAR’s feature race on Saturday. For 27 years they have ran this classic event at Charlotte, with Darrell Waltrip the first winner back in 1985. Three time winners include Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon, with Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson set to join them should good fortune smile their way on Saturday. Kurt Busch is the defending champion, with four other active drivers looking for their second trip to Victory Lane, including Matt Kenseth.
Whomever claims the million bucks this weekend, I expect we will be royally entertained.