Even dominant races can often come down to gambles, and hard runs. That was the case in what happened on Sunday at New Hampshire. There were some strong drivers in the beginning, but when it came down to it, only one driver was the one to beat. This time, though, it took a little help to get the opportunity.
It came down to being either Brad Keselowski or Kyle Busch on a final restart, a green-white-checkered restart no less, and when it mattered most, the car with the alcohol sponsorship outmuscled the batteries.
For the third time this season, Keselowski put his No. 2 Ford in victory lane, matching what Jimmie Johnson has earned this season. It also means all he will need to do is qualify for the remaining races to clinch a spot in the Chase this season. Not to bad for a driver who a year ago could not even defend his title.
As for the writers, they were all over the board, with some strong runs, some average, and others sub-par. Here's how everyone shook out after the Camping World RV Sales 301:
Kara Martin (691) Jeff Gordon finished 26th - 3
Sal Sigala Jr. (661) Kevin Harvick finished 30th - 5
Ryan O'Hara (661) Kyle Busch finished 2nd - 4
Patti Rodisch (648) Clint Bowyer finished 6th - 2
Rob Tiongson (628) Kevin Havick finished 30th - 2
Billy Fellin (608) Ryan Newman finished 5th - 1
Dustin Parks (605) Clint Bowyer finished 6th - 2
Michael Hirshbein (585) Kyle Busch finished 2nd - 1
Aaron Rosser (568) Ryan Newman finished 5th - 1
Misan Akuya (565) Tony Stewart finished 7th - 1
Rob Blount (562) Kevin Harvick finished 30th - 1
James Broomhead (505) Denny Hamlin finished 8th - 2
Next Race: Everyone deserves a break now and again, so once more NASCAR is giving teams a chance to take a breath, and take a week off to prepare for the stretch run to the checkered flag of the 2014 season. It means no racing next weekend but it also means another week for drivers and teams to prepare for one of the biggest races of the season. NASCAR is heading back to one of the most special, and most honored tracks in the country to do battle.
In two weeks, NASCAR heads back to Indianapolis for another trip to the Brickyard, meaning at the end of 160 laps, someone will be kissing some very gritty, very ugly, bricks.
Writers, you have a lot of time to make this tough decision, as your picks will not be due until Thursday, July 24, at 10 p.m. ET for the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.