Sometimes when a team knows they have something good, they let it rest. Like a fine wine, it often gets better with time.
Certainly that was the case on Sunday, as the winner of the race knew he had a good car...a great car in fact. The actual car had seen action already this season, and not only was victorious, but was the dominant car of the weekend. Normally a car like that is an extension of the driver, and is used often.
Not this time, instead the car was kept for one race, but was worked on each moment since it returned from the track.
That race was Dover...the driver was Jimmie Johnson.
The same car that won that race was not seen on the track since the victory at the Monster Mile, when the car celebrated a movie and the driver wore a crazy wig. But, the car was being prepared for one of the bigger tracks on the schedule, one that Johnson had won at three previous times. After 160 laps, that driver and car went back to victory lane.
No question, the dominant car and team on this day was the No. 48 Kobalt Tools team. Hendrick Motorsports now has the most wins at the Brickyard, four each by Johnson and Jeff Gordon.
But, this victory means more this year, at least for a couple writers. Two of the 12 participants got the victory this week, adding to their totals for the season. In fact, all but one finished in the top-10, one of the better weekends by all the competitors.
The standings are as follows after Sunday's Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard:
Billy Fellin (730) Tony Stewart finished 10th (3)
Sal Sigala Jr. (715) Jimmie Johnson WON (2)
Kelly Crandall (669) Jimmie Johnson WON (3)
Christopher Leone (668) Jeff Gordon finished 5th (1)
Misan Akuya (664) Tony Stewart finished 10th (1)
Patti Rodisch (677) Jeff Gordon finished 5th (2)
James Broomhead (648) Juan Pablo Montoya finished 21st (2)
Rob Tiongson (643) Jeff Gordon finished 5th (3)
Dustin Parks (642) Jeff Gordon finished 5th (1)
Kara Martin (642) Tony Stewart finished 10th (1)
Ryan O'Hara (634) Jeff Gordon finished 5th (1)
Michael Hirshbein (596) Kyle Busch finished 2nd (1)
Next Race: The notes that every team, whether they won, ran in the top-10 or had struggles, took at Indy could certainly be referred to when next weekend rolls around. The track is exactly the same in length, but a different configuration. The surface is only one-race old, compared to the wear that Indy has seen.
The banking is similar, but each corner has different characteristics. Finally, Indianapolis has four distinct corners. This track does as well...minus a fourth.
Up next on the schedule, the second visit to the triangle in the Pocono Mountains. The new pavement showed to be extremely fast the first time around, but now the summer heat has made it sticky, and could mean a completely different track.
Writers, Pocono Racway is calling us all. Have your picks for the Pennsylvania 400 submitted by 10 p.m. on Thursday, August 2.