A sweep in any sport is something special. It's considered a great moment when a team sweeps the World Series in the first four games, or one NFL team sweeps the division by winning every game against every divisional opponent. In baseball, a sweep could happen often in any three or four-game set. It's special to know one team is that good and can win that much.
In NASCAR, a sweep is different. A track that holds two races sometimes will see two different winners because the races are at different times during the season. Conditions are different, meaning someone else has figured out the right setup.
But, if one driver can complete a sweep at one track the entire season, they can claim that no one was better than them on that surface. Last year, Jimmie Johnson took a sweep at Daytona, becoming the first one in over a decade to complete that feat. But, that was then, this year the first sweep can go to his teammate, and not the one many expected.
In June, it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. taking advantage of a hot dog wrapper on a competitor to get the lead, and get his first win at the track. This time around, it was pit strategy and a fast car that got the job done. This victory not only gave him the most he's had in a season since 2004, but officially guaranteed the No. 88 team will be going after the championship come Chicagoland.
That win was beneficial for one writer, who figured the sweep would happen. More importantly, the biggest change is the gap at the top. Some poor performances have shrank the gap down immensely, and the room for error is extremely small as of now.
Here's where everyone stands after the GoBowling.com 400:
Kara Martin (742) Brad Keselowski finished 23rd - 3
Ryan O'Hara (741) Kyle Larson finished 11th - 5
Patti Rodisch (735) Jeff Gordon finished 6th - 3
Rob Tiongson (715) Jeff Gordon finished 6th - 3
Sal Sigala Jr. (712) Brad Keselowski finished 23rd - 5
Dustin Parks (672) Jeff Gordon finished 6th - 2
Billy Fellin (659) Brad Keselowski finished 23rd - 1
Rob Blount (639) Dale Earnhardt Jr. WON - 2
Michael Hirshbein (629) Kyle Busch finished 42nd - 1
Aaron Rosser (621) Brad Keselowski finished 23rd - 1
Misan Akuya (600) Tony Stewart finished 36th - 1
James Broomhead (570) Denny Hamlin finished 9th - 2
Next Race: For the last two races, speed has been high on the huge 2.5-mile tracks, and that trend is continuing when NASCAR returns, but with a twist. These cars will still be going fast, but are turning in both directions. There's more passing zones, tighter corners, and instead of worrying about fuel, drivers and teams will get concerned with wheel hop.
It is time to once again hit the road course, but this time it's the fast course in Watkins Glen, a place that has seen plenty of history along with some spectacular moments in it's time.
Writers, there's not as many twists as Sonoma, but this place is still a tough place to handle for even the best road-racing driver. So, try and use those road skills to choose your winning driver by Thursday, August 7, at 10 p.m. ET for the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen.