Sometimes strategy works, and sometimes strategy doesn't. But sometimes the strategy at play isn't the one that was originally thought to be the case.
That's exactly what happened Sunday at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Denny Hamlin had the dominant car all afternoon, and likely had the victory in hand. But a caution changed all that. He thought the call was for two tires, but the crew then changed four, putting him deep in the field. This meant the strongest car had to somehow make the run to the front, and earn the win the hard way.
And Hamlin went for it, as bit by bit over the last 60 laps he would chip away and make the charge to the front. He came close, but not close enough. Hamlin finished second, having to settle for the runner-up spot, and scratch his head wondering what went wrong.
The man in victory lane has been there before, but not at New Hampshire. It was Kasey Kahne giving Farmer's Insurance the victory and giving Rick Hendrick yet another feather in the cap since getting win No. 200 at Darlington.
Another win by Kahne didn't give the writers a victory, as a lot of them finished mid-pack, and that didn't do much for the standings. Majority of the participants either held their ground, gained a little, or lost a little.
Here's where all shake out following the Lenox Industrial Tools 301:
Billy Fellin (696) Tony Stewart finished 12th (3)
Sal Sigala Jr. (667) Brad Keselowski finished 5th (1)
Misan Akuya (630) Ryan Newman finished 10th (1)
Christopher Leone (628) Joey Logano finished 14th (1)
James Broomhead (625) Tony Stewart finished 12th (2)
Kelly Crandall (621) Tony Stewart finished 12th (2)
Kara Martin (608) Tony Stewart finished 12th (1)
Patti Rodisch (607) Tony Stewart finished 12th (2)
Rob Tiongson (603) Tony Stewart finished 12th (3)
Dustin Parks (602) Ryan Newman finished 10th (1)
Ryan O'Hara (594) Jeff Gordon finished 6th (1)
Michael Hirshbein (553) Kyle Busch finished 16th (1)
Next Race: The time has come once again for NASCAR to take a break, at least when it comes to Sprint Cup competition. After the six-race run with TNT, the next off-weekend has arrived. A week to regroup, refocus and come back recharged for the run to, and through, the Chase.
The next event on the schedule is a historical event, at possibly the most historic race track in the country. Gasoline Alley is calling the stars of NASCAR, as the motorsports capital of the world is ready to bring life back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Writers, you get a little bit of a break, but also it means you have an extra week to think of how to either get back into the race, or hold your position.
Picks for the Crown Royal Presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard will be due by Thursday, July 26, at 10 p.m. ET.