Another dominant week by one driver has given a pool writer a second win on the season.
Without a doubt, the action seen on Saturday Night at the Texas Motor Speedway could be seen not just on the track, but even before the green flag waved. Fans were greeted to seeing 42 cars fire their engines shortly after 7:30 p.m.
Only reason 42 started their engines on command, one was still in the inspection line. It would have been just 41, but one car made it to the grid just in time.
The Penske drivers failed inspection and had to swap out the rear-end housing and components, with NASCAR confiscating all the pieces. Defending champion Brad Keselowski made it through the laser measuring booth, the claw, and the scales in time to make the grid. But, teammate Joey Logano failed the lasers a second time, and finally passed on the third.
His car was rolling to the grid, while others were warming up.
In the end, both drivers rebounded for top-10 finishes, with Logano somehow squeaking out a top-five when it looked like he may not even make the green flag. But, pending penalties will make any gain seem moot, and with Keselowski going off on NASCAR for seemingly targeting his team in an "absolutely shameful" way.
At the same time, the one guy that no one could get by at any point over the weekend was one Kyle Busch. If there is any indication of being the fastest from the moment the track opened, his No. 18 team showed it.
He sat on the pole with a new track record, then led the most laps, and in the end couldn't be caught. After nearly sweeping the fall weekend here in 2010, a year later being parked due to an early-weekend incident in the Truck Series, and winning multiple races in the Nationwide Series, Busch put the finishing touch by finally getting a Cup win at Texas.
One writer guessed correctly, while others held steady. Overall a good week for the pool.
Here's where everyone stands following the NRA 500:
NOTE: Points now reflect the penalties handed down to Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, although only Keselowski was picked this week.
Patti Rodisch (276) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th (0)
Rob Tiongson (263) Kasey Kahne finished 11th (1)
Michael Hirshbein (251) Kyle Busch WON (2)
Billy Fellin (251) Greg Biffle finished 4th (1)
Rob Blount (239) Matt Kenseth finished 12th (1)
Dustin Parks (222) Kasey Kahne finished 11th (0)
James Broomhead (219) Matt Kenseth finished 12th (0)
Ryan O'Hara (217) Matt Kenseth finished 12th (0)
Kara Martin (214) Kasey Kahne finished 11th (0)
Kelly Crandall (213) Kasey Kahne finished 11th (0)
Sal Sigala Jr. (212) Brad Keselowski finished 9th (0)
Christopher Leone (201) Clint Bowyer finished 15th (0)
Misan Akuya (171) Brad Keselowski finished 9th (0)
Next Race: As if going to a state where cowboys on the range are the most prevalent sighting, NASCAR now heads north to a town where the most famous characters are a girl in red shoes, a man made of tin, a scarecrow, and a lion that isn't exactly roaring. Only thing the competitors can hope for is that they don't meet the Wicked Witch, although some may have already done that after Texas.
Next on the docket for Sprint Cup action, the Great Plains as it's the Kansas Speedway that will welcome fans and teams. It's the second straight 1.5-mile speedway, but this one is more like Las Vegas than it is Texas.
Writers, avoid all the twisters and have your picks for the STP 400 submitted by Thursday, April 18, at 10 p.m. ET.