Sometimes there are races where it simply is a driver's time to win. All the cards fall where they need to, and moments happen that make sure they get to victory lane. Most notable ones in history: Bill Elliott's Southern 500 win that gave him a $1 million bonus, avoiding a spinning car and a blown engine; Dale Earnhardt winning the Daytona 500 in 1998, making sure he was in the right place when the final wreck happened to guarantee the win.
Other wins aren't as famous, but this weekend certainly could be considered as one in that category.
All afternoon, the car that was the best was Brad Keselowski, dominating from the start all the way to nearly the end. Nearly, because things heated up, namely his engine. At the same time, despite not being the best car on the day, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was still a capable driver of winning, and stayed close the entire afternoon.
But, when Keselowski tried to get a simple piece of garbage off his grille, it went away. Junior made the pass underneath, and knowing what the red deuce had to do so it could survive to the finish, he kept him at bay long enough to make sure he finished runner-up. After having a couple disappointing weeks, but still running strong overall, it was the National Guard Chevrolet that took victory in Pocono. It would be Junior's first multiple-win season since 2004, ironically the same season he won the Daytona 500.
What is rather odd is that surprisingly, one week after half the field had a win, no writer chose a winner. There were some moves, but out front it is still the same. Here's where everyone stands after the Pocono 400:
Kara Martin (524) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th - 3
Ryan O'Hara (500) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th - 4
Sal Sigala Jr. (498) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th - 5
Patti Rodisch (464) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th - 2
Rob Tiongson (462) Jeff Gordon finished 8th - 2
Rob Blount (444) Kevin Harvick finished 14th - 1
Dustin Parks (444) Carl Edwards finished 41st - 2
Michael Hirshbein (443) Kyle Busch finished 12th - 1
Billy Fellin (423) Joey Logano finished 40th - 1
Misan Akuya (416) Kevin Harvick finished 14th - 1
James Broomhead (410) Denny Hamlin finished 4th - 2
Aaron Rosser (396) Joey Logano finished 40th - 1
Next Race: When Pocono got repaved in 2012, everyone knew it was going to be fast. But, without question, when this next track got a repave in the same season, there was no question it became the fastest track on the circuit. In a way it took a track that was already fast and fun, and just added one more "F" to it...freaky. Speeds went through the roof, and with these cars now faster than ever, they will certainly risk shattering the track record once again.
Up next for NASCAR, the Irish Hills of Michigan. Awaiting them is the 2-mile, D-shaped marvel in the shadow of the automakers, the Michigan International Speedway.
Writers, this place is faster than ever, but there's no slowing down this season. Your picks for the Quicken Loans 400 are due by Thursday, June 12, at 10 p.m. ET.