Fan Vs. Fan Victory Pool: Results Following the Pure Michigan 400
Last week, it was one lap that changed the dynamic of an entire race. People began wondering what would be the follow-up to such an event.
Then came Michigan, and what an encore it was.
Many drivers had speed, and many looked to dominate, but some fell by the side because of issues. Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon both experienced engine woes, hurting their days. Mark Martin appeared to have the dominant car in the early going, but an incident on the track that ended with him on pit road with an impaled car.
But everyone is going to talk about the issue that changed the end of the race.
The battle was between Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski. Suddenly Greg Biffle puts his nose in the battle, however it appeared Johnson was the one that had to be beat after getting the lead with 10 laps left.
And then...the unexpected.
"You've got to be kidding me!" Johnson screamed over the radio with six laps left, as a problem suddenly caught the attention of everyone. Another engine in the Hendrick Motorsports camp went down, putting another dominant car in the garage.
In the end, the final restart made the difference, as Biffle got the jump and was able to hold on and bring Jack Roush back to victory lane at Michigan in years. Biffle also secured the top spot in the points, and that is big in his eyes heading into the Chase.
His win also gave one writer another win on the season, while over half the field had rather rough days. Here's a look at the standings after the Pure Michigan 400:
Sal Sigala Jr. (812) Jimmie Johnson finished 27th (3)
Billy Fellin (805) Tony Stewart finished 32nd (4)
Kelly Crandall (767) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 4th (3)
Christopher Leone (764) Jimmie Johnson finished 27th (2)
Misan Akuya (746) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 4th (1)
Dustin Parks (745) Carl Edwards finished 6th (1)
Rob Tiongson (738) Jeff Gordon finished 28th (4)
James Broomhead (736) Kasey Kahne finished 3rd (3)
Ryan O'Hara (722) Jimmie Johnson finished 27th (2)
Kara Martin (721) Greg Biffle WON (2)
Patti Rodisch (711) Jimmie Johnson finished 27th (2)
Michael Hirshbein (677) Kyle Busch finished 13th (1)
Next Race: High speeds won't change at the next race, but the size of the venue certainly will. NASCAR is looking for a shootout, and are certainly going to get one. The next race on the schedule is one of the most popular events held every year, but this year comes with some unknowns.
Next on the schedule is the Bristol Motor Speedway, a track that earlier this year saw it's lowest turnout for fans in many years. Track owners made the decision to change the track, grinding away the banking in the upper groove, hoping to bring back the "Old Bristol" that fans remember. Drivers don't agree with the change, and drivers are going into the race with unknown expectations. Things are definitely different this time around.
Writers, this makes for a lot of difficult decisions, especially considering the race is on a Saturday night. Have your picks for the Irwin Tools Night Race sent in by Thursday, August 23, at 10 p.m. ET.