It's hard these days to back up guarantees, no matter what the situation is. The most famous guarantee came from Joe Namath when he guaranteed victory over the Colts in Super Bowl III while sitting pool side. Sure enough, when the game ended, it was a 16-7 triumph.
In racing, it's very hard to guarantee a triumph in any aspect. Often they cause more pressure to succeed, and then become a failure in the end.
That cannot be said this weekend. One man guaranteed victory via Twitter, knowing that if he didn't pull through, he'd have a lot of explaining to do. After a bad pit call in the first race at New Hampshire cost the team victory, nothing less would do.
After 300 laps, Denny Hamlin backed up his guarantee, and put the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota in victory lane, his fifth of the season.
That victory also benefited three writers, who correctly picked Hamlin for victory. It was a strong week for a majority of the Pool participants, as all but two finished in the top-10. Combine that with the fact that the standings were close entering the weekend, afterward they are even closer with many writers moving up, and the point margin shrinking.
Here's how the standings look after the Sylvania 300:
Christopher Leone (2093) Clint Bowyer finished 4th (3)
Dustin Parks (2090) Denny Hamlin WON (2)
James Broomhead (2088) Clint Bowyer finished 4th (3)
Rob Tiongson (2087) Kasey Kahne finished 5th (4)
Sal Sigala Jr. (2087) Tony Stewart finished 7th (3)
Kelly Crandall (2086) Denny Hamlin WON (4)
Kara Martin (2083) Tony Stewart finished 7th (3)
Patti Rodisch (2080) Ryan Newman finished 10th (2)
Ryan O'Hara (2077) Brad Keselowski finished 6th (2)
Misan Akuya (2073) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 13th (1)
Billy Fellin (2069) Denny Hamlin WON (5)
Michael Hirshbein (2058) Kyle Busch finished 28th (1)
Next Race: Sunday's race happened at a track nicknamed the "Magic Mile" as it's always provided some magic for drivers who've won, especially considering the last three years running the winner at New Hampshire has gone on to win the championship.
But, the next race couldn't be more the opposite. If there's magic at the next track, it's to make the evilness it possesses go away. Someone is hungry, and his name is Miles.
The third race in the Chase happens at the one-mile, concrete marvel at Dover, Delaware, which has long been known as the "Monster Mile." This place will eat cars for an appetizer, an entree and a dessert, with the leftovers being sent to the scrap pile.
Writers, don't be intimidated by the monster hanging outside the track, despite the fact a full-size race car is in his hand. Have your picks for the AAA 400 in by 10 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 27.