Sunday, May 10, 2009

Darlington Recap

Chad Knaus may have the biggest brain in the Sprint Cup garage. Saddled with a backup car that had never seen a lap on the Darlington track, Knaus and crew managed to get Jimmie Johnson and the Lowes Chevy from worst to nearly first by the end of the Southern 500. Working on the #48 during the first yellow flag, staying out on the track during the next caution put Johnson in position early. And with Johnson's skill and a little luck, they brought home a #2 finish for Hendrick Motorsports. That's what I call a good night.

A few more Darlington observations:
He don't need no rocking chair: With his second win of the season veteran Mark Martin conquered the "track too tough to tame" pretty handily. It's almost as if Martin was sending a not-so-subtle message "sit back boys and let me show you how it's done." Due to his victorious finish, Martin's currently sits in the top 12 in points.

Hand it to the kid: Joey Logano's taken a lot of flack for his lackluster start so far--and so has Joe Gibbs racing. But this week's tips from Cale Yarborough must have paid off because the kid looked downright impressive at a track that's toyed with much more experienced drivers than he. Perhaps JGR should have enlisted the help of Yarborough a bit sooner.

It won't be long now: The team at Stewart-Haas Racing put together another impressive race this week. Garnering 3rd and 4th place finishes, this team is on track to win big--and soon. I'd say in the next three races one of these cats will be in Victory Lane.

Where's the Karma when you need it?: Nothing like having your night ended by a teammate. Just ask Carl Edwards. Smacking the wall thanks to Greg Biffle, Edwards' night ended on a decidedly low note--32nd to be exact. Biffle, the culprit in question, snagged a respectable top 10. Sometimes Carl, life just isn't fair.

Earning his stripes: Brad Keselowski proved his mettle and also that Talladega was no fluke. With a seventh-place finish and a solid, well-run race (he started 31st), it looks like Brad K. is here to stay.

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