Expect fast speeds as the stars of NASCAR hit the big track in Michigan. The races are dwindling down, and that means drivers on the cut line pretty much need to win, to get into the post-season. The remaining schedule before the playoffs: Michigan, Richmond, the road course at Watkins Glen, and then Daytona. With so many unknowns at the big Daytona track, a driver doesn't want to put all the cards on the table and be forced to win there... to make the playoffs.
A big win for Richard Childress as driver Tyler Reddick won at the road course in Indy. His car was powered by Lucas Oil Products! It is his second win of the 2022 racing season in the NASCAR Cup series. Hard to understand how Childress didn't lock Reddick into a longer deal. Obviously, Denny Hamlin saw something he liked. Tyler is set to drive for Hamlin and Michael Jordan, both owners of 23XI Racing, in 2024.
Congrats to Louisville's Ben Rhodes, the defending Camping World Truck Series Champion. He didn't win the first playoff race at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. He did finish second. Rhodes zipped by Zane Smith on the final lap to grab the runner-up position. After a lackluster June and July in the regular season, Rhodes secured strong points among the ten playoff drivers. Grant Enfinger won the event and automatically advances to the second playoff round. Enfinger beat Rhodes by only a half-a-second. If Ben had another couple lap's he may have taken the checkered flag. He is 4th in the playoff points standings. More importantly, he got much needed momentum as he heads to the second playoff race on Saturday, August 13 at Richmond Raceway. The Truck Series race can be watched on Fox Sports 1.
We had some strong response to our thoughts about the disqualifications of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch at Pocono. NASCAR stripped Hamlin of his Cup win (He would have been the all-time winner at Pocono) and Kyle's second place finish. It wasted no time, taking the action a few short hours after Hamlin's celebration with his young daughter, and in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Chase Elliott was declared the winner. NASCAR found improper adjustments were made with the front fascia of their cars, to give Hamlin and Busch competitive advantages on the track. Owner Joe Gibbs accepted the punishment. We felt NASCAR has been inconsistent with dispensing justice, including the timing. Obviously, NASCAR decided to change its tune with near immediate disqualifications. We appreciate the comments about this. Here are a few.
Sandra Williams of Okolona wrote: " Did Denny know he was driving an illegal car before the race? I liked seeing him celebrate with daughter and his crew. Seems unfair to penalize him. I would have heavily fined (Joe) Gibbs and took owner points away".
Another email came from a pretty good local driver we've featured on Kentuckiana Motorsports, David Bayens. He's still racing, and winning! Bayens simply said NASCAR was 100% right: I like to see NASCAR holding the teams accountable and if they are illegal they should be DQ’ed just like it works at short tracks".
Robert Jones of New Albany also weighed in: "With the new car, teams have been told not to mess with the car. Someone with Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing Team) cheated, and they got caught. They should pay the price. However, if the driver did not know, not sure he should be hurt. Go after the owner and crew chief".
As far as NASCAR holding a "street course race" in Chicago next year, nearly everyone disagreed with scheduling the race. In case you missed it, many in the media, and big-time companies called it bold and brilliant to go to the streets of Chicago! We simply raised the question about NASCAR choosing Chicago, especially given safety and societal issues.
Steve Lopez wrote: I like the idea of a street course race. But Chicago, seriously? What did they do to deserve the race?
Pat Jones of Louisville sounded off: "I attend several races a year. I won't go to Chicago. Too much crime and they charge too much for rooms".
Gail Stevenson had this to say: "Why Chicago? Our group went to a few Chicagoland (Old 1.5 mile track which used to host Cup events) races years ago. Not the best experience. I hope and pray fans and teams will be safe".
NASCAR has taken the right steps with drivers suffering injuries. Kurt Busch was held out of races due to concussion issues. Like football, the safety of the driver is a must. NASCAR came up with the waiver not long ago. It means a driver won't lose points if they have a major health issue. Its been used with COVID as well.
Indy Car Series driver Josef Newgarden also underwent a medical evaluation. He crashed hard into a wall at Iowa. Newgarden walked out of the Infield Care Center seemingly okay. But later, collapsed in his motor home and hit his head. He did not need a waiver. After rest and medical observation Newgarden was cleared to race again.
It is August, and that means school buses are back out (We're not talking crossing the X at the Sportsdrome), so be careful as school begins for another year. Thousands of excited kids will be out on streets and roadways. Children will be everywhere. Play it safe, slow down. We do want to add this, whether a bus, car, truck or stock car, Lucas Oil Products work! They can help extend life to your car, truck, or bus and provide better performance. We thank Lucas Oil as a huge longtime sponsor. Other backers: PNC Bank (Sponsor of Scott Dixon's Indy Car Series Car), Sportsdrome Speedway (Celebrating more than 75 years of Racing!) locally owned Bright Pest Control and Bright Retail in Louisville, (Offering Do-It-Yourself Professional Pest Products with a retail store), and Knox Ford in Radcliff (KY). KMS supporters also include: VoiceTel Kentucky (Offering telephone service for $30.00 a line, and that includes all taxes and fees), Temco Roofing, Andriots Paint, Flooring, & Blinds, ICA Dumpsters, Kentucky Raceway Ministries, St. Matthews Cycling, Nimlok Kentucky, Dynamic Healthcare, and Lyndon Mower Repair. We also thank our media connections in all series, especially NASCAR and with NASCAR Media for helping us bring the sport to the fans!
Stay tuned for a huge and lengthy interview with Scott Douglass and a special guest! Details next week!
We have a new FREE Giveaway! Exciting Lucas Oil Driver autographs! Check out the KMS Giveaway page!
Enjoy the racing!