Las Vegas knows how to create an event. Sunday’s Kobalt 400 offered several different leaders and a last lap pass, even if it was because Dale Earnhardt Jr. needed another quarter gallon of fuel.
While Brad Keselowski won the race, others should feel good about the outcome. Here’s a Bert Convy inspired breakdown.
Win: Roger Penske
Keselowski won, and he doesn’t have to worry about the Chase. But Joey Logano won the pole, finished fourth and hasn’t finished worse than 11th all year.
Team Penkse has two drivers who can win every week, and that’s something Roger Penske hasn’t been able to say in several years. This is big for NASCAR and bigger for Ford.
Lose: Joe Gibbs Racing
Kyle Busch led more than 30 laps, but JGR cars started 20th, 27th and 29th. It’s really tough to win when you start that far back. Qualifying matters now more than ever in the Sprint Cup. Teams can have a bad week, but this is worth watching.
Rookies also had a bad day. Eight were in the field. None finished in the top 15. Six finished worth than 30th. Sprint Cup growing pains can be tough
So why a draw? Eight rookies started in a Sprint Cup race. The fact there’s this much new blood in the field means there are opportunities for great stories as the season continues. Should one of these rookies win a race, be it because they have the best car or fuel strategy, it will mean the world to the sport, team and sponsors. Remember, win a race and make the Chase.
The dice have been rolled. The cards have been played. Let’s see how teams respond at Bristol on Sunday.