Quicken Loans 400: Win, Lose or Draw

Lead

How fitting that on Father’s Day, Nascar’s Godfather ruled the roost at the Quicken Loans 400.

No, we’re not talking about Jimmie Johnson, who became the first drive to win three times in the 2014 Sprint Cup season. It’s his boss who really was the big winner of the weekend.

Win: Rick Hendrick

After musing about whether or not Hendrick Motorsports was in a slump, Hendrick Motorsports has gone on a five race winning streak. Lost in the headlines are three intriguing ideas that make the run that much more impressive:

  • The wins come at tracks where Hendrick is good, not  great. For example, Sunday was Johnson’s first win at Michigan.
  • Jeff Gordon may have had the best Hendrick car Sunday.
  • Kasey Kahne finally finished in the top-5 and still has ample room for improvement.

I’ve jokingly written about Hendrick vs. the field. Now that Hendrick Motorsports teams have  now won 40 percent of the Sprint Cup races in 2014, the joke is over.

Lose Roush: Fenway Racing

Friday I wrote about how much Roush teams love this track. Here are the top-four  Ford drivers to finish Sunday.

  • Brad Keselowski
  • Joey Logano
  • Juan Pablo Montoya (Really)
  • Trevor Bayne

Greg Biffle was 20th. Carl Edwards was 23rd. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was 27th. Some years, it’s not your year. For a Michigan man, Sunday must have felt like a stomach punch for Jack Roush.

Draw: Young Blood

The bad news is Brian Vickers and Austin Dillon fell out of the Chase standings with bad days. The good news is Kyle Larson recovered from losing his bumper to lead a lap. Larson is 12th in the standings, two spots ahead of Paul Menard, who quietly has eight top-1o’s this 2014 Sprint Cup season.

With more Chase positions open, some fresh faces will see Nascar’s playoffs. But after watching the last month, I can’t imagine anyone but an old familiar owner’s face taking home another Sprint Cup title.