AdvoCare 500: Win Lose or Draw


Photo Courtesy: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE Photo Courtesy: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE[/caption]

So the race for the 2013 Sprint Cup is essentially over. So while we know who the biggest two winners of the weekend were, there are several others who left Phoenix impacted significantly by Sunday’s events. Here’s a quick breakdown, Bert Convy style…

Win: Mark Martin

Chances are Martin has just one race left in his hall of fame worthy Sprint Cup career. Martin never won a title, finished second in the points five times and was able to contend with every team he joined. Plus, his mainstream appeal and love of rap music made Martin a mainstream figure NASCAR needed to grow into a national sport.

Martin deserves a great retirement ride, assuming he is riding into the sunset. Chances are he will get plenty of airtime Sunday in Homestead since there’s next to no chance of Jimmie Johnson losing that kind of points lead.

Lose: Joe Gibbs Racing

Kesnseth’s run is obviously crushing. Kyle Busch had a dominant car and didn’t win. Denny Hamlin’s 2013 has been a nightmare. And for what feels like the 245th year in a row, rumors of a fourth Gibbs team are unsubstantiated. Sunday stunk….plain and simple.

Draw: Tony Stewart

Last week I wrote about who the Chase breakout driver was going to be. Kevin Harvick answered the bell, sounded contrite for his silly comments after Martinsville and set himself up for a new era at Stewart Haas Racing.

So the good news is Stewart will have four teams next year. The bad news there may be three new crew chiefs on the roster. Yes, Steve Addington may be on the move. Just two years after Darian Grubb orchestrated on of racing’s biggest runs, Tony Stewart may have  a new crew chief.

Talk about a move that didn’t work out for anyone. Stewart’s team hasn’t felt the same. Grubb is under the Denny Hamlin voodoo curse of 2013. There must be some kind of  amazing story for why those two split because it makes no sense for them not to at least think about getting the band back together.

The end result makes Stewart Haas the must watch team of 2014.

There’s one race remaining in the 2013 Sprint Cup season. While it may not impact who wins the championship, it still provides plenty of stories to make Sunday’s race worth watching.