The Trifecta – Pocono

1. Rowdy Takes Advantage

What makes Kyle Busch so dangerous this season is his consistency. Busch has a top-five car every single week and his crew is arguably the best in the business. That’s one heck of a combination. And it has led to a lot of wins.

Here’s an interesting stat. In Busch’s six wins, he has only led the most laps in three of them: Texas, Charlotte, and Pocono. What’s even more interesting is among those three wins, Busch did not have the best car in two of them. Kevin Harvick had the car to beat at Texas and Pocono, but found a way to beat himself. You cannot judge the performance of a car/driver solely on laps led, but it’s a pretty good place to start.

My point is Busch is excellent at taking advantage of other driver’s mistakes. Aside from Charlotte, can you name another race where Busch was clearly the guy to beat? Maybe Phoenix, maybe Bristol. That’s it. But when you run near the front every single week like Busch has, you’re going to win races.

Busch has the best combination of speed, consistency, and pit crew in the garage. If I had to pick someone right now to win the championship at Homestead, Busch is my guy.

2. Bubba’s Hard Hit

Sunday was another reminder of just how treacherous this sport is. Bubba Wallace’s crash was scary. I hope I never know the feeling of losing my brakes at nearly 200 miles per hour. Once again, the SAFER barrier did its job.

That being said, I think it’s easy to slip into a false sense of security when it comes to driver safety. The advances have been incredible, no doubt. However, crashes like Wallace’s remind us that these drivers put their lives on the line every time they climb into that car.

Kudos to all who have helped make NASCAR a safer sport.

3. Bowman Stretches Playoff Gap on Heels of Career Day

With his career-best third place finish, Alex Bowman doubled his cushion over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the final playoff spot. Even worse for Stenhouse, he is now tied with Paul Menard for 17th.

Here are the points standings with five races left before the playoffs:

15. Jimmie Johnson +107

16. Alex Bowman +56

t17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -56

t17. Paul Menard -56

19. Ryan Newman -88

20. Daniel Suarez -96

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