This past weekend NASCAR was at Dover International Speedway for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks. Juan Montoya almost won on an oval, Tony Stewart got a much needed win and Jimmie Johnson took a race that was his for the taking and gave it away. Winners are big but losers are plentiful in this weeks edition of Winners and Losers.
Tony Stewart and Stewart Haas Racing
Tony Stewart won his first race since July of 2012. The win put him in the first Wild Card spot for the Chase by becoming the only driver thus far with a win not inside the top ten in points. Stewart moved up to 16th in the points. This win is huge for all involved at Stewart Haas Racing and team morale. Expect Stewart to show momentum from this week forward.
Jeff Gordon got a much needed third place finish. His finish helped him move up into 11th place in the points, ten points out of the top ten.
Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr. and Toyota Racing Development
They all three fall into the losers section this week in one big group. Both Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. succumbed to engine failure at Dover. What is going on with Toyota engines? TRD needs to get with it and they lose BIG this week.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya is only a loser because no one wants to be the second place car. Montoya was well on his way to his first win on an oval track but ran out of tires and could not hold off Smoke.
Ryan Newman and David Gilliland tangoed during multiple points at Dover. Newman ended up turning into Gilliland but doing so caused himself to wreck out of the race. Big loser alert.
Hamlin had a tire go down and messed up the left front side of his car.He finished 34th. Hamlin is going the wrong way in the points if he wants to make the Chase, any ground he made up at Charlotte he lost at Dover. He is now 26th in the standings.
Brad Keselowski didn’t have a bad finish, in fact he finished in the top five – but he did fail post race inspection. The team blames a broken part for Keselowski’s failed inspection, so it will be interesting what NASCAR says. Likely, Keselowski will be served a 6 point penalty much like Truex Jr. received earlier this year when he was found to be too low. If he is served the 6 points, it will knock Keselowski to 10th in the standings – he is currently 8th.
Our Most Boneheaded Move Award goes to Jimmie Johnson for jumping the restart. Regardless of the reason, it happened, and he deserves applause for losing a race that he had wrapped around his pinky finger.