Hot or Not: Michigan

The boys of NASCAR were in the Motor City this week as they made their second and final trip to Michigan this season. Who was left celebrating and who had their feelings hurt? We’ve got you covered!

Hot: Kevin Harvick. Breaking news: Kevin Harvick clinches Chase berth! Alright, so we all saw that coming. But what we might not have seen coming were Harvick’s two messages: The one he sent to the rest of the field, and the one he apparently sent to Denny Hamlin. I still haven’t figured that one out yet.

Not: Mark Martin. Martin’s Chase hopes took a hit this weekend due to the veteran’s rookie mistakes. Unfortunately, he’s had more than his share of those this year, and said mistakes may be what keeps Mark out of the Chase this year.

Hot: Roush Fenway Racing. With Jack Roush back at the track, the Roush Fenway boys placed all four cars in the top 11, with Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, and Matt Kenseth all finishing in the top 5.

Not: Kurt Busch. The bad news: Kurt’s early engine failure pushed him back 6 spots in the points to 10th. The good news: He still has over a 200-point advantage on 13th-place Mark Martin.

Hot: Denny Hamlin. Lost in all the hype of Harvick and Roush was Denny Hamlin, who broke out of a summer slump en route to a runner-up finish at Michigan. Hamlin fans can only hope that he’s just getting warmed up for the Chase.

Not: Ryan Newman. Newman had contact with Joey Logano with 70 laps to go and spun it around, landing him in 23rd on the day and leaving his Chase hopes in grave danger. Darn kids!

Hot: Elliott Sadler. His 2010 season will always be defined by his infamous Pocono crash. But Elliott Sadler and crew deserve a pat on the back after earning their first top 10 finish of the season at Michigan. Well done, guys.

Not: Jeff Gordon. Another week. Another fast car. Another thing gone wrong for Jeff Gordon. Let’s just hope this doesn’t become a formality in the Chase.

Hot: Kyle Busch’s pit crew. Yes, Kyle had a bad day, which is why he didn’t make the list; just his crew. Rowdy’s boys made four 4-tire stops, turning out times(in seconds) of 12.2, 12.1, 12.1, and 12.2 respectively. And when Busch pancaked the right side of his car late in the race, it was his crew who fixed it and salvaged a top-20 finish. Nice work, boys.

Not: Joey Logano’s feelings. Logano didn’t like the fact that Ryan Newman raced him so hard with 70 laps to go. With all due respect, Joey, that’s why they call it a “race”. If you don’t like it, move to a team that will sympathize with you, like Hendrick Motorsports.

Tags: Denny Hamlin Elliott Sadler Hot Or Not Jeff Gordon Joey Logano Kevin Harvick Kurt Busch Kyle Busch Mark Martin Michigan Roush Racing Ryan Newman

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