Jamie McMurray has earned a reputation as NASCAR’s upset king, ever since winning his first NSCS race in only his second career start. No surprise that McMurray’s first career win came at none other than Charlotte Motor Speedway, Site of his latest upset win in the All-star race on Saturday night. No points were earned in McMurray’s latest triumph but it’s likely to do wonders for his self-confidence. It’s not easy taking a back seat to the phenom that is Kyle Larson who’s outshined Jamie Mac for most of 2014.
Stewart Haas Racing has prepared incredibly fast cars for Kevin Harvick in 2014. He powered another one to the front in Saturday night’s all-star race only to fall short to a driver who wouldn’t be denied a million dollar pay day. Remarkably through all the chaos that’s stalled SHR’s forward progress this season, Kevin Harvick continues to rise above it all.
Carl Edwards would rather not speak about his long term future with the media despite being once again linked to Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards’s primary focus is on winning a championship for current employer Roush Fenway Racing, a feat he’s failed to accomplish in ten roller coaster seasons driving the #99 Ford. Rumours of his departure from the RFR camp will run rampant throughout the summer months. In the meantime Carl continues to hover around the top of the NSCS title picture.
Michael Waltrip Racing is on a bit of a roll. Clint Bowyer raced his way into the All-star race by virtue of winning the Sprint Showdown. Bowyer finished 7th while Brian Vickers finished right behind his teammate in 8th. Both MWR drivers are in search of their first wins of the season. Given the way they have been running lately it would come as no surprise to seem one of them in victory lane next Sunday night.
For all that’s supposedly gone wrong for Jimmie Johnson in 2014, he continues to look pretty good by all accounts, three top five finishes, six top ten finishes. Yes, he remains winless through the first eleven races of the season, but he knows how to get it done in the 600. That’s something the other 42 drivers are well aware of. Can you ever really count the six time champion out of any race especially at a place they use to call Jimmie’s house?
Kyle Busch is no stranger to dominating races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Finishing races in the top spot continues to elude him. Busch’s latest Queen city disappointment culminated in a 21st place finish in Saturday night’s all-star race. I’m sure he takes no solace in the fact his early exit wasn’t of his own doing.
Greg Biffle’s future with RFR hangs in the balance. Eager to finalize a contract beyond 2014, the Biff has made it widely known he wants to remain a part of RFR’s future. The only question is does RFR want to have Greg Biffle around past this season? Judging by the Biff’s discontentment with his crew for potentially costing him a shot at the All-star prize money, he may want to start laying down some good finishes to impress potential future employers.
I was absolutely certain Joey Logano had a legitimate chance of winning his first all-star race. He’s in the midst of a career year in NSCS competition, however he still has a tremendous amount of work to do in regards to his race management skills. Taking Kyle Busch out of race could cause you a bit of grief down the line. Beware of Rowdy.
Martin Truex Jr.’s nightmarish 2014 season continues with yet another race ending behind the wall.
AJ Allmendinger could very well win an award for comeback driver of the year. Backed by his recent string of solid performances the Dinger saved himself from streaking across the infield grass at Charlotte Motor speedway. His all-star races experience was highly entertaining as it was disastrous.
Photo courtesy of Sam Sharpe- USA Today