Before diving into the Cup talk this week I have to tell you about an excellent culinary adventure I had the other day. For the first time in my life, I made my own salad dressing and it came out awesome. I made a fresh Caesar dressing. MMM..mmmm.The fresh ground garlic just gave it a sublime quality that is unmatchable by the packaged stuff. It was so easy and I would recommend it to anyone. I'm not sure why I got motivated to do it, but it was a fantastic experiment.
I digress. Dover proved to be an excellent race. It is great when there are fast cars that are all on different tire and fuel strategies. Tony's resistence was admirable but was always doomed to failure due to the amazing pace of the 48. The Hendrick cars (the Stewart/Haas cars included) are so dominant just at the moment, you just can't bet against them. I know there has been a lot of critiscism of Dale Jr. recently, but he will have his day again. It is amazing that the other 5 cars are in Chase positions. Kudos to them.
I normally rant and rave that Pocono is a boring race, but I am very curious to see how this one plays out. This is the first week of the double file restart rule, and that will throw a significant enough monkey wrench into mix to make it interesting. I have read a decent amount about how this rule works, and I still cannot wrap my head around how the lap down cars play into it. The way I understand it is that they will let lap down cars get back on the lead lap so long as they don't pit under caution. If that is the case, it will be interesting to see under what circumstances teams will gamble and stay out on old tires just to get their lap back. It should make for a bigger speed differential between the cars, and will probably lead to more wrecks. Not to mention the better racing at the front of the field. This rule pretty much gives Kyle a liscensce to dominate even more races.
As far as setups go, Pocono is pretty extreme. You need a ton of motor to get down the long straights and have a chance of running people down. However, like at any track on the circuit, corner exit speed (especially off of turn 3) needs to be high to get a good lap time. So you almost need to run a short track suspension setup to get through the corners, but you also need to keep the attitude of the car low on the straights, so you don't kill your straightaway speed. So this may require shocks with a lot of damping (like you would run at Charlotte) combined with a spring package that would run at Phoenix.
Predictions for this week. I am going to go for a Kasey Kahne win. The new Evernham engine seems like it is pretty stout, and I know they have a hot shit new low center of gravity car, so I think he will be a force. I will look to the 2 car to have a top 5 and continue their excellent season. As far as the 7 goes, this is the weekend that makes all of the team members cringe. RG is running the Baja and he will have to start dead last with zero miles in the car before the green flag. Luckily it is hard to go a lap down at Pocono, so it might not be as bad as it would be at other tracks. I will go for a hard fought 30th