The CarFax 400 at Michigan had all the earmarks of a Sprint Cup race.
Side by side action, three and four wide racing, and of course a little bit of drama thrown in for good measure.
When the dust settled it was Kevin Harvick standing in victory lane for the third time this season.
Harvick’s victory also locked him into the Sprint Cup chase. It also means that there are only 11 spots left for a shot at the championship.
Looking forward to Bristol, there is a mathematical chance that Jeff Gordon could be the next driver securing his spot in the big dance, and of course, on the other end of that spectrum, with only three races left, several top drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne, could be mathematically locked out.
Ryan Newman and Joey Logano had a few heated words in the garage after the race. Watching the two physically different drivers was like watching a Laurel and Hardy re-run.
Logano felt Newman races drivers too hard, and Newman felt Logano should have given up before tagging his bumper and spinning him out.
As the barbs were being traded, it became clear that Logano was complaining about giving up inches and Newman was complaining about giving up the whole track.
As this drama was being played out at one end of the garage, a different sort of drama was unfolding at another end of the garage.
NASCAR seized 16 post race engines for transport back to the R&D center in Charlotte. It was reported these engines will be part of NASCAR’s annual dynamometer testing.
Two non qualifying engines, those of J.J. Yeley and Scott Riggs, were also taken.
It’s not uncommon for NASCAR to request an engine, or two, post race, or even the complete car. It is however uncommon for the request to cover so many engines, especially from teams at so many different spots in the points standings.
Speculation is that NASCAR wants to make sure everyone has the same advantage, or disadvantage, going into the chase.
Denny Hamlin has been vocal about the Earnhardt Childress engines, the same engines powering point’s leader Kevin Harvick, having more horsepower than those produced by Joe Gibbs Racing.
Photo Credit: David Yeazell / Pixel Perfect