There were potholes, flying cars, green white checkers and a pit road feud.
And no, I’m not talking about Daytona.
Except for a nap-inducing green flag run somewhere in the middle, Sunday’s race at Pocono had more action than we’ve seen there in years.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Rain, potholes and wind, oh my: Fans can deal with rain delays. And in NASCAR, they happen often enough. But when the word “pothole” began to be bandied about after the rain moved through, the NASCAR collective uttered an audible groan. As a fan who sat through Daytona’s pothole-gate in person, I was expecting a similar multi-hour delay at Pocono. Fortunately, the offending pothole was at the exit to pit road and track officials solved the problem with a smack of epoxy and some strategically placed orange cones.
Bowyer dominates early: Clint Bowyer had the car to beat early on. But The Pocono 500 makes for a long race – and once Bowyer lost his lead position, he never regained his mojo. Blame it on the dirty air.
Hamlin’s boneheaded burnout: Denny Hamlin had the smoothest moves of the day during the race. So it was lucky for him that he saved his most boneheaded move for last. While smoking the tires and celebrating his victory in front of the grandstand, Hamlin tagged the wall leaving some damage on the left front of his car.
Teammate trouble: This is the year of family feuds. Charlotte brought us the latest round with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. And, thanks to A.J. Allmendinger, Pocono was no honeymoon for Richard Petty Motorsports. Allmendinger’s last lap block of his teammate Kasey Kahne could have consequences that were much more severe than loss of position. After being pushed by Allmendinger into the infield grass, Kahne slid back up the track and into the path of a passle of on-coming cars. He flew into the catchfence and the result was a scary multi-car smashup that could have resulted in a few injured drivers. Fortunately, all those involved were treated and released, but there was no love lost between Kahne and A.J. Per Kahne, “I don’t talk to AJ hardly ever and I doubt I’m gonna talk to him about this.”
Logano throws down: When Kevin Harvick bumped Joey Logano and sent the No. 20 car spinning during the last few laps, nobody expected Logano to go after the intimidating Harvick in such a vehement fashion. But Pocono was full of surprises and lo and behold, the sophomore racer drove right up to Harvick’s car on pit road and barraged Harvick with an ephitet-laced tirade. The only thing that didn’t help Joey’s cred was his father who was right there telling him to go for it. Seriously, Joey. If you’re gonna get any respect in the garage, tell your Daddy to stay out of it.
Whether or not Logano won over any fans or gained garage-side respect for his callout of Harvick is up for debate. But he does win for best sound bite of the day. When asked by a TNT reporter about his incident with Harvick, Logano worked in an insult aimed at Harvick’s wife Delana, “His wife wears the firesuit in the family and tells him what to do.” Touche.