With five races to go before the line-up is set for the Cup playoffs, will Watkins Glen see a new winner for 2014? In six races at The Glen, Ambrose has two wins and his lowest finish was third before a wreck last year relegated him to 31st. With 11 winners, there are only five spots open for guys to sneak in by points.
Greg Ives will rejoin Hendrick Motorsports following the 2014 NASCAR season. Ives, 34, was race engineer for Jimmie Johnson’s five consecutive championships (2006-10). He will work alongside Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus in the shop shared by the Nos. 48 and 88 Chevy SS teams.
If the playoffs started today the 11 in a with wins would be Brad Keselowski (3 wins), Jimmie Johnson, (3) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2), Carl Edwards (2), Joey Logano (2), Kevin Harvick (2), Jeff Gordon (1), Kyle Busch (1), Denny Hamlin (1), Aric Almirola (1) and Kurt Busch (1) win. In a year where points weren’t going matter, that would leave room for the five guys highest in points – Matt Kenseth 621, Ryan Newman 547, Clint Bowyer 548, Paul Menard 541 and Kyle Larson 524. Larson and Austin Dillon are, in fact, tied with Larson winning the tie breaker, best finish. Greg Biffle is five points behind them while Kasey Kahne is four points behind Biffle and eight points ahead of Brian Vickers. Tony Stewart is five points behind Vickers.
J.O. Gammell, as my Dad Jerry used to call him, lost his seven-year battle with cancer on July 4. When I heard we lost him on the 4th of July I couldn’t help but think abut how many of his July 4ths were spent at a race track. For us racing people, July 4 is better than Christmas.
After seven straight races without adding another driver to the playoffs, including the road course at Sonoma, I’m guessing NASCAR would like to have someone new win. This race at Daytona and The Glen in August will be the best shot for the drivers not running for the series top teams to sneak into the playoffs.