Experiencing anything in life for the first time is an exhilarating feeling. A child gets to experience it’s first steps along with the parents. The first day of school, or even college, is an exciting moment. First dates are nerve-wracking but ultimately can be fun. Owning that first car, that first home, all excellent experiences. Of course, nothing is more rewarding than becoming a father or mother for the very first time.
NASCAR has some of these experiences. The first race at Daytona, the first All-Star Race, but nothing is more savoring than getting that first win.
Two weeks ago, Austin Dillon got to savor that moment with his win at Charlotte. On Sunday, another first-timer got to stand in victory lane.
Veteran Kyle Busch was the class of the field, but got passed with 10 laps left. For that final run, Kevin Harvick gave chase, and wasn’t pushing his luck. The pressure was on through the entire final lap at Pocono. But, coming off the last corner, it was clear that on this day, a young gun was getting his moment.
With one of the original teams backing him all the way, Ryan Blaney put the Wood Brothers back in victory lane with the No. 21, the second time they have gone to victory lane with a first-time winner in the last six years, the last one being Trevor Bayne stunning the entire field in 2011 at the Daytona 500. A victory that was enjoyed by everyone in the grandstands, and a popular one among every crew in the garage.
Quite the accomplishment for last year’s Rookie of the Year runner-up.
The only thing that win didn’t accomplish was give anyone in the standings a victory. But, with one exception, every participant had a strong week, trying to gain on the lead before the playoffs. Here’s where the standings fell after an exciting finish to the Pocono 400:
Rob Tiongson (531) Chase Elliott finished 8th –  7
Misan Akuya (470) Kyle Busch finished 9th –  15
Penny Whitecotton (451) Kevin Harvick finished 2nd –  1
Ashley Hobbs (449) Kyle Larson finished 7th –  8
Ashley Hull (443) Denny Hamlin finished 12th –  12
Billy Fellin (441) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 38th –  9
Dalton Hastings (432) Kurt Busch finished 4th –  3
Patti Rodisch (422) Kevin Harvick finished 2nd –  14
Sal Sigala Jr. (422) Brad Keselowski finished 5th –  9
Dustin Parks (421) Denny Hamlin finished 12th –  8
Klarissa Mitchell (412) Brad Keselowski finished 5th –  0
Rob Blount (408) Denny Hamlin finished 12th –  1
Ashley McCubbin (375) Martin Truex Jr. finished 6th –  4
Next Race: NASCAR is motoring on to an area that is the home base for the auto industry. It’s where the slogan “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” became truthful in the early years of the sport as auto makers tried to match the product that was on the track with a near match to what was driven on the street.
Add in that this speedway has a lot of speed, plus a lot of room, and it makes for a fun experience for any driver that hits the asphalt.
The two-mile Michigan International Speedway awaits it’s first event of the season, one that will be fast, challenging, and always seems to come down to how much fuel remains in the car at the most critical time.
Picks have to be locked in by Thursday, June 15, at 10 p.m. ET for the Firekeeper’s Casino 400.