Dominance is hard to come by in any sport. Dominance in football takes different forms, whether it’s a blowout victory one week, a perfect season, or simply being the best team over a span of time. Dominance in motorsports takes a similar view when it comes to how it is achieved.
Back in the early days, “The King” won 26 races in a year that included 10 victories in a row…dominance. Over the course of two decades, Richard Petty followed that up with seven championships.
Dale Earnhardt matched that span of championships, winning six of them over nine seasons.
The modern dominance is Jimmie Johnson, achieving his seven championships in 14 years, which had five of them won in a row between 2006 and 2010.
If there was ever a defining season of dominance, everyone saw it just a year ago. Martin Truex Jr. had the most wins, the most playoff points, most stage victories, and stage wins when he took home his first championship.
But can one drive dominate a pair of races over the course of two weeks?
The answer…absolutely. Two weeks in a row the team that is sponsored by Jimmy Johns, owned by Tony Stewart, and driven by Kevin Harvick has found a way to victory twice, in dominating fashion. The difference is, this week, just like Truex a season ago, Harvick maxed out on everything that could come of it. Stage points, playoff points, and security for the playoffs came when the No. 4 Ford crossed the finish line in Las Vegas.
That is a jackpot worth winning, and Harvick cashed in big.
Two participants cashed in as well, deciding to double down and they won big for two weeks in a row. It propelled each of them to the top of the board. Here’s the updated standings after the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube:
Misan Akuya – 123 – Martin Truex Jr. finished 4th (1) 6
Rob Blount – 121 – Brad Keselowski finished 6th (0) 0
Ashley Hobbs – 107 – Brad Keselowski finished 6th (1) 6
Penny Whitecotton – 106 – Kevin Harvick WON (2) 6
Trisha Rodisch – 103 – Kevin Harvick WON (2) 6
Sal Sigala Jr. – 99 – Brad Keselowski finished 6th (0) 1
Ashley Hull – 99 – Brad Keselowski finished 6th (0) 1
Rob Tiongson – 97 – Kyle Busch finished 2nd (0) 0
Dustin Parks – 93 – Joey Logano finished 7th (0) 0
Billy Fellin – 70 – Kyle Busch finished 2nd (0) 0
Klarissa Mitchell – 46 – NO PICK SENT (0) 0
Next Race: Could it be a three-peat for the No. 4? If so, this is the place it will happen. Sure, it’s got a new name, but it’s still the same place. It’s a trip to the ISM Raceway, which is formerly Phoenix International Raceway. And we all know it could be a reality.
It’s also an end of ISM as we know it, because this is the final running of this track in it’s current configuration. The track isn’t going under the knife…at least in that sense. It however is the last time that this track will be run as it is now. Later this season, the track will have a new layout, and will be run in a completely different way than it has for so long.
All you League players need to have your choice for victory secured by Thursday, March 8, at 10 p.m. ET for the Ticket Guardian 500.
On Wednesday, NASCAR announced that Kevin Harvick and his team received an L1-level penalty following the teardown at the NASCAR R&D Center.
Violations were found to be of the rear window support, specifically the rocker panel extensions. During the race, the brace failed and it caused the rear window glass to not be rigid. It was seen on video and still images that the rear window was bowed down, and radio chatter between Chase Elliott and crew chief Alan Gustafson were talking about it.
The penalty was found to be the brace failed to keep the glass rigid at all times, and in addition the rocker panel extension was found to not be made of aluminum.
Harvick and team will still get credit for the victory, however the playoff points earned from the race, as he won all stages, will not count towards the NASCAR Playoffs come September. He has also been penalized 20 driver points, and team owner Tony Stewart has also been penalized 20 points. Car chief Robert Smith is suspended for the next two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup events (Phoenix and Auto Club), while Rodney Childers has been fined $50,000.
Although there will be no fines, the two participants that chose Harvick this past week are penalized the same 20 points, and lose the seven Playoff points from the race. Should Harvick and team appeal the penalty, any points that are returned will be added back in.