On the Gas & On the Brakes at Watkins Glen

Can anyone stop the mighty Martin Truex from being "On the Gas?"

Can anyone stop the mighty Martin Truex from being “On the Gas?”

The Finger Lakes region of upstate New York is one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas of the country–until you throw in an 11 turn road course called Watkins Glen and 40 of the world’s best race car driver. Then calamity ensues.

NASCAR hit the Watkins Glen Interational road course this past weekend and the excitement level was cranked up a bit as we close in on the playoffs. Find out who made the grade (and didn’t) now!

On The Gas…

5) Kyle Busch – No one was on the gas harder during the first segment. Leading every lap to score his 9th segment win. Maybe he should have let off that gas a little later and let calmer heads prevail in the bus stop with Keselowski. Calmer heads…with those two?

4) Kurt Busch – After finding out his option for next year had not been picked up on his contract, it was time to audition, and a solid 6th place should keep the phones ringing.

3) JTG Daugherty Racing – It hasn’t been a season built on great memories. But, with AJ Allmendinger and Chris Buescher both in the top 11 at days end, it can be a building block moving forward.

2) Daniel Suarez – A career day for the rookie from Joe Gibbs Racing, Suarez continues to build a solid resume in the second half of the season and a third place run will keep the eyes locked on the driver of the No. 19.

1) Martin Truex Jr. – Who else. Maybe alongside of the top of our list, it might be a good idea to begin practicing how to etch that name in to the big trophy for homestead.

With solid performances from those 5, there had to be a few leaving Watkins Glen a little twisted. Who was…

On The Brakes…

5) Danica Patrick – Another strong early run and a bad finish to go along with it. Apparently Danica saw the light, or at least the understanding of what the Kyle Busch Hater Nation is all about. That’s one less Christmas card she’ll have to send out.

4) Jimmie Johnson – Maybe he should have been on the brakes just a little bit more. Needing to save gas, Johnson got the call with 30 to go from the pit box. Now Chad knows, it should have been 31 to go as they fell a lap short and came home 29th.

3) Kevin Harvick – Adversity was the name of the game and the driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet had to overcome contact on pit road and a parts failure towards the end of the race which ultimately sent Harvick to a 17th place finish.

2) Boris Said – In his final race at Watkins Glen, The “Said Heads” were hoping for a little more from the hero as he struggled with handling and speed as he filled in for Jeffery Earnhardt, Boris would take his final checkered flag in 30th.

1) Dale Earnhardt Jr – Tell me if you’ve heard this before. “In his final start at this track,” Junior struggles once again. A parts failure early that send Junior home before the he could really break a sweat. 37th and asking the pilot to fly a little higher so maybe his playoff prayers can be heard.

The twists and turns weren’t just the blacktop, but the story lines as we close in on the end of the regular season. The road courses are in the books for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers and some are thankful for that.

Michigan is next and the drama will certainly unfold as manufacturer supremacy is always a goal. Four to go in the regular season. Who will claim those much needed final few playoff points?

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Stephen Conley

If it races, I'll write about it, talk about it or shoot it with a camera.

I began pursuing a career in motorsports journalism immediately after attending college at Kent State University where the Indians an Browns just didn't do it for me.

The excitement and the fans make everything I put out there worth while, it's been an exciting ten years so far having covered everything from the Daytona 500 to the Rolex 24 and Indycar at Mid-Ohio.

What I like to bring is a look behind the scenes, a look at what and who makes the sport grow. From the guy that welds pieces back at the shop to the host in the tv booth.

Everyone has a story and I like to tell it. My main focus here at TPF is looking at the men and women behind the microphone and cameras, plus I also host a weekly show called Race Talk Live every Wednesday night at 8EST.

I have a full time job working at a local Country radio station that is also the MRN affiliate in central Ohio, I host an overnight show, plus I'm the sports director, writing and producing programs on our AM sports channel and getting relevant local sports for our two FM channels and handling all the NASCAR coverage.

My life long goal is to become a member of MRN or PRN Radio and bring the races to you. I hope that what I share now is enjoyable and gives you a unique look in to the world of motorsports.

See you at a track soon

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