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Saturday, June 21, 2008

And the winner is ... one of the Gordons

On a normal race weekend, if I told you Gordon was going to win, we'd all know I was talking about Jeff.

But this is not a normal weekend, it's a road course weekend. So this is one of two weeks each year when I can legitimately say that Robby is almost as likely to win as Jeff. True, his car may not be of Hendrick quality, but Robby is quite possibly the best road racer in the field. And he has extra incentive to win, as his car is sponsorless this week. A win might help fill that big empty black spot on his hood in future weeks.

One driver who usually contends on the road courses but has dug himself a hole by qualifying poorly is Tony Stewart, who is going to have to pass the entire field if he wants to taste victory Sunday. I have plenty of respect for Tony's talent, but I don't see him pulling off a miracle victory.

Part of the problem is there's too many great drivers he's going to have to pass. Marcos Ambrose qualified 7th in a Wood Brothers car, so he'll be a threat. Other road course vets like Juan Pablo Montoya, Boris Said, Ron Fellows and Scott Pruett should also contend if their cars agree with them.

Kasey Kahne won the pole, but color me unimpressed. The last time he even had a top 20 finish on a road course was in 2005 at Watkins Glen. He'll likely fade back and finish outside the top 10.

I foresee a battle of the Gordons shaping up. Jeff has not won so far this year, and history has shown that's not likely to stay true for long if your name is Jeff Gordon. He's the best bet to win.
But Robby could serve as a spoiler. He has the pure talent needed to win one of these races, but we'll see Sunday whether he has the car and proper strategy to make it happen.


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