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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards should be next Cup drivers to break long winless streaks

OK. Dale Earnhardt Jr. broke his winless streak, but what about the other guys who haven’t won in a while?
Who’s next to win?

I’ll break it down for you.

Once you hit 200 races without a win, you’re pretty much done winning. Bobby Labonte is 303 races out from his last win, and I don’t think he’s headed to Victory Lane soon, though he may have some respectable runs.
Robby Gordon (285 races without winning)may win at a road course, but even that’s a long shot with the equipment he has lately. And forget about Joe Nemechek (267 race streak) winning. That’s a pipe dream with his budget.

But Martin Truex Jr., who has not won since June 2007 (182) should win soon, as he is finally in competitive equipment. Michael Waltrip Racing is starting to compete on a regular basis, so expect this to be the next long streak that is broken.
Also, it’s not as long of a streak, but Carl Edwards hasn’t won in 48 races, and you can bet that won’t last. He’ll win before the summer is out, probably sooner than Truex.
Beyond that, I don’t see much hope for the other drivers with long winless streaks:

Jeff Burton (128 race streak) hasn’t had a great race all year, and the team has to find some magic if it wants to compete.

David Reutimann (66 race streak) is in junk cars this year; will not compete.

Teammates Juan Pablo Montoya (65 races) and Jamie McMurray (56 races) have struggled mightily this year. Ganassi’s team just isn’t what it was when it was winning races, so don’t expect either of these guys to celebrate, unless it’s at a road course, where they are both strong. Problem is, the car has to be strong too.

New Wild Card contenders
Jeff Gordon and Juan Pable Montoya are in the top 20 in points. In the past, that meant little. Now, if they get a win, they will be in the fight for the wild card spots for the Chase.
So you can bet they’ll do all they can to get to Victory Lane this summer and get consistently strong finishes.
Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman are the current “wild card” holders, 12th and 13th, respectively, in points. Joey Logano (15th) and Kasey Kahne (16th) also have won a single race. So they would have lots of competition.
Carl Edwards, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose and Jamie McMurray are the remaining drivers in positions 11 through 20 still seeking their first 2012 victories.

Happy birthday Hornaday
Four-time champion Ron Hornaday Jr. celebrated his 54th birthday on June 20. He’s a three-time winner at the schedule’s next stop, Kentucky Speedway, where his most recent win came last October. He also is the series’ oldest active winner (Las Vegas).

Nationwide, Trucks banquet staying in Miami
NASCAR announced the date location for its 2012 postseason championship celebrations for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The combined NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards will return to South Florida for 2012 and be held at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, located in the heart of South Beach. The event is scheduled for Monday, November 19, following the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Similar to past award shows, this year’s event will honor the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champions, as determined during the Homestead-Miami Speedway race weekend, November 16-18.
“Celebrating the champions of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in Miami Beach enables us to continue the wave of excitement out of championship weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “The backdrop makes for an ideal location to honor those champions — and their teams and sponsors — after their great seasons.”
As previously announced, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will return to Las Vegas, and take place Friday, November 30, at the Wynn Las Vegas. A full lineup of activities for Champion's Week will be announced at a later date.

Hamlin going to Alaska, race sled dogs
Denny Hamlin will visit the FedEx Express Hub in Anchorage for a special meet-and-greet with FedEx team members at the facility on Monday, June 25. While there, Hamlin will also meet current Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey and learn the sport of mushing. The afternoon will conclude with a 100-yard dog sled race between the NASCAR star and Seavey.

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