Notables at the Monster
Dover did what Dover does best; it put on one heck of a show on Sunday. Out of the 43 drivers who competed in Sunday's race, there were a few that really stood out.
Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya ran one of the smartest races of his career on Sunday and came up just short of a victory. Montoya has never won on an oval track and has come so close this season to erasing that fact. He was running towards the top of the pack throughout a majority of the race and thanks to pit strategy, found himself in the lead at the end. If it wasn't for Stewart coming out of nowhere at the end, Montoya would have been in Victory Lane at the Monster Mile. The season isn't even halfway over so I wouldn't count Montoya out of an oval win this season quite yet.
Tony Stewart: Think back to pre-race and RaceDay when the anchors said Stewart was not going to make the Chase, well, he just increased his chances with a win on Sunday. His win also moved him into to top-20 in points. The hot summer months are when Stewart is at his best and that definitely showed Sunday. The only three laps he led were the three that counted at the end. Don't overlook Stewart, He is just heating up and Stewart-Haas Racing is improving each and every weekend.
Jimmie Johnson: If it wasn't for the questionable restart that NASCAR called him on, Johnson would have had himself another Monster. Johnson came from his worst starting spot at Dover ever and on the verge of going a lap down to leading the race and basically having it in the bag at the final caution. His black flag penalty left him deep in the teens and out of contention but his performance Sunday showed that no matter where he starts in the field, you can never count out Mr. 5-Time.
Jeff Gordon: For a guy who has had pretty rotten luck this last season and a half, he was definitely in contention for the win towards the latter stages of the race. He went on to finish third but had the race gone on a few more laps, he may have just won the entire thing. Watch out for Gordon, when he and his team are on fire, there is no slowing them down.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr: This Rookie is getting better and better each week. He finished 13th on Sunday and if he keeps up with his improvements throughout the season, I wouldn't be too shocked to see him in Victory Lane before season ends. This young gun knows how to win for sure; we saw that in the Nationwide Series. With Roush-Fenway Racing behind him, he is in some of the best equipment with one of the best pit crews in the field. He will win, it's just a matter of when.
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