By Jason Schultz
As NASCAR continues in the month of June, a lot of unknowns develop. We travel to newly repaved Pocono this coming week and next week we go to newly repaved Michigan. Michigan is expecting speeds of 210+ MPH going in to turn one. As we go to Pocono, the newly repaved surface develops some questions. What kind of speeds are we going to see? Is there going to be a preferred line now with the newly repaved surface? Will the action at Pocono be different than before?
During a test session earlier this year, we saw faster speeds at Pocono but not much of a different style of racing. Another question is what drivers will be successful at the tricky triangle? Drivers like Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Stewart have been successful there in the past but now with the new surface, we could see some new drivers finding the key to success. All questions will be answered this Sunday on TNT.
When we go to Michigan in a week, we still have many unknowns there too. What speeds are we going to see? In the test session, Kyle Busch tweeted that he sailed into turn one at a whopping 219 MPH. Will there be any change in the racing? Will drivers take more risks? All of these questions will be answered shortly as the first race date at Michigan approaches.
Those two races don’t take up the whole month, a week ago we raced at Dover and we saw much of the typical action we expect at Dover. After Michigan we head to the west coast for the first road course race of the season at Sonoma. The track has given us surprises every year. Different drivers have been able to get a victory at Sonoma but some big names like Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin have never been to victory lane there yet. Juan Pablo Montoya has his only career victory there in 2007, so he could be a threat. Marcos Ambrose has been ever so close to victory there but never able to close the deal. Road course ringers look to come in and spoil the cup regular’s party but that hasn’t happened in years.
The final race in the month of June is at Kentucky. This is only the second race ever at Kentucky for the Sprint Cup Series, so there are many unknowns going into that race. The two things that I remember from last year’s inaugural race at Kentucky were; Kyle Busch winning and all the traffic problems that kept some fans from going to the race. Kyle Busch is the only driver to find success there so far, so he might have a slight edge on the rest of the field. The traffic problems have been fixed by money-man Bruton Smith. Smith essentially threw money at the speedway and the speedway updated and expanded its parking areas.
The sell-out crowd from last year likely won’t return but we’ll still see a great crowd. As June continues, we’ll see our questions answered but right now there all still a mystery. The month should provide lots of fireworks and excitement. I expect lots of changing things in the Sprint Cup Series by the end of the month like, the point’s standings and the wild card standings. Stay tuned in for the NASCAR action all month-long.