Victory Lap: Pocono

Chris Buescher

Mother Nature thowing us an occasional curveball is no surprise, who was leading the field when a heavy fog descended upon Monday's Pennsylvania 400 might be a shock to some. NASCAR rookie Chris Buescher outlasted other cars to take the top spot just before the red flag waved the field to pit roac. It was the first Cup win by a NASCAR rookie since Joey Logano took home the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 trophy in 2009. "It was stressful," said Buescher, who lost a lap because of a pit road speeding penalty on Lap 94 and regained it as the highest-scored lapped car under caution on Lap 109. “I tried not to get my hopes up because I know how these things can play out." But the fog hasn't completely lifted for Buescher yet. The rookie is still on the outside looking in the top 30 in points, sitting six behind David Ragan. "We're in a good spot, and we can definitely make up those six points," Buescher said. "We're going to try and get a lot more than that and be ready when the Chase does start to make sure we can advance as it goes through."

NASCAR Trading Cards

NASCAR and Panini America have collaborated together to release the first line of officially licensed trading cards, which will include stars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. "We are excited to bring NASCAR trading cards back into the marketplace," said Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America. "NASCAR fans are some of the most passionate in all of sport, and we look forward to delivering an assortment of products across a broad range of price points that meet the needs of collectors and race fans alike." You said it Mark, our fans are pretty awesome. So much so we'll be celebrating them all weekend long this September.

Tony Stewart

We remember another driver who missed time early in the season last year, and by all accounts it ended pretty well for him. This season, Tony Stewart is doing his best Kyle Busch impression with a mid-summer tear that's reminded us all he is a three-time Sprint Cup Champion. Going back to his win at Sonoma in late June, Stewart has four top-five finishes in his last six starts. He also is up to 27th in the Sprint Cup point standings. Considering he has five career wins at Watkins Glen International, there's a good chance he'll make another jump in the standings this weekend.

AJ Allmendinger

The Glen's 2.45-mile road course has been a unique twist in the midst of NASCAR's end of season stretch. Throw in the track's recent repave, and there's a chance the Chase point's scramble becomes even more intense after this weekend. Stewart is the track's all-time victories leader, and though his last win came in 2009 - his victory at Sonoma earlier this season shows he's still a threat.  AJ Allmendinger took advantage of his road course background in 2014, when his victory over Marcos Ambrose vaulted him into the only win and Chase berth of his 10-year Cup career. Even Jeff Gordon, who will continue to run the No. 88 in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s absence, has four career wins at the New York track.  With only three repeat winners in the last decade,  there's a chance this weekend could be one of the most exciting stops on the Road to Richmond.


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