Speed: On and Off the Racetrack

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Scott Speed, driver of the #82 Red Bull Toyota, and Casey Mears, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 13, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

    So after Sunday’s NASCAR race at Michigan, there are a few things that I want to follow up on. They're both relevant to the racing action and are just funny observations along the way.

    First and foremost, the action on the track wasn’t exactly hair-raising, but I’m sure it was exciting for two teammates. In lap 99, Casey Mears clipped his Red Bull teammate, Scott Speed, sending him spinning.

    Thing is, they were in the very back of the pack and it was an avoidable gaffe that sent Speed fuming.

    By now, both drivers have chalked it up to “a racing deal,” but still, you gotta think emotions were tough to swallow Monday at the shop.

    It didn’t seem like smart racing, and it goes back to the whole thing Tony Stewart was frustrated with last week -- he felt that guys aren’t respecting one another on the track, kind of like a “new school/old school” thing.

    As for the race ending, Denny Hamlin is unstoppable right now. It's clear the team has hit on something related to the change from the wing to the spoiler, because Hamlin has won five races out of the last 12.

    By the way, four of those wins came after he had knee surgery at the end of March. Perhaps he's more machine than man? Whatever it is, Denny also seems more mature and more focused. He’s very healthy, and it just seems like his confidence is at an all-time high. His best finish at Infineon, the upcoming race, was fifth place. Let's see if he can make it a hat trick.

    The one to watch this week is Kasey Kahne. He won the race at Infineon last year, and he finished second this weekend at Michigan. I think it's likely he will be the first Ford driver to end up in victory lane this season. Its interesting to me that his team is able to remain as competitive as they are week in and week out, considering no one knows what the future holds. That's because Kasey will move to Hendrick Motorsports (in some capacity) next season.