5 Questions After Michigan

Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR

Let’s revisit our 5 Questions Before Michigan with brief answers:

How will the new surface affect the racing at Michigan?
The race itself was much more eventful than usual for Michigan, with speeds reaching over 210 mph on the straightaways. Coupled with the high speed, Goodyear experienced problems as the tires were blistering and  so they opted for a change before the race. You can read more about the change and NASCAR's reasoning here.
Will we see a repeat winner?
Yes! See the next question and answer. 

Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally get a win after leading 36 laps at Pocono Raceway?
Indeed he did! Earnhardt Jr. won at Michigan, which is his first win in 143 races. Earnhardt Jr. returned to victory lane at the very track he got his last win four years ago, and to add to the emotions, on Father's Day. 

Can Kurt Busch bounce back after his suspension?
The quick answer is no. Busch had battles on track and off, once again. Focusing on the track issues, Kurt Busch had himself a battle for the entire race, bringing out the first caution at Lap 3. The day continued with struggles, bringing out another caution for a solo spin at Lap 121, Busch finished in thirtieth. 

Can Greg Biffle get his points lead back?
Nope, teammate Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. remain above him in the first and second points positions. Biffle is 17 points behind Kenseth, third in the points standings. 

Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Now for 5 Questions After the Quicken Loans 400

Hendrick Motorsports has been on their game lately, but can they keep their momentum up?

In five of the last six races, Hendrick Motorsports has found themselves in victory lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has 11 top-10s so far this season with one win, Jimmie Johnson has two points race wins and the All Star race win, Kasey Kahne had a seven race streak of top-10s and a win, and although winless, Jeff Gordon has gotten increasingly better in the last few weeks. They could run well heading into the Chase with this built-up momentum.

What happened to Kasey Kahne and can he turn it back around?
After a string of top 10s, Kahne found himself climbing from 31st in points to 14th, but he has fallen back to 16th after a crash that took him out of the race at Pocono, then a crash that put him 46 laps down at Michigan. After the start to his season, Kahne and his team have demonstrated that they can turn it all back around. All he needs is a little luck.

Will Kurt Busch ever change his attitude?
Like a Magic 8 Ball, the answer is unclear. Kurt is stubborn by nature and that’s just how he handles things, including the media. Only time will tell if Busch will realize a change is needed to retain his job and plan for the future.

What is up with the engine problems at Joe Gibbs Racing and more specifically for Kyle Busch?
This is the third race in a row that Kyle Busch has had engine problems. According to Busch's Twitter, the problems were different all three times and he also clarified that TRD (Toyota Racing Development) builds their engines, not Joe Gibbs Racing. There is no clarification on what those problems actually were this week. If I were Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs, I would be worried. 

Can Roush pull off a Cup Championship after coming so close in 2011? 
Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle each have a win this season and have both maintained spots in the top-3 point standings. Carl Edwards finds himself in 11th after Michigan and fighting for a top 10 spot. It is quite possible that all three Roush drivers could find themselves in the Chase come September. Edwards has had some difficulty and disappointment this season, but his teammates have had some consistent runs. In conclusion, yes, it is definitely a possibility. 
5 Questions After Michigan 5 Questions After Michigan Reviewed by Holly Machuga on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 Rating: 5