Rubbin’s Racing in NASCAR
Denny Hamlin and Darian Grubb, Joe Gibb’s newest power duo, had two very different seasons last year. Hamlin, a former rookie of the year and Joe Gibbs standout, had a very dismal season in 2011 compared to his 2010 run for a championship. Hamlin who is accustomed to winning several times in a season was only able to turn in 1 win last year finishing the chase in 9th. Grubb on the other hand had the kind of season that drivers and crew chiefs dream of. Grubb, who was crew chief for Tony Stewart in 2011, helped propel the #14 team to five wins during the chase and capped the season off by winning a championship. Even with Grubbs’ success in 2011, he would end the season at a low point just like Hamlin. Grubb, a championship crew chief was told near seasons end that Homestead would be his final race as crew chief for the #14. I cannot get into details and specifics about the situation because I have no idea what took place between Grubb and team owner, Stewart. However, I would have to imagine that the ordeal left a sour taste in Grubb’s mouth.
When Daytona Speedweeks rolled around just a few weeks ago, Hamlin and Grubb were both ready for a fresh start. They found that newness last weekend at Phoenix as the duo captured the checkered flag for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. Hamlin’s victory ended a 22 race winless streak which dated back to last June at Michigan International Speedway. This latest victory and first for 2012 was #18 for Hamlin. He currently leads the points standing by six points over Greg Biffle.
Now for the rest of your top five: Kevin Harvick just barely managed to grab second place as he crept to the finish line running low on fuel. Greg Biffle, who is off to a great start this season, came home in third place. He was followed by Jimmie Johnson in fourth. Brad Keselowski and the blue deuce rounded out the top five.
Prediction for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Mark Martin always runs great in Vegas. Just like Hamlin, Martin is also coming off a dismal season. He has a new team, new sponsor, and a new number. A win at Vegas would do wonders for Martin and Michael Waltrip Racing. Look for the #55 in victory lane.
KOBALT TOOS 400 from LAS VEGAS, NV
PRACTICE ON SPEED: Friday at 3:00pm / Saturday at 12:30pm / Saturday at 3:00pm
QUALIFYING: Friday at 6:30pm
RACE ON FOX: Sunday at 3:00pm