A few weeks after Kyle Larson lost out on a win at Dover because of a poor late restart, Larson used restarts to his advantage to win Sunday at Michigan.
Larson restarted on the front row multiple times throughout the race, on the inside and outside, and each time was able to beat the other car to the lead.
NASCAR America’s analysts discussed what Larson did right in order to win at Michigan, as Larson mastered the art of the side-drafting to win the day.
“Even though the 42 of Kyle Larson says a lot of things went his way, he made a lot of his own luck on those final few restarts,” said Steve Letarte.
Letarte and Slugger Labbe went over factors outside of driver ability that impact restarts.
“What helps the restart is what happens when the yellow comes out,” Labbe said. “You see the drivers shutting the cars off. What that does is manage the water temps. These cars, as the temperature gets hotter, the engine goes into protection mode and there’s less horsepower because it takes timing away, it puts fuel in the engine and it takes horsepower away. So if you don’t manage your temperatures when the yellow comes out, you’re going to pay the price when they throw the green flag.”
Parker Kligerman also further dissected Larson’s restarts at Dover and Michigan.
The Pocono 400 was plagued by multiple crashes due to the failure of brake systems on cars.
Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne were among those ended their day in the garage after crashes that resulted from brake problems.
The incidents came after NASCAR America analyst Slugger Labbe predicted last week brakes would be an issue at the “Tricky Triangle.”
The former crew chief and Dale Jarrett explained what caused the rash of brake failures.
“It specifically comes down to the size of the brakes these team use and also how much cool you put to them,” Labbe said. “The cooling is really regulated. Pocono is on a track of its own. NASCAR has rules on brake cooling at track one mile and below that you can run fans to the rear brakes. Since Pocono is a 2.5-mile track, you simply can’t run fans to the brakes.”
Labbe later showed off the different braking systems used for short and intermediate tracks.
Dale Jarrett then gives a driver’s perspective on the different types of brake pads.
Watch the video for the full discussion.
Other than at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR’s new stage racing format has never been used at a track larger than 2 miles in cars without restrictor plates.
That will change this weekend at Pocono Raceway.
“I think this weekend stage racing (will result) in an all-time high in how people get after it,” NASCAR America analyst Slugger Labbe said. “If you’re not running good, you can pit early at Pocono if you’re 12 to 14 seconds behind the leader. You can pit early and not get lapped. It’s one of the few tracks we can do that at.”
The first two stages of the Pocono 400 are 50 laps longs, followed by a 60-lap run to the checkered flag.
“I’m really curious to see how crew chief takes this,” Labbe said. “Will people go after stage points or will they be setting themselves up for the win?”
Non-conventional pit strategies could likely lead to a fuel-strategy race, much like how the Pocono 400 ended last year, with Kurt Busch winning.
Watch the video to see Dale Jarrett explain the art of fuel saving at a track as unique as Pocono.
Just six days after he chose to part ways with Richard Childress Racing, Slugger Labbe watched as the driver he had been crew chief for, Austin Dillon, won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Labbe joined NASCAR America on Thursday’s edition and said he was “overcome with joy” after Dillon’s first career NASCAR Cup win.
But Dillon’s win was bittersweet for Labbe, who said his biggest regret of working with Dillon was never being able to take the No. 3 car to victory lane.
Check out the above video to hear Labbe’s thoughts about what was a very special win.
Following the grueling Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte this past Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to the Monster Mile this Sunday.
The one-mile racing surface is deceiving. Fans may think it’s an easy track to race upon, but in reality, it’s one of the toughest tracks on the schedule. And much like Bristol Motor Speedway, Dover is also one of the hardest tracks to reach pit road without getting into a tangle with another driver.
‘This is a great roller coaster ride,” Jarrett said.
Slugger Labbe and Dale Jarrett explain what challenges Dover poses for the drivers.
Check out the video above.