Bubba Wallace walked away from his crash at Pocono Raceway. What are crashes that stand out to you where drivers walked away?
Nate Ryan: Michael McDowell in April 2008 qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway; Jimmie Johnson in the August 2000 Xfinity race at Watkins Glen International; Mike Harmon in August 2002 Xfinity practice at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Dustin Long: Austin Dillon’s crash after the finish of the July Daytona race in 2015. Michael McDowell‘s crash at Texas, and Michael Waltrip‘s Bristol crash in 1990.
Daniel McFadin: Since we’re about to go to Watkins Glen, it would have to be Jimmie Johnson’s Xfinity Series wreck there in 2000 when he lost his brakes going into Turn 1 and plowed into a foam barrier. Johnson celebrated being uninjured by standing on top of his car like he was in Victory Lane.
Dan Beaver: Michael Waltrip’s 1990 crash at Bristol in the Busch series. They literally picked up most of his car by hand and put it on the rollback. Mike Harmon’s 2002 Bristol accident was eerily similar.
Hendrick Motorsports placed three cars in the top 10 at Pocono, the first time the organization has done that this year. How soon do you believe it will be before a Hendrick car wins?
Nate Ryan: It still feels as if the team will spring a major leap forward in the playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but some incremental improvements are clearly being made in the interim. With as well as he’s run the past two weeks, Chase Elliott could be a contender at Michigan International Speedway, one of his better tracks.
Dustin Long: Michigan next month could be a good place for the organization, particularly Chase Elliott, to score its first victory of the season.
Daniel McFadin: I wouldn’t place any bets on a Hendrick driver until they visit Bristol. Jimmie Johnson has top 10s in three of the last four visits there and he and Alex Bowman finished in the top five there in April.
Dan Beaver: Chase Elliott is beginning to show the speed he had at the end of 2017. It’s too soon to know if the No. 9 is going to be able to maintain it, but Michigan in two weeks could produce his first Cup victory.
Who are you taking this weekend at Watkins Glen? The Big 3 or the field?
Nate Ryan: Martin Truex Jr. is the defending race winner, and Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch both run well there. There are a few in the field (Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin) who can challenge them, but none is performing well enough to be given a better shot than the top three.
Dustin Long: I think the Big 3 will be challenged but one of the three will win.
Daniel McFadin: The Big 3 until they’re bested on a regular basis.
Dan Beaver: There are so too many unknowns on a road course that factor into victory. The Big 3 are just as susceptible to losing track position as the rest of the field, so I’ll take the field.