3 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE
1. Junior surprise
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had to sit out Race 19 (of 36) after exhibiting concussionlike symptoms during a medical examination earlier in the week. The surprise was that he remained inside the cut line for the Chase playoffs. He now sits on the Chase bubble, 14 points ahead of Trevor Bayne.
2. Two-face race
Sunday’s race in New Hampshire had two personalities. Over the first 219 (of 301) laps, there were two cautions. Over the last 82 laps, there were five more, which helped scramble the field and completely change the finish of the race. Greg Biffle finished fifth? See what we mean?
3. Mile master
There are three NASCAR Cup Series ovals that measure a mile or real close to it — Phoenix, Dover and Loudon. Matt Kenseth has won two of those races this season. Each of those tracks has a Chase event, which puts Kenseth in a good position, at least on paper. His issue with NASCAR's post-race laser inspection at New Hampshire might be a negative factor, however.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had to sit out the race at New Hampshire, but he stayed in the hunt for a Chase playoff berth.