With Darian Grubb suspended for the next six Sprint Cup races, Mike Wheeler will step in to serve as interim crew chief for Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team starting this weekend at Pocono.
Wheeler usually serves as race engineer for the No. 11 car and has been with the JGR organization for over a decade. But while Wheeler is an experienced hand, NASCAR AMERICA analyst Kyle Petty wonders if the team can adapt to the situation – even though Hamlin can help take some of the pressure off by staying his normal front-running self at the Tricky Triangle.
Meanwhile, it would appear that NASCAR’s biggest power players, Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske, have an advantage going into Pocono in regards to horsepower for getting down the long straightaways.
Those teams are who Petty is looking at when he makes his predictions on the outcome of Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400.
NASCAR AMERICA will return with a full Pocono recap next Monday at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. For more show clips, head over to the archive page.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.
Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.
Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.
Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”
Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.
The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.
Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.