NASCAR: J.J. Yeley to replace Ryan Truex in No. 83 tomorrow at Michigan

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J.J. Yeley has been confirmed as the replacement for Ryan Truex in the No. 83 BK Racing Toyota for tomorrow’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Truex was taken to a local hospital for evaluation after crashing hard in Turn 2 during the second Sprint Cup practice session this morning at MIS.

According to a team statement released shortly after 2:30 p.m. ET, Truex was diagnosed with a concussion and underwent CT scans of his head, neck, chest and abdomen. All of those scans came back negative.

ESPN’s Mike Massaro reported this morning that while Truex’s status was still in question, BK Racing was targeting Camping World Truck Series drivers Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton to potentially fill in. However, Massaro later tweeted that he was told neither Sauter and Crafton could fit in the driver’s seat and that Yeley was being considered instead.

Then, around 2 p.m. ET, Motorsport.com’s Lee Spencer reported that Yeley indeed got the nod, quoting team owner Ron Devine. About a half an hour later, the team put out their official statement.

Yeley is competing in today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This year, he has ran the majority of the Nationwide events and has also competed in six Sprint Cup events with a top finish of 34th at Sonoma Raceway.

Truex has made 19 starts in his rookie Cup season with a top finish of 20th two weeks ago at Pocono Raceway. He failed to qualify for the Daytona 500, Texas, and the June race at MIS.

Marvin Musquin’s Indy win may have come too late

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Marvin Musquin answered one question at Indianapolis last week, but the biggest one may well plague him for the next six weeks.

Musquin has won a battle, but can he win the war?

After standing on the podium in eight of the first 10 races, Musquin finally showed the field he was capable of winning in Indy when he grabbed the holeshot and led every lap on the way to Victory Lane. He was never seriously challenged and it was the Musquin that Supercross fans expected to see all season.

It was a long time coming. Musquin must have felt like victory was just around the corner after finishing second in the overall standings in Anaheim II’s Triple Crown race. He was third in the first Main that night and second in the last two Mains.

As it turned out, that single race defined his season until last week. Musquin stood on the podium all night, but he finished two spots behind Cooper Webb in the first Main and was one spot back in the second. It was only as time ran out that he was able to beat Webb by a single spot in the third Main. If Musquin had won either of the first two Mains, he would have had the overall victory – denying Webb his first career win in the process.

Webb’s Anaheim win revitalized the rider and gave him the confidence to rattle off four more wins in the next seven races.

Meanwhile, Musquin scored podium finishes in the next seven races, making him almost perfect. In another season, a record like that would have been enough to give him a comfortable points lead. In 2019, he sit 14 markers out of first, which is the points’ equivalent of the difference between first and 11th in one race. In other words, Webb cannot lose the points lead at Seattle unless he finishes outside the top 10 while his teammate wins.

Looking at the numbers another way the scenario is not quite as hopeless. Musquin needs to shave only 2.3 points off Webb’s lead each week to win the championship. Three points separate first and second. Five points differentiates first from third, which is where Webb finished in Indianapolis. Webb is vulnerable as his 10th-place finish at Glendale and an eighth at San Diego attest.

Those bobbles came early and Webb seems to have forgotten how to make a mistake.

A third-place is Webb’s worst finish in the last six weeks and since Anaheim II when Musquin started his impressive string of podium finishes, Webb has recorded an average finish of 2.2. That came with a worst finish of eighth on an extremely muddy and heavy track in San Diego. Musquin has a worst finish of only sixth, but his average of 2.8 still lags behind Webb.

Worse still, since Anaheim II Musquin has finished behind Webb in every race except for the outlier of San Diego.

It is no longer a question of keeping pressure on Webb. Musquin cannot expect his teammate to make a mistake; he has to find a way to pass him on the track. If Webb adds only two points to his lead at Seattle, Musquin’s fate would no longer be in his hands. He would need to gain 3.2 points per race. With that scenario, Webb could finish one spot behind Musquin every week and still win the championship.