Through the Field: Red, White & Road America
With the summertime finally in full swing, this coming weekend brings us perhaps the best weekend of the summer, the celebration of Independence Day.
And although it doesn’t feel like a great time to celebrate America for a lot of us, it’s still a great time to spend time with friends and loved ones and reminisce on traditions –new and old.
As a kid, most Fourth of July celebrations were spent at my grandparents’ house. The family would pile in the minivan for the two-hour drive headed to central/western Pennsylvania for a good meal in the backyard with all of the other family and friends and then some fireworks at the nearby amusement park when the sun went down.
While those grandparents are now gone, and the other family members are seen less, the memories will always be treasured.
As an adult, new and special memories are made every year for the holiday, which is certainly helped by my wife’s birthday being on July 5th. This year, we’ll be enjoying the holiday sitting on the beaches of Lake Erie.
But let’s not forget perhaps the most important part of the holiday weekend: making some time for some racing. While back in the days of yesteryear, Daytona was always the hot spot this weekend, now the NASCAR Cup Series makes its home at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., yet another road course on the schedule.
Here are some names to watch that will be as hot as those burgers on the grill come Sunday, followed by a few more that have cooled off like an ice cream cone but still could be just as tasty in your lineups.
The Hot & Cool of NASCAR Drivers Going into Road America
Trackhouse Racing: Perhaps the most obvious driver pairing to watch is the hottest team in the series, Trackhouse. While neither Ross Chastain nor Daniel Suarez was considered a road course specialist heading into the season, both drivers have won on road courses in 2022. They have to be among the favorites once again this weekend.
AJ Allmendinger: The top road course ringer in the series can never be ignored, especially after winning at the Indianapolis Road Course in 2021 and coming about two turns and one bump from a No. 1 car away from a win at Circuit of the Americas this year. While it’s not always a perfect day at the races for Kaulig Racing in the Cup Series this year (AJ Allmendinger was just 16th at Sonoma), you can’t discount his No. 16.
In Austin Cindric’s case, two of his best three finishes since the Daytona 500 victory have been top-10 finishes at road courses.
As for Chase Briscoe, he hasn’t even earned a road course top-12 finish, but we know he’s capable, and the whole of Stewart-Haas Racing is starting to build some summer momentum again.
Tyler Reddick: We have all cooled on Tyler Reddick’s No. 8, as he’s gone from a weekly threat to win to simply struggling for consistently good runs. But as we’ve learned to expect the unexpected with Reddick, it certainly speaks to that fashion that he may just get his first win when we least expect it.