5 Things to Watch

NASCAR's New King of the Road, Hamlin's Chase Chances and Villeneuve's Cup Return

Geoffrey Miller's Five Things to Watch at Sonoma
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<p> Geoffrey Miller highlights the five storylines to follow as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota-SaveMart 350.</p>

1. NASCAR's new king of the road?
Remember back when you could basically predict a Jeff Gordon win at these road course events? Ah, those sure were easier times. But, alas, they've been gone for a long while.

Gordon hasn't won on the series’ two road courses since 2006 at Sonoma and 2001 at Watkins Glen. As a result, NASCAR has gone a while now without a resident "King of the Road."

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NASCAR heads to Michigan, mourns loss of Jason Leffler

Geoffrey Miller's Five Things to Watch at Michigan
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<p> Geoffrey Miller pays tribute to Jason Leffler and highlights the five storylines to follow as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Michigan International Speedway.</p>

1. Reflecting on Jason Leffler, forever a hard charger
News of Jason Leffler’s death after a New Jersey sprint car crash ran fast, far and wide this week. His passing is, as it too often becomes, a startling reminder that race car drivers don’t compete in an arena like most other athletes.

Keselowski, Stewart look to rebound in Dover

Geoffrey Miller's Five Things to Watch at Dover
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<p> Geoffrey Miller highlights the five NASCAR storylines to watch in this weekend's FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway.</p>

1. Crew chief returns to No. 2 as Brad Keselowski rides streak of poor finishes
Just a few hours before Brad Keselowski was slated to start the seventh race of the year at Texas Motor Speedway in his blue No. 2, all seemed to be fine. After a disappointing 23rd-place finish at Auto Club Speedway two races prior, Keselowski had rallied at Martinsville Speedway to score his fifth top 10 in the series first six races.

NASCAR's Gen-6 to face new challenges in Phoenix

NASCAR: Five Things to Watch at Phoenix International Raceway
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<p> Five storylines to follow as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Phoenix for the Subway Fresh Fit 500.</p>

1. Gen-6 downforce track debut
NASCAR's two weeks of warm sunshine in Daytona Beach provided the first on-track action of the much-acclaimed new car in the Sprint Cup Series. It proved to be amicable, handing drivers more input in restrictor plate-style car setup. In the race, it proved to be just a little too dominant as a lead car.