THE LEFT TURN

NASCAR: Jockey Made in America 250 preview, picks

Keep an eye on Chase Elliott this weekend. Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images.

For the first time since 1956, the stars of the NASCAR Cup Series head to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin at Road America. Considered by many to be one of the best road courses in the country, this track is over four miles in length with multiple long sweeping straightaways and fourteen corners. Because of its layout, the track is one of the fastest of its kind. One corner to look out for is turn number five. This corner is a blind turn that sits at the exit of a long straightaway towards the end of the race. With a lot of drivers' brakes wearing out, this could be a trouble spot as it has been for in the Xfinity Series races here. This racetrack is a beautiful facility with some of the best fans and the best racing in the world. I am ecstatic to see the Cup Series get a race here.

Last week, Alex Bowman and Kyle Busch went on to claim victory in the Pocono doubleheader. In the first race, teammates Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman battled it out in the closing laps. And it appeared that Larson was on his way to a fourth victory in a row until the final corner when a tire went flat, giving the victory to Bowman. When interviewed, Larson stated there were no tire issues for most of the day and that he believed he ran over debris. This is becoming an issue as we saw complaints of debris at Nashville as well. Let's hope NASCAR can do a better job going forward because it might have cost Larson a victory. Needless to say, he rebounded the next day to finish second, so it wasn't all bad for this year's hottest driver. As I mentioned earlier, Kyle Busch went on to capture his second victory of the season, and he did it using fuel strategy. The most impressive feat is that his car was stuck in fourth gear the whole time, and he was still able to wheel the car to victory.

This week, another major bombshell was dropped upon the NASCAR world. It was announced Wednesday that Justin Marks and Mr. Worldwide himself, Pitbull, would be purchasing Chip Ganassi Racing in 2022. When it was announced that Kaulig Racing would be moving up next season, it left a lot of questions as to what was next for Trackhouse Racing, seeing as they were left without a charter. Everyone figured that they would find a way to stay competitive next season, but NO ONE expected them to buy a whole race team! This all but confirms that next season they will field a second car, but now the question is, who is going to drive it? This will certainly be one of the most sought after seats in the garage area.

As I mentioned earlier, while Kaulig Racing will be moving their Xfinity Series program up to Cup next season, they will also be fielding a Cup car this Sunday with AJ Allmendinger driving. He's going to be one to really look out for this week. There are a handful of drivers in the field that have spent time racing on this track, but none have the experience that he has. Not only has he driven stock cars here, but has also found success in the old Champ-Car Series as he won back in 2006. No one knows this track better than him. If he can stay out of trouble, he will be a contender to win come Sunday.

The driver that I have winning this Sunday is the king of the road himself, Chase Elliott. When the Cup Series heads for a road course, it's tough not to pick him, considering how much success he has accumulated on road courses. He has also been fast here in his limited Xfinity Series starts, as he nearly won back in 2015. I look for Elliott to continue his success that he's been on and capture his seventh road course victory come Sunday.

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We'll see if Watson is in pads on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Houston Texans.

The Houston Texans had their last practice before pads come on for the first time on Tuesday. There was plenty to see on Monday.

1. Deshaun Watson had his usual extremely light level of work. He did very little throwing to teammates, though he did throw to the tight ends in 1-on-1 drills.

2. Texans head coach David Culley said "nothing has changed" when asked if Deshaun Watson will be in pads Tuesday. Culley has maintained that answer for a couple of sessions now.

3. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was back after missing Saturday with an excused personal day. Taylor has been the best quarterback in camp by a wide margin. Taylor makes better decisions with the football than other quarterbacks, but he does struggle on deeper passes. Taylor missed wildly on one deep ball and was a little wobbly on another.

4. Nobody in camp can cover wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This could be the easiest training camp of his life. He easily gets open in 1-on-1 situations.

5. Rookie wide receiver Nico Collins continues to flash his abilities in camp. Collins easily shook loose from defensive back John Reid and took the route vertical for an easy score. Collins later had a tough catch in traffic.

6. It's only been a few days, but the competition for inside wide receiver reps is tough. Former Bears wideout Anthony Miller has looked quick and nothing like the "draft bust" the Bears fans watched. Keke Coutee has rarely lost a rep, but Desmond King did win a few times over Coutee in the opening days of camp. Former Bengals wideout Alex Erickson finds himself constantly open. The cuts at wide receiver are already shaking out to be difficult.

7. Davis Mills bounced back in a sense that he couldn't be worse than he was on Saturday. The performance from Mills on Saturday was abysmal, but head coach David Culley said he liked how Mills responded today. With Tyrod Taylor back, there were fewer reps for Mills, but he had some impressive throws to go along with an off-target throw or two. Mills was far better than Jeff Driskel on Monday. Driskel tossed two interceptions right to defenders, including one that would've gone the wrong way for a score.

8. This linebacker group is interesting. With a new defensive scheme under Lovie Smith, the type of linebacker is very different from previous years. There was a clear emphasis on cover ability as these linebackers were added to the team.

9. Kamu Grugier-Hill and Kevin Pierre-Louis have both had some significant wins for the linebackers in coverage.

10. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan looks the part physically, but he's had a rough few days, including a drop on Monday.

11. With the pads coming on Tuesday, it will be fun to watch the rebuilt defensive line clash with the many combinations of the offensive line. There will be no J.J. Watt who historically stirred up the team on day one of pads. Laremy Tunsil's cool confidence about the offensive line over the weekend leads me to believe they are a confident group, while there are spots to be won on the defensive side of the line.

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