Halfway home, what have we learned?

We've learned that Hendrick and Penske have picked up on the new package faster than anyone. At this point, if you want to put money on the 2014 champion, if it's not Kevin Harvick, you're pretty safe with a Hendrick or Penske driver.

Speaking of Harvick. He, and his crew chief Rodney Childers, have been a real boon to Stewart-Haas. They have shown the best speed and consistency we've ever seen out of that organization. If they can get all their bad luck out of the way, and get their pit crew shaped up, he'll be one of the four running for the title at Homestead.

We've learned that these guys have been gunning for wins all along. The biggest difference is that points don't matter. And, I have enjoyed NOT hearing guys talk about good points days. But, look at the 11 winners and tell me if there are any among them who you would call a real surprise. Maybe Aric Almirola? I'd opt for not really there.

We've learned that qualifying can be interesting, that Kyle Larson is pretty good, so is Chase Elliott for that matter, and, that there's something wrong at Roush-Fenway. I can't recall that organization ever in a slump as long as this one has been.

Finally, I believe we've learned that the second half of this season is going to be really entertaining. In fact, I'd go with more entertaining than the first half.