Wednesday, September 28, 2016
More Drama, Please
Chocolate Myers has always said the one thing he wanted from a NASCAR race was some drama (I suppose he still says it though I haven't been able to listen to the Sirius NASCAR channel as much as I used to). Drama can mean a lot of things - many cautions and chaotic restarts that stir up the field, multi-car accidents, unexpected winners, pissed off drivers, the suspense of a fuel mileage ending.
I have to think Chocolate didn't find much drama in the New Hampshire race. It was just your basic race with the usual guys up front, mostly Martin Truex, Jr and Matt Kenseth. Kevin Harvick did pull off his patented "where did he come from?" ending but that wasn't really much of a surprise as it was obvious he had one of the better cars.
Except for Kasey Kahne, who finished 9th, the rest of the top ten were Chase teams. Well, yes, they tend to be in front in most races. They are the best; that's why they are in the Chase.
So, next week we will lose four of them. Right now, that would be Jamie McMurray, Austen Dillon, Tony Stewart and Chris Buescher. With Dover yet to go, it's possible that scenario could be totally up-ended. Kyle Larson is only five points to the good. Still, I'm thinking the unfortunate four will remain the same. Kyle L. has an excellent record at Dover, with an average finish of slightly over sixth place. Jamie is probably the most likely to be able to jump over the elimination line. Meanwhile, Dover hasn't been especially good to Austen Dillon. Tony just doesn't seem to have it this year although we know he's capable to pulling off a miracle in a clutch. None of us ever expected Chris Buescher to be competitive. In his situation, he has to be satisfied simply to have made the Chase in his rookie year.
Incidentally, a personal side note on New Hampshire - I don't think living creatures should ever be trophies. Every Louden race, I hate seeing that poor lobster handcuffed and out of his natural environment for the entertainment and satisfaction of humans.
We'll probably know for sure what's going on with the 48 team after Dover. It is Jimmie's best track with 10 wins. Most all-time. He's led more laps at Dover than the next highest 3 drivers put together. If he has only a so-so run, then we'll know, they are still lacking somewhere. Even though, he'll still be there for the next round, the hopes for a championship will decrease.
Glad to hear that Junior continues to improve. He'll be on the pit box at Dover where Jeff will be driving. (Jeff will also be at Martinsville and Alex Bowman will be in the 88 in the rest of the 2016 races - and speaking of Alex Bowman, I think he's been doing a heck of a job as a relatively inexperienced stand-in).
So onward to Dover....and then there were 8.