Thursday, August 24, 2017

Doin' the Bristol Stomp...Again

Image result for nascar busch sweeps bristol    

I won't deny I was rooting for a new winner at Bristol, especially Erik Jones since he led so many laps. But it could just as well been Chase, Junior, Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, et al. But that's not the way it turned out so congratulations to Kyle Busch for doing the Bristol Stomp for the second time. 

It is quite an achievement to sweep any three races in a weekend, though I think Kyle gets a little too much credit for doing something not many other drivers have tried to do. He's the only one who has ever pulled it off but it would be interesting to know how many others have participated in an attempt to sweep.

Still, I hope non-winners win the last two.

This Silly Season is turning out to be a sad season. I'm enjoying the heck out of seeing the kids come into their own. The last restart at Michigan with Kyle Larson threading the needle to take the lead was awesome. 

Still, our old favorites are falling by the wayside one by one. First, it was Tony and then Jeff. Then Junior announced this would be his last season. Now, we don't know if Kenseth has a place to land. We don't know if we'll still see Kasey Kahne on the track or not. Jimmie, Kevin and Kurt are the last of the "old timer" top drivers. I love that NASCAR has so many young up and comers but maybe it is all happening a little too fast for me. 

I think NASCAR should let the drivers fight it out on pit road - no cones. Trying to position yourself to guarantee a certain lane is just one more piece of strategy, and it's one that doesn't always work out for the best. I think NASCAR is already guilty of too much micromanagement. Leave this one alone. I'm also sick of hearing about loose lugnuts. I think the team should get a pass if only one lug is loose. You assume one is an accident while two or three would be purposeful.

I have an ulcer. I call it the Jimmie Johnson ulcer. It always flares up in the summer when Jimmie goes into his slump. I'm always thrilled in the spring - the 48 team gets three wins, guarantees themselves a championship berth - yay! Then, boom, they fall off the map. It's a relief if they get a top ten instead of a DNF. I begin taking antacids. Will they be able to hit the switch as they've so often done? 

One of my best friends is as obsessed by the Chicago Cubs as I am with the 48 team. When the games and races are in overlapping seasons, she says, "don't forget to root for the Cubs," and I say, "don't forget to root for Jimmie." We both make solemn vows of support. She could care less about Jimmie and I could care less about the Cubs but we both believe a little extra mojo never hurt. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Only Five To Go

                                                   Image result for nascar kyle busch wins at Pocono

Okay, I'm glad for Kyle Busch that he won at Pocono. He'd come so close so many times, he deserved to finally get his win. He's certainly one of our top Cup drivers and we like our best drivers to be in the Chase with a win. But having said that, I'm beginning to get a little sick of the Kyle and Martin Show. They have dominated in poles, stage wins and races. Even when they didn't win, they dominated.

Jimmie and Kyle Larson started out great guns but they've tailed off here lately with more wrecks to their credit than wins. This is as per usual for the 48 team. They always seem to have a mediocre spell at the end of summer and leave their fans sweating.

I still think those four - Martin, Kyle, Kyle and Jimmie - are most on track to win the championship, though it is possible a Penske team could do it maybe a Stewart-Haas team.

I don't see Kasey Kahne getting that hot. I don't think Austin Dillon has a prayer or Ryan Newman either. Probably not Blaney or Hamlin though either is possible. Unfortunately, I don't think Dale Jr. will get up there either though I'd love to see it. Him or Kenseth either one.

My bet is that previous winners will win at least four of the next five. Maybe someone like an A J Allmendinger will pull it off at Watkins Glen.

Starting with Watkins Glen, NASCAR is going back to the making the start/fnish line the overtime line. That makes sense to me. I never understood why they changed it in the first place. If there was a rationale, I never knew what it was.

And, finally, NASCAR is reacting to so many Cup drivers coming down to snatch wins in the Xfinity series. I've always thought they should put limits on the Cup guys and now they are. They aren't ending their participation, which I don't think they should. There is something to be said for young drivers learning from the old professionals but on the other hand, they shouldn't be able to walk off with most of the goodies and glory either. From now on, drivers with more than five years of experience will be limited to a maximum of ten Xfinity races. None of them can compete in the Dash For Cash and none of them can run in the final eight championship races. The maximum in the Truck  Series is seven. Some of the drivers are in a snit about it but ten races per driver sounds like plenty to me. And the young Cup drivers (Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott...can still race as much as they like in the two lower series.

This has been the Silliest Silly Season so far. We still have Matt Kenseth, a champion, standing at the side of the room like a wallflower. And Kurt Busch. What is the deal there? There's no way I think he won't still be at Stewart-Haas. I think Gene Haas and Kurt have always had a Mutual Admiration Society.

Speaking of Stewart-Haas, I don't know how much more time they'll give Danica but it seems like her last few starts have been a steady improvement.

At the last, condolences to family and friends on the loss of Harry Scott and to even things up, we'll soon we welcoming Denny Hamlin's new baby into the NASCAR fold.