The Frontstretch: Take Five for a Taste Test- ODDS and ENDS by Dennis Michelsen -- Thursday February 17, 2005

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Take Five for a Taste Test- ODDS and ENDS

Dennis Michelsen · Thursday February 17, 2005

 

Take Five for a Taste Test- ODDS and ENDS
(Race News for Fans with Short Attention Spans)

Take Five for a Taste Test
New sponsors come into the sport of NASCAR almost every few months it seems. Here at Frontstretch any time a new product is introduced our co-editors Nikki and Ren have a decision to make. Who will sample the new product this time? The good folks at Hershey have introduced a new candy bar called “Take Five.” Someone had to review this product so you the race fan would know what it was all about! Since it seems that most of the staff is on the low carb craze, I was picked to do the review. All I can say is, “How sweet it is!”

When I first read the ingredients for the new Hershey “Take Five” I figured the folks that invented this candy bar were NASCAR fans that inhaled too many fumes! Or perhaps they just threw all the leftover candy parts into one bar. Are you crazy putting pretzels, caramel, peanuts, peanut butter, and milk chocolate in one bar? Crazy as a fox it turns out! The new product will be the candy of choice at Saturday’s 300 mile Busch Series tune up for the main event on Sunday! After extensive testing it is now the candy bar of choice at my house too.

Just how extensive was the testing?

Do NASCAR teams ever just do one lap in testing? Of course not! So I figured I better shake down an entire box of “Take Five” before I made my judgment. But looking all over I had a hard time finding even one candy bar at my local establishments. Finally a trip to Costco to stock up for Speedweeks paid off. Of course you can’t just buy one of anything at Costco so my extensive testing schedule was on! I hate one in just about every position so these candy bars really handle.

OK after a case of the Hershey “Take Five” candy bars in one session I can attest to the fact that they are amazing. Of course they are not addictive"¦I was able to stop after just three cases! Now I sure hope that Seattle Sutton sponsors a NASCAR ride soon"¦I need to shed a few of these extra pounds. Next week join me as I test drive Dave Blaney’s new sponsor. Yes once again I volunteered!

Karnac Sez
Well folks it is that time of the year again"¦time to shine up that old crystal ball and make my race predictions for the 2005 season. Before I get on the goofy hat and do my best Karnac imitation, (Thanks for the memories Mr. Carson) let’s take a look at last year’s picks.

2004-Cup Picks
Kurt Busch (Champion)
Ryan Newman (7th)
Matt Kenseth (8th)
Bobby Labonte (12th)
Mark Martin (4th)

Cup Rookie
Kasey Kahne (ROTY)

Busch Champion
Bobby Hamilton Jr (Promoted to Cup)

Busch Rookie
Kyle Busch (ROTY)

Truck Champion
Carl Edwards (4th)

I was pleased with the pick of the champion in Kurt Busch. Not many people took Busch in the pre-season picks but I figured the new format would help him out. Now that teams have had a year to adjust to the new playoff format, look for some other guys to be stronger down to the finish in the Chase.

Without further adieu, let’s look at what Karnac Sez for this season!

Nextel Cup Championship Chase
Ryan Newman: Last year struggled through nine DNFs and still qualified for the playoffs. This season the team keeps him on the track and “Rocket Man” stays out of trouble to win it all!

Jimmie Johnson: Runner up two years in a row will probably make it three in a row!

Tony Stewart: Smoke is back and seems happy to be racing this year"¦that could be trouble for the competition.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr: Could this be the year that Earnhardt Nation gets to celebrate?

Jeff Gordon: Just impossible to keep this guy out of the top five.

Rookie of the Year Cup
Travis Kvapil: The smart money is on Kyle Busch with the Hendrick’s backing, but I like Kvapil’s chances. Kyle Busch might even win a race or two but will also trash a lot of equipment too.

Busch Champion
Martin Truex Jr: Would have been my pick last year but wasn’t scheduled to run the whole series. Looks like an easy repeat on his way to winning Cup ROTY next season.

Busch Rookie
Carl Edwards: Could contend for the title but pulling double-duty might wear this youngster down.

Truck Champion
Todd Kleuver: Going out on a limb with this pick, but this rookie has what it takes to get it done in his rookie year!

Truck Rookie
Todd Kleuver: The smart money is on this “Gong Show” winner to be the best of the rookie class.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum
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Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.