On Friday night for the Busch Series race, we got a classy rendition of the National Anthem by a military band. Saturday night, we got an out-of-tune rock band just there to promote their album.
Classy addition, though, to include the Pledge of Allegiance in the pre-race festivities, way to go, Richmond!
Welcome back, Benny; this is one racing writer that missed you!
Finally, NASCAR enters the real world of sports by having cool playoff hats for the winners to wear right after clinching a spot in the Chase!
Race Grade: A
Despite NBC’s “Chase Only” coverage, the race was terrific! Richmond International Raceway is the perfect size, shape and banking to put on a great show every time. They tried to mess this track up with new sealer a few years ago, but she’s come back strong in recent races!
F for TNT’s Coverage
Bill Weber should be a contender on “Mike and Mike’s Just Shut Up” award every Tuesday. That sure was a terrific race from Bristol, wasn’t it Bill? There is no doubt that Bill Weber has naked pictures of TNT brass and knows how to use them! What other explanation would there be for this guy being the play-by-play announcer?
D for Jeff Green’s Temper
Paybacks might have a time and a place in sports… but that time and place is NOT the final race that qualifies drivers for the playoffs! While Jimmie Johnson had his spot clinched, Jeff Green‘s retaliatory slam could have taken out another Chase contender. NASCAR should send a message, parking Green and his owner’s car for the next race at New Hampshire!
C for David Stremme
This team has struggled this season, but David Stremme‘s 26th-place finish deserves a mention this week. Several times, Stremme could have raced a few of the Chase contenders harder, but eased back a little to make sure he wouldn’t take one of them out.
B for Mark Martin
There was no backing into the Chase for this cagey veteran! Mark Martin and his team both had a flawless night. The pit crew that has been ridiculed for making so many mistakes this year consistently got Martin out even or gaining positions on every stop! Maybe Mark will finally get that championship NASCAR stole from him in 1990 after all!
A for Kevin Harvick
This is one scary team for the competition heading into the Chase! Kevin Harvick is focused and on a roll. Heck, he might also have a seven-time champion riding along for good luck, too!
A for Dave Blaney
Departing from tradition to award a second top grade this week, simply because Dave Blaney deserves some top recognition! This team has struggled all year, but finally put it together Saturday night; sadly, TNT couldn’t even spend some time interviewing Blaney after the race. That gives me one more reason to hate the Chase! Still, congrats to Blaney and Bill Davis Racing for a hard fought fourth-place finish.
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