The 2006 rookie class is fine with me. What I’m looking towards is the rookie class for 2007, and I don’t like the sneak peak the NASCAR community’s been getting.
One “levigation” project.
One final lap on NASCAR’s fastest superspeedway. That’s all that stood between a jubilant Jimmie Johnson and Victory Lane Sunday, a signature win destined to get him back in the championship Chase. For Brian Vickers running behind him, he could have seen an opportunity lying ahead, too – a chance to perhaps write his name on a Nextel Cup trophy for the first time in 107 starts. Either way, it looked like nothing could go wrong as the Hendrick cars, ranked second and third, barreled down the back straightaway at 200 mph, both with runs that would push them in front of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and clearly win the race for one of them.
With Jeff Burton finally ending a 175-race winless streak at Dover last weekend, he became the ninth of 10 Chase drivers fighting for this year’s title to visit Victory Lane this season. The monkey finally off his back, the victory left only one man with a goose egg in the win column beside his name entering Kansas. Is it a surprise to anyone that man was Mark Martin?
As Jeff Burton pulled into Victory Lane on Sunday, winless monkey off his back and championship trophy suddenly within reach, it was hard to ignore the irony surrounding the end of his 175-race winless streak.
At this point, everyone knows about the misfortune the No. 48 team experienced at New Hampshire. Losing a cylinder in the engine before a quarter of the race was complete, Jimmie Johnson underwent a lengthy pit stop under a lap 81 caution to try and fix whatever was wrong. Coming out in the back of the pack, Johnson left himself vulnerable to the type of chain reaction accidents that often happen at the flat 1-mile oval, and paid the price.
It may not be the case all the time; OK, maybe less than half the time. Believe it or not, though, NASCAR does have certain rules that are black and white, and the rules surrounding the Chase for the Championship are one such set. 10 drivers and everyone within 400 points of the leader make …