The Boot Hill 10 was a race to remember for all who attended, as 43 specimens of the finest horsepower from all over the Fort Worth area contested for the winner’s cup and bragging rights at the Bent Spur Saloon to go along with the winner’s purse, an eye-popping $8.56 plus two.
1.195 – Tony Stewart’s margin of victory, in seconds, over Jimmie Johnson at Atlanta Sunday.
Mike Bliss won the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 Saturday night for his first victory at the event since 2002. In a race full of intense side-by-side racing, Bliss held off Terry Cook by a mere 0.207 seconds to take the checkered flag. Rookie Erik Darnell posted his second top-five finish in two weeks, finishing in third, while David Reutimann and Rick Crawford rounded out the top five.
Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Atlanta’s place in NASCAR lore was simple: it was the palace through which Cup champions were crowned. For some, a coronation proved merely a formality, their hardware long clinched before the annual fall 500-miler; others used this 1.5-mile track to create drama until the final moment of the final lap before choosing to etch their name on the annual championship hardware. The final race of the season until just a few short years ago, this was a track defined as a place that made stock car dreams come true.
Racing to the front early and often, Stewart used four fresh tires to pass Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 11 laps to go to secure the victory in Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops 500. Jimmie Johnson also got by Junior before the checkered flag to take second, leaving him behind to contest a furious side-by-side battle with Matt Kenseth; the No. 8 car pushed ahead by .009 of a second at the line to take third. While Kenseth lost that contest, his fourth-place finish kept his point lead intact, although it shrank to just 26.
Carl Edwards was leading when the caution came out for a Steve Wallace spin with four laps to go and set up a green/white/checkered finish. Kevin Harvick, trailing Edwards, would get one more shot at the win and took advantage of a poor start by the No. 60 Ford of Edwards to pounce going into turn 1. Teammate Clint Bowyer joined the fray, making it three-wide briefly before Harvick and Bowyer ran off to settle it amongst themselves, leaving Edwards to race Johnny Sauter for third. Harvick came out on top with Bowyer finishing second yet again.
A few weeks ago when the new official Kurt Busch Message Board debuted, an interesting question was posted for everyone to weigh in on. Should the Craftsman Truck Series and the Busch Series go to a Chase for the Championship format? It’s easy for me to look at Kevin Harvick sitting more than 700 points ahead in the Busch Series to say maybe they should consider a Chase format, but it’s a lot more difficult for me to say that about the Craftsman Truck Series.
The Bass Pro Shops 500 is the 33rd race on the 36-race NASCAR Nextel Cup Series schedule. The Cup Series visits the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway twice in 2006-they raced here in March. AMS has hosted Cup races since 1960, although it was changed to the present configuration in 1997. The field will include 2005 polesitter Ryan Newman and defending winner Carl Edwards.
It is no secret that in the eyes of NASCAR, the racing game is NOT a democracy. It purely is, and most always has been, an outright dictatorship. Throughout the course of history, such dictatorships have their peak… and then, inevitably, a tragic downfall. Recent happenings have me thinking a downfall is close at hand.
This Week’s Question: In light of recent concerns by teams in the garage area, is NASCAR moving forward too fast with the Car of Tomorrow (COT)?
I’m afraid neither Jack Roush nor anyone else really has an answer for the driver shortage problem. I also don’t think they were ready for the embarrassing showing that David Ragan put on at Martinsville. I’m not really sure why they leapt over Todd Kluever to get to Ragan in the first place, but they’ve made their bed now.
With only four races remaining this season, the Nextel Cup drivers and teams can see the light at the end of the tunnel – the 2006 championship trophy shines brighter by the day. As the series heads back into the Southern hospitality of Atlanta, who are the drivers that can right your fantasy ship, leading you straight from the emergency room to the trophy room? Let Cami and substitute fantasyman Tom Bowles show you the way in this week’s edition of Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans.