In the midst of Dale Earnhardt Jr. overkill, the 12-car Chase field was set in stone on Saturday night. Looking at the final list of contenders, are there any surprises you see on that list? Anyone you think doesn’t deserve to be running for the title, and if so, who would you replace him with?
Johnny Benson took the checkered flag ahead of Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution for his second consecutive win during the Missouri/Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 Saturday night at Gateway International Raceway. Midway through the race, Benson found himself in 20th after running near the front most of the race, but a strong truck allowed him to race through the field for the win. Defending race winner, Ted Musgrave finished third. Todd Bodine and Regan Smith rounded out the top five.
Each week, we’ll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race and capture the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find; the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Sharpie 500 on the newly repaved Bristol Motor Speedway.
In this very column two weeks ago, I gave Kurt Busch a pretty hard time. His Pocono Victory Lane celebration, with its scripted victory speech and fake beer swigging, was not only pre-meditated, it was downright fake. So to be fair, I must acknowledge that Kurt’s straight-up rundown of the last 100 laps and compulsory ‘Thank Yous’ at Michigan were well done.
In short: You drove one helluva race, Kurt, and – by ditching the forced pitchman routine – you scored mucho points with the casual fan by simply being yourself. And the fact that you actually opened the beer bottle before you took a swig was almost, dare I say it?, Junior-esque.
1. Weather Woes – What if it rains again Tuesday and the race can’t be held? NASCAR says that the Michigan race would tentatively move to the end of the schedule and would be held on Thanksgiving weekend, making it the final race of the year. The New Hampshire race on September 16th would become the final “regular season” race, and the first Chase race would be Dover on September 23rd. There is still an outside chance that NASCAR could try to run the race on Wednesday, however.
One of the most entertaining races of the season spurred some of the most thought-provoking inquiries I’ve received this year. Here’s to hoping Michigan provides us with the same on-track action and off-track queries from you fans at home. Without further ado, let’s delve right into the mailbag…
Saturday was supposed to be the luckiest day of the year – July 7th, 2007 (7/7/07). On that fateful night, some of NASCAR’s greatest drivers were lucky, indeed, finding no problem pulling the lever and hitting that jackpot on the slot machine of restrictor-plate racing known as Daytona International Speedway. While Jamie McMurray snagged the …
In 2006, most of the No. 78 team’s 17 successful qualifying attempts came on intermediate tracks. Kenny Wallace had to make the race on speed all season in underfunded and underpowered equipment with a first-year team; given this, those 17 starts were not a terrible total.
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)?