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The Final Word – For Bristol we give thanks as the tour continues on to Atlanta

[media-credit name=”David Yeazell” align=”alignright” width=”220″][/media-credit]Lord, I wish to give thanks for the return of Bristol to being Bristol. I don’t know if the shaving down of the track made the difference, but something was different from what we saw in the spring. There was action that kept you watching, and I’m not just talking about the one’s that gave the bodymen and mechanics some extra work.

I give thanks for Denny Hamlin winning last Saturday night. He emerged with his third victory of the season, tying him in bonus points with Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski come Chase time. I don’t really mean it, but I’m trying to become a better person. Now that I’ve tried to do the right thing, I’ll be forgiving if his engine blows up this weekend.

Tony Stewart has three wins, but we don’t know if he’ll make the Chase via wins or points. He is only 16 points up on Kasey Kahne, so he can be caught over the course of the next two events. However, I give thanks for his ability to toss a helmet dead center on the intended target and I give thanks for the awesome video from Matt Kenseth’s roof cam to show the headgear bounce off the hood.

Tony was upset, but it appeared to be more a race deal than anything else. As I am trying to be a better man, I give thanks for world peace and goodwill unto all men…until this Sunday at Atlanta. As we all know, Sunday is the day set aside for boys to have at it, along with the odd Saturday night.

Unto all men. Still, I give thanks for Danica Patrick, who got bounced hard off the inside fence in rather ungentlemanly fashion by Regan Smith. In her rage, she wiggled a finger at Mr. Smith. Her finger? Like her boss, she had a perfectly good helmet in her hands.

I give thanks for Juan Pablo Montoya, who continues to prove that even if you are outside the Top Twenty in points that does not prevent one from him from making a difference in other people’s fortunes. Ryan Newman went in with the second wildcard berth in his hands. After Montoya wrecked him, he left it 3 points behind Jeff Gordon and 19 behind Kyle Busch. Jeff Burton has had a brutal season, but things were going good Saturday until he piled into the wrecking Newman. I give thanks for Juan, as no one else will.

I give thanks for Dale Earnhardt Jr. He has a win this season, he has a Chase place reserved, and he even finished 12th at Bristol. Junior did this despite a pit road speeding penalty and another one for pitting when it was closed. What a fine fellow, doing all he can to give his competition a chance. Nothing can be finer than our boy from Carolina.

I give thanks for this new Chase format, where the final wildcard berth remains in play this late. If Kahne can catch Stewart for 10th, then Stewart and his three wins locks up the first wildcard spot. That still leaves five single win drivers and the winless Carl Edwards duking it out to see which one of them gets that final invite.

Edwards, Rowdy Busch, Gordon, Newman, Marcos Ambrose, and Joey Logano, I am sure, would like me to pass along their thanks should they win this Sunday in Atlanta, or the following week in Richmond. I offer up my thanks for keeping things interesting. Enjoy the week.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


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