Hot 20 over the past 10 – Charlotte, where NASCAR reviewed its Big Bang Theory

My sons enjoy a television program called “The Big Bang Theory.” They tell me it is pretty funny. NASCAR has its own version of the Big Bang Theory, but it is not near as amusing for those involved. At Charlotte last week, Kyle Busch drove into a dangling rope, and BANG, he needed repairs. Later, both he and Dale Earnhardt Jr had engines that went BANG on the same lap, and those parts were not going to get put back together.

That oil Junior left on the track was a tad slick, and BANG, so much for Greg Biffle. Jeff Gordon was just cruising along when Mark Martin cut down on Aric Amirola. BANG. All three were toast. Ricky Stenhouse Jr got too close to girlfriend Danica Patrick, and BANG. That was what Brad Keselowski heard when Cleopatra moved up to get out of Marc Antony’s way. Jimmie Johnson went for a skid and, BANG, so much for Matt Kenseth contending. Juan Pablo Montoya and Paul Menard also got caught up in that one.  A lot of cars needed some Ford Mustang parts for repairs.

It could have been worse. Have you seen the video of that guy tossing his drink on the track after Johnson won the all-star race? BANG went his girlfriend. BANG, BANG, as she let Romeo know of her displeasure before storming off.  I wonder if they are still together? If not, and you are looking for a gal who can toss one hell of a right…

My theory is that all of these big bangs have to hurt as we replace the results from Fontana with those from the Coca Cola World 600. Bang, and dang. Taking the big tumble include Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brad Keselowski, who both dropped six positions, and Jeff Gordon slid five. Big gainers would be Martin Truex Jr, Kurt Busch, and Ryan Newman, who could use a little good news about now.

By the way, you may have noticed that while we had 43 cars entered in Charlotte, only 33 took the green flag for the Indianapolis 500. Of course, the only reason the Coca Cola World 600 field was larger was due to its inclusion of almost sure bets to finish outside the Top Twenty.

I am talking about the entries driven by such luminaries as Reutimann (21st on Sunday), Mears (23rd), Labonte (24th), Wise (26th), Hill (27th), Yeley (28th), Patrick (29th), Blaney (30th), Stremme (32nd), Cassill (37th), Kvapil (40th), Nemechek (41st), McDowell (42nd), and Speed (43rd). Even in keeping Danica Patrick and Bobby Labonte for marketing concerns, they still could have run just 31 and we would have missed nothing.

I mean, Michael McDowell is a good driver in lousy equipment. In the last ten races, he has 39 points. That is one less than Michael Waltrip earned at Talladega, five ahead of Terry Labonte and 20 up on Kenny Schrader (who each have ran twice). I never was a fan of hamburger helper, as sometimes less is more. That way you wind up with more bang for your buck.

Johnson remains the king of the hill, but he has Carl Edwards right on his heels. Maybe it is a good thing Edwards is a point back as we all know just how much he hates ties.

Name Points POS LW W T5 T10
  Jimmie Johnson  355 1 1 1 4 6
  Carl Edwards  354 2 2 0 4 6
  Matt Kenseth  348 3 3 3 3 6
  Kasey Kahne  337 4 4 1 5 6
  Kevin Harvick  329 5 8 2 3 4
  Clint Bowyer  313 6 7 0 4 5
  Martin Truex, Jr.  308 7 14 0 2 5
  Kyle Busch  301 8 6 2 5 6
  Paul Menard  299 9 9 0 0 4
  Jamie McMurray  287 10 13 0 0 3
  Dale Earnhardt, Jr.  282 11 5 0 1 5
  Kurt Busch  271 12 18 0 3 4
  Ryan Newman  271 13 20 0 0 5
  Aric Almirola  268 14 11 0 0 4
  Jeff Gordon  260 15 10 0 2 2
  Greg Biffle  258 16 15 0 1 3
  Joey Logano  254 17 21 0 4 4
  Brad Keselowski  253 18 12 0 2 5
  Tony Stewart  252 19 16 0 0 1
  Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.  252 20 17 0 0 0


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.


  1. You must admit, car positions 31 thru 43 creat some excitement. Aren’t they the ones who wreck the most and cause all the re-starts, etc. that are considered to be the only exciting part of the race.

    Running 30 cars would be like a marble in a bathtub, even with the drain plugged up. Even less interesting than the way it is now with no passing, etc.


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