Hot 20 – Just like NASCAR, Life Presents us with Wins, Losses, and Challenges to be Overcome

Life is full of milestones, some good and some not. Some win championships, some more than one, while others struggle to overcome adversity. Their ability to do so, to win the fight, are just as inspirational, if not more so.

Life has a way of letting you know what is important. News that Steve Byrnes is stepping away from the microphone to do battle once again with cancer is one such example. I expect to see him overcome this setback, to see him return to the studio and garage. There are too many songs in his song sheet that yet need to be sung, and I expect Byrnes to do so. I wish him well, and wellness, and a speedy return to us.

Friday sees me in Eckville, Alberta to say goodbye and celebrate the life of Tim Tubbs. I do not believe Tim was a NASCAR fan. I mean, he cheered for the Calgary Flames, which means he was barely even a hockey fan. What he brought to the party was a love of life, family, and friends. Tim was short in stature, but a giant in personality and character. It was a joy to have been in his company.

As his friends say goodbye, friends of another celebrate on Friday the 40th birthday of Dale Earnhardt Jr. It feels like we have seen him grow up, though he was already 25 when he entered his first full season in Cup back in 2000. We watched him become the most popular driver in the sport, to overcome tragedy, to shine, to endure a decade of struggle, only to return to the forefront this season. His title hopes might not shine bright today, but after this Saturday night in Charlotte or an upcoming Sunday in Talladega they just might again.

Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski have the edge in wins, but as we up the victor’s bonus from 3 to 25 points, over the full season Jeff Gordon remains the man. Among our top dozen there is one outsider. Kyle Larson might have missed the Chase, but the rookie’s performance the past four events would have made him a real contender had he not. As for Denny Hamlin, even missing a couple of races earlier this year have not dashed his hopes. If wildcard teams can do well in the playoffs of other leagues, why not in NASCAR?

BOLD = Active Chasers

Hot 20

1 – Jeff Gordon – 4 WINS – 1141 POINTS
2 – Joey Logano – 5 – 1114
3 – Brad Keselowski – 5 – 1077
4 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 3 – 1050
5 – Jimmie Johnson – 3 – 984
6 – Kevin Harvick – 2 – 982
7 – Carl Edwards – 2 – 945
8 – Matt Kenseth – 0 – 925
9 – Ryan Newman – 0 – 912
10 – Kyle Larson – 0 – 901
11 – Kyle Busch – 1 – 859
12 – Kasey Kahne – 1 – 856
13 – Greg Biffle – 0 – 854
14 – Clint Bowyer – 0 – 843
15 – Jamie McMurray – 0 – 825
16 – Paul Menard – 0 – 816
17 – Austin Dillon – 0 – 815
18 – Denny Hamlin – 1 – 796
19 – Brian Vickers – 0 – 764
20 – Kurt Busch – 1 – 745

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

Winspirit Australia

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles