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The Final Word – Loved Talladega, Just Not All That Thrilled With the Outcome

What a wonderful race we saw at Talladega on Sunday. It had visual excitement that can only be rivaled by Daytona. We had suspense, as we did not know who would continue in the Chase and who got their hearts broken right through to the final lap. It was everything we could have hoped it would be. Then Brad Keselowski won the damn race and ruined everything.

Keselowski. A former champion. A great diver with five wins this season. After Kansas, a whiney little weasel who has a “who me?” attitude in presenting his fabricated version of events. A twit. Of course, that is just my opinion, I could be wrong. Other than that, though, I love the guy. Don’t you?

Down to the final lap, with his little buddy Joey Logano trying to run interference, Keselowski beat off the challenge of Ryan Newman in his illegal low rider, and held off Matt Kenseth to take it. In doing so, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne saw their hopes for a title this year come to an end. Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the most laps that day, but both needed to lead the final one in order to advance. That leaves boss Rick Hendrick down to cheering for Jeff Gordon, his final dog in this hunt.

For a successful drama, you need your heros and you need your villains. Any guess what side of the ledger that I put Keselowski? You can put Logano there, as well. Toss in Denny Hamlin, while you are at it. No doubt wonderful individuals all, but when they win I do not have much stomach to view or listen in to the post-race celebrations. At least that gives me five guys I can be, to various degrees, content with.

The eight remaining contenders start afresh, with Martinsville, Texas, and Phoenix before them to determine the final four. Gordon (8 wins) and Hamlin (with 4) appear to be the favorites entering round one next Sunday. They also claim the best average finish there amongst the final eight. Third and fourth best? Logano and Keselowski.

I wonder who I might be cheering for on Sunday afternoon?

Eight who continue to rate…
1 – Joey Logano – 1 WIN – 3121 POINTS – In by Win
2 – Kevin Harvick – 1 – 3117 – In by Win
3 – Brad Keselowski – 1 – 3085 – In by Win
4 – Ryan Newman – 0 – 3117 – 27 Points In*
5 – Denny Hamlin – 0 – 3100 – 10 Points In
6 – Carl Edwards – 0 – 3099 – 9 Points In
7 – Matt Kenseth – 0 – 3099 – 9 Points In
8 – Jeff Gordon – 0 – 3093 – 3 Points In

Four who’ve been shown the door…
9 – Kasey Kahne – 0 – 3090 – 3 Points Out
10 – Kyle Busch – 0 – 3086 – 7 Points Out
11 – Jimmie Johnson – 0 – 3053 – 40 Points Out
12 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 0 – 3045 – 48 Points Out

*Up to a 15 Point Penalty expected for low riding car

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 know, whether or not I like Brad, Joey, Denny, or whomever seems to bring about your ire, you dislike or have some bias against, I can remember when people who wrote about the sport were actually objective & impartial in their articles & columns. People like Tom Higgins, David Poole, Monte Dutton, Dick Berggren, Bob Myers, etc. Heck, in the three years I personally wrote for this site, (2001-2003), my readers never, ever knew which drivers I liked or disliked, & I had a lot of followers, some who agreed with my comments, some whom didn’t.

    If all you’re going to offer is your displeasure at the outcome of a race, or whining because your driver got beat, or another driver you dislike advanced, perhaps you should consider writing a blog, instead of posting to a site that is intended to be reasonably professional. Writing such as this brings nothing of value to the sport or commenting about it, & is in fact more of a childish rant & an embarrassment to those people who do strive to . It’s certainly not actual journalism & does nothing but give real writers a black eye.


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