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Hot 20 – Hello Phoenix, here’s a song that we’re singin’…come on, get Happy

Two races in with a new rules package, and what positive affects has it had on the racing to date? Well, not much from what I can see, especially side by side dueling up front. Even less down force appears to be the answer, or so we hear from Carl Edwards. Tony Stewart, on the other hand, is no fan of the reduced horsepower or much else. Neither are currently amongst our Top 20. Hell, Stewart isn’t even among our Top 30. Maybe Phoenix might be better for them both. Then again, maybe not.

Hot 20 after Las Vegas…

1. Kevin Harvick – 1 Win (134 Points)
Won last race in Las Vegas, the last three in Phoenix. Damn right he is Happy.

2. Joey Logano – 1 Win (123 Points)
Gift caution from NASCAR was helpful in ‘Vegas.

3. Jimmie Johnson – 1 Win (91 Points)
Bet the car vibrated even more after hitting the fence.

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 125 Points
Likes all the Top Fives, but would love a Top One.

5. Martin Truex Jr. – 118 Points
The Rocky Mountain high continues.

6. A.J. Allmendinger – 100 Points
His time in Las Vegas just flu by.

7. Kasey Kahne – 92 Points
Super sorry about your car, Carl.

8. Denny Hamlin – 87 Points
A Top Five, probably; a Top Ten at Phoenix, definitely.

9. Casey Mears – 87 Points
Thus far, 2015 has been the year of the one man band.

10. Matt Kenseth – 85 Points
His advice helped make Jimmie a champion…at assembling kid’s toys.

11. Greg Biffle – 84 Points
Has the answer to improve ride this week. Just Cheez-It!

12. Paul Menard – 82 Points
Tied with teammate for the best at RCR after three races.

13. Ryan Newman – 82 Points
Best damn neckless driver in NASCAR.

14. Clint Bowyer – 81 Points
Says secret to Phoenix is not to spin around. I think I just bit my tongue.

15. Aric Almirola – 80 Points
Sponsor Eckrich are the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage. I think I’m in love.

16. David Gilliland – 77 Points
Front Row appears ready to make the move from participant to competitor.

17. Brad Keselowski – 77 Points
I’m not a fan. As he doesn’t know I even exist, he’s probably good with that.

18. Sam Hornish Jr. – 75 Points
Open wheel success often does not equate into fendered success. Maybe this time.

19. David Ragan – 75 Points
Not quite up to Kyle-like standards yet, but neither are Carl or Tony.

20. Danica Patrick – 68 Points
Still here, thanks to Regan Smith registered in Xfinity, not Cup series.

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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