Hot 20 – 500 miles at Talladega, as it always has been and always should be

“It’s no secret that attention spans, especially with the millennial fans, are changing,” or so says NASCAR boss Brian France. Hard to argue with that, but it basically states that today’s fans are idiots who need the keys jangled before their faces much like one does with a bored infant. Be it as it may, if NASCAR desires to shorten a few events to keep the droolers engaged, go right ahead. However, there are some events it would be ill-advised to mess with.

You do not touch the legacy races. The Daytona 500, the Southern 500, the World 600, the Firecracker 400 and the Brickyard 400 are etched in stone. All races at Bristol’s half-mile run 500 laps. If you race at Talladega, you race for 500 miles. These are the events even non-fans take in, the races new fans discover before they even know NASCAR has something called a series championship. The road courses seem about right to me, along with the 500 mile night race at Charlotte. Do what you will with all the rest, as truth be known some of the remaining 24 events are boring as hell to watch unless you know the storylines going in, and even then it might be something of a chore. It is not a case of keeping our attention, but rather ending the monotony sooner than later.

So, change away in your bid to snare those who have the attention span of a gnat, but beware screwing over your true fans. Those folks have memories that last forever, and forgiveness is not something you can expect to get readily.


American Muscle

What you can expect is one hell of a race to watch this Sunday, with its Saturday appetizer.

Hot 20 heading to Talladega…

1. KEVIN HARVICK – 2 WINS (357 Points)
Eighth at Martinsville, 38th at Bristol, first or second everywhere else.

2. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 2 WINS (299 Points)
That woman always telling people what to do on television has turned him into Jimmie Goldberg.

3. JOEY LOGANO – 1 WIN ( 324 Points)
Bristol was a hiccup.

4. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 1 WIN (283 Points)
Was firing on all cylinders…but one.

5. MATT KENSETH – 1 WIN (273 Points)
Richmond was disappointing for Joe Gibbs Racing, though Matt had few complaints.

6. DENNY HAMLIN – 1 WIN (245 Points)
There was no Petty Man, there is no Junior Man, but there is a Hamlin Man…cape and all.

7. KURT BUSCH – 1 WIN (222 Points)
Got that monkey off his back.

8. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 315 POINTS
The most pleasant surprise of 2015.

9. KASEY KAHNE – 275 POINTS
All-State. Nextel. Sunoco. Gillette. Remember when NASCAR sponsors tried?

10. DALE EARNHARDT JR. – 271 POINTS
How we wish Dale Sr., John, and George could have felt the love when they turned 64.

11. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 264 POINTS
Ranked 11th best in 2004, 12th best in 2005, ranked here as of today.

12. JEFF GORDON – 263 POINTS
Just as he once raced against Petty, teenagers Elliott and Jones will remember racing this guy.

13. ARIC ALMIROLA – 250 POINTS
I would like to buy a vowel. Could I have an “A”, Pat?

14. PAUL MENARD – 239 POINTS
Hanging out with Gordon testing at Indianapolis. How cool is that?

15. CLINT BOWYER – 235 POINTS
No, this is not a single car operation. Why do you ask?

16. RYAN NEWMAN – 234 POINTS
Next week comes his final appeal…then he loses his crew chief?

17. DANICA PATRICK – 230 POINTS
Go Daddy soon to be Gone Daddy.

18. CARL EDWARDS – 228 POINTS
It is not all bad. He could still be driving for Roush-Fenway.

19. DAVID RAGAN – 218 POINTS
Driving for Mikey after this, filling in for Vickers after sitting in for Kyle.

20. KYLE LARSON – 205 POINTS
Always competitive at Talladega…both times.


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