A new aero package combined with reduced down and side force should mean more passing at Michigan this weekend, as well as at Kentucky later in the year. Wonderful, just wonderful. Now all that needs to happen is that it actually happens.
Four drivers did the testing, four drivers are apparently all giddy about it. Brad Keselowski is all excited about it. Then again, ole Brad was all tingly about that All-Star format he is said to have come up with, and we know how that turned out. We shall see, we shall see.
Greg Biffle is nowhere to be found amongst our Hot 20, but he does have four wins at Michigan. This week, he said he believes fans are just as passionate as they always were, but there are just so many ways to follow the sport than just showing up at the track or watching the action on television. I think the Biff is wrong. Where are all those celebrities who once asked us, “How bad have you got it?” The few who show up today do so only to promote a movie that often sucks, to be honest with you. There is no buzz anymore.
The only near guarantee of great action can be found at venues such as Daytona, Talladega, and Bristol. We tune in such milestone events as the Southern 500, the World 600, and the Brickyard 400, along with the novelty presented by the road courses. That constitutes just 11 of the 36 races on the calendar. The rest are generic goofy sponsor named events with little drawing power against baseball, football, hockey, basketball or just a damn nice day outside with the family. If Biffle figures the passion remains even though the fans do not, he is sadly mistaken.
So, why bother? Well, I am a NASCAR fan. I want to see if the brainiacs have actually stumbled upon something to make Michigan a race to watch. I want to see how the big dogs perform, even that damned irritating Keselowski and the equally delightful Joey Logano. I want to see Tony Stewart do something positive before he makes his career exit. I want to see if Dale Earnhardt Jr. might win. Who doesn’t? In fact, I want to see how each of the below listed 20 drivers perform and to see if someone outside can shake things up with a win. I would be thrilled if Danica Patrick could be that person. I would be shocked if it came to pass.
That is why I will be watching the Hot 20 and the rest this Sunday at Michigan.
1. KYLE BUSCH – 3 WINS (416 PTS)
Well, that is one way to keep Rowdy out of Victory Lane.
2. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 2 WINS (442 PTS)
I think if Brad were a political candidate, I might have to vote for the other guy…just because.
3. CARL EDWARDS – 2 WINS (437 PTS)
Visited Loudon this week. He wants to win. He wants to eat the lobster. Let the protests begin.
4. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 2 WINS (415 PTS)
This NASCAR Johnson likes his drinks from a can. The other Johnson liked his from a jar.
5. KEVIN HARVICK – 1 WIN (490 PTS)
Happy might not win on Sunday, but his odds of finishing second are pretty good.
6. KURT BUSCH – 1 WIN (465 PTS)
If he missed his crew chief last week, he did a poor job of showing it.
7. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 1 WIN (403 PTS)
Girlfriend Sherry is from Michigan and a fan of the Wings. Hence, this is now Truex country.
8. MATT KENSETH – 1 WIN (382 PTS)\
A restart on your computer should end your problems. On the track, they just began for Matt.
9. DENNY HAMLIN – 1 WIN (372 PTS)
Won the Daytona 500. What more do you want?
10. CHASE ELLIOTT – 413 PTS
Few would be surprised if his first win comes very, very soon.
11. JOEY LOGANO – 410 PTS
The new “old” Kurt Busch? I wonder what Jimmy Spencer is up to these days?
12. DALE EARNHARDT JR. – 381 PTS
What is worse than being a bridesmaid again? That damn unusable ugly dress.
13. AUSTIN DILLON – 348 PTS
Very proud of his grandfather and boss, one of NASCAR’s latest Hall of Famers.
14. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 342 PTS
An average finish of 16.6 might not sound great, but a 14.0 or better gets you in the Top Ten.
15. RYAN BLANEY – 340 PTS
You know, the “other” rookie is not doing too bad himself.
16. RYAN NEWMAN – 338 PTS
I wonder if Newman got Logano’s attention at Pocono?
17. A.J. ALLMENDINGER – 334 PTS
Ernie Cope was on the box at Pocono, cousin Derrike was on David Letterman in 1990.
18. KASEY KAHNE – 325 PTS
Dover penalty is the difference between 18th and a place in the Chase.
19. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 325 PTS
Escorted Danica Patrick to Nashville last night for the CMT’s.
20. TREVOR BAYNE – 319 PTS
Got to see Danica present an award with Kelly Pickler, watching television like the rest of us.