Some things are just not like the others. May featured the World 600 and the All-Star race at Charlotte, the spring derby at Talladega, events a fellow can get excited about. This week. Dover.
Maybe Jimmie Johnson will stall on the re-start like he did last spring. That caused one hell of a mess. No, it was not racing, but it sure was not boring. It was not boring when Carl Edwards bounced off the infield wall. At the end, Kyle Larson kept Matt Kenseth honest right to the stripe, as the veteran claimed the victory. That was not a boring finish.
Miles the Monster is not boring. He is big, and the trophy is cool as it holds a model of the winning car in its big mitt. The Monster Mile was once known as White Lightning, but I am thinking that Miles is a bit of a Teetotaler. Come to think of it, so are Donald Trump and Kathy Griffin. Why that fun fact amuses me as much as it does, I do not know.
They have raced 94 times at Dover since the first Cup event in 1969. Richard Petty won the first two, three of the first four, and is tied with Bobby Allison with seven victories. That is good enough for second best.
Among active drivers, Kenseth and Ryan Newman have won three apiece but they are a long ways away from the top gun. Remember that guy who jammed things up last year? Johnson has won 10 in 30 attempts. That is a pretty good average. I wonder who the favorite might be?
It would seem our seven-time Cup champion just likes collecting the more unusual trophies. Ten Monsters to go with his nine Martinsville grandfather clocks. Say what you might about the one-mile track in Delaware or the driver who dominates it, but I think we can agree that there is a trophy room out there that is anything but boring.
Like Austin Dillon, Johnson is among our Hot 20 with a Chase in his future.
1. MARTIN TRUEX JR – 2 WINS – 491 PTS
First in points, tied for first in wins. What do you think of Furniture Row now?
2. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 2 WINS – 409 PTS
Dreams of lasting a tad longer this Sunday than he did in the race last week.
3. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 2 WINS – 359 PTS
The gatekeeper of the room with Monsters and Grandfather Clocks.
4. KYLE LARSON – 1 WIN – 486 PTS
Monaco is too far away to attempt a Triple but has dreams of a Memorial Day Weekend Double.
5. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 1 WIN – 298 PTS
Like Happy and Rowdy, he has an attractive better half, but he also has something they do not.
6. KURT BUSCH – 1 WIN – 290 PTS
With his Daytona 500 win and three of the past four a Top Ten, it is good to be Kurt.
7. RYAN NEWMAN – 1 WIN – 266 PTS
When a veteran looks you in the eye and says you are who they fight for, that has an impact.
8. AUSTIN DILLON – 1 WIN – 238 PTS
Points? Who needs stinkin’ points when you get a win at Charlotte?
9. KEVIN HARVICK – 388 PTS
The buck stops with the crew chief, as Childers loses $10,000 for Charlotte’s loose lug nut.
10. KYLE BUSCH – 386 PTS
Hates to lose, be it 38th at Daytona or 2nd at Charlotte. He won’t be a happy camper.
11. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 385 PTS
All of his wins have come on just four marquee tracks, and this is not one of them.
12. CHASE ELLIOTT – 362 PTS
Keselowski saved mechanics a ton of time last week, removing any thought of making repairs.
13. CLINT BOWYER – 343 PTS
Solution to a front end that just would not turn last weekend. Clydesdales. Just a thought.
14. JOEY LOGANO – 336 PTS (1 WIN*)
Win at Kansas was encumbered, meaning it means nothing when it comes to Chase eligibility.
15. DENNY HAMLIN – 332 PTS
One very bad day away from being in danger of losing his contender status.
16. RYAN BLANEY – 308 PTS
One very good day away from potentially putting Hamlin in that position.
17. MATT KENSETH – 288 PTS
A repeat of last year’s spring edition would be just fine with him.
18. TREVOR BAYNE – 271 PTS
Doing enough to stay on this list, but not enough to challenge for a title.
19. ERIK JONES – 256 PTS
Just turned 21 this week. I turned 21 in 1977. I win!
20. DANIEL SUAREZ – 246 PTS
Five straight in the Top 20, three of the last four in the top dozen. There is still time.