Hot 20

Hot 20 – Saturday night is an evening with the classic that is Richmond

We truly are in a sweet spot in the NASCAR schedule. Last Sunday (and Monday) it was Bristol. This Saturday night they race at Richmond. We conclude April with the test that is Talladega. Action good enough to convince anyone who enjoys pure entertainment to become attracted to the sport.

Hot 20 – Nothing like a good swig of Bristol to get the taste of Texas out of your mouth

Texas. That may have been the worst NASCAR race I ever watched. If not, I hope I never remember a worse one. Indianapolis in 2008 might challenge it, but that was due to having to throw out a caution every 10 laps to prevent the damn tires from exploding.

Hot 20 – Heading to Texas after a week off to ponder some stuff

A week off with no races to forecast or summarize. Funny, I did not get the shakes or suffer any other negative reactions. That probably is not a good thing for NASCAR.

Hot 20 – Martinsville allows us to remember a much simpler time and place

As they head to more traditional grounds this weekend, on a track built in 1947 at Martinsville, Virginia, we can hearken back to simpler times. It is a venue about to host its 139th event in the NASCAR Strictly Stock, Grand National, Winston Cup, Nextel Cup, Sprint Cup, Monster Energy Cup series.

Hot 20 – Few are California Dreamin’

Excitement, thy name is sure not Fontana. Not usually. There is a reason the idea to bring the Cup folks out to the Auto Club Speedway was abandoned after just seven seasons. It is bad enough to be a yawner on television, but when that is the perception live and in person, you have got a problem.

Hot 20 – Harvick hit by penalties heading to Phoenix, but they do not much matter

The damndest thing happened right after I submitted this for publication. The penalties came down after Las Vegas. Kevin Harvick’s team got hit. Hard. Talk about having to go back to the drawing..er..keyboard.

Hot 20 – If you are looking for hot, usually there is no better place to find it than Las Vegas

The general consensus is that Atlanta was a boring race. I disagree. Let me share as to why. There is no debate that Kevin Harvick had the best car, that based on performance his was the auto that should have won. However, when drama was needed we had weather and strategy apparently conspiring to beat him. Would it rain? Would Denny Hamlin be in front at the right time when the heavens opened up?

Hot 20 – 36 Charter teams and just 36 cars running at Atlanta on Sunday

36. Damn, and I was so looking forward to saying nothing but positive things this season. 36. That is the number of entries slated to run at Atlanta on Sunday. 36. The last time we had that small a field, it was 1996 in Martinsville. Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon were the race winners at that venue. 36.

Hot 20 – Best from last Sunday dream of being the best this Sunday at Daytona

Forty drivers, 40 spots. Still, despite the lack of interest and resources for additional teams to attempt to enter the iconic competition, we have some high-quality contenders to watch out for. Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin are locked into the front row, as long as their cars last. The rest of the top 20 qualifiers went into Thursday trying to protect their positions from all challengers in the two 20 car heats.

Hot 20 – Sunday’s Clash to feature 17 drivers representing 12 championships and 332 Cup wins

The new pre-season opens this Sunday, as those who made last season’s Playoffs or claimed a pole, who has ever claimed a Daytona 500 pole, or who has ever won this event in the past dust off the cobwebs and rev the engines. Now, you may be asking yourself how could this be a “Hot 20" column with only 17 drivers competing? Well, you have to improvise.

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