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The Final Word – Is it a big swing and a miss as NASCAR makes big changes for 2020?

Some of the changes are interesting. Moving the season-ending event matters not, as Homestead has never become an iconic event in most minds anyway. Adding a third short track is good. Keeping the roval in Charlotte as part of the mix is fine. Adding some tradition with the Southern 500 becoming even more meaningful actually comes across as a fine idea.

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.

The Final Word – They came, they saw, and they lost to Harvick…this time at Las Vegas

If you missed the action from Las Vegas, allow me to bring you up to date. If you read my column from last week regarding Atlanta, consider yourself fully informed. Enjoy your day.

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?

The Final Word – Atlanta was like a Happy little children’s song for Harvick

While Harvick led more than half the time, Brad Keselowski was second after holding point for 38 laps. Denny Hamlin was fourth with 26 up front, while Kurt Busch settled for eighth, taking the second stage and leading 52 circuits.

John Hunter Nemechek Places 4th in Xfinity Series Debut

After a flat tire during Stage 1, John Hunter Nemechek battles back to finish 4th in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Saturday's Rinnai 250.

Kyle Busch on Pole at Atlanta, First at 1.5-Mile Oval

Kyle Busch will have a front row seat when the field takes the green flag for Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race after qualifying with the fastest speed of 184.652 mph at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Driving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Busch nabbed the top spot from Ryan Newman (184.419 mph) and clinched his first career pole at the iconic 1.5-mile oval.

Harrison Rhodes Will Make Cup Debut at Atlanta

With only 36 cars entered for this weekend's Monster Energy Cup race at Atlanta, Harrison Rhodes will make his debut in NASCAR's top-level series. The XFINITY Series veteran will pilot the Rick Ware Racing (RWR) No. 51 Chevrolet Camaro ZR1 chartered car in the second Cup Series race of the season.

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.

The Final Word – The Daytona 500 finish reminded us of when giants ruled the asphalt

Unstable. Set to go off with the least provocation. No, I’m not talking about CNN or late night talk show hosts, most celebrities, or more than a few politicians. What I am referring to is the Daytona 500.

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