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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.

The Final Word – The championship hopes of four were unable to rise from the ashes at Phoenix

LEADERSHIP...sucks. Usually, when you lead a race, when you are the guy kicking ass and taking names, it is a good thing. Not at Phoenix. It turned out to be steering the leading car was very similar to being the moral compass on the Walking Dead. You just wind up being some zombie’s souffle.

Hot 20 – Smokey just tagged the Bandit to make Phoenix a lot more interesting

If NASCAR was a certain 1977 hit movie, you could say that Sheriff Buford T. Justice finally got his hands on the Bandit. It might not have derailed the adventure, but there is a danger the Snowman might not be able to deliver that truckload of suds to their destination on time.

The Final Word – It was the AAA Happy Harvick Texas 500

After Texas, then there were two locked into Homestead. One stole the show at Martinsville and then attempted to deny the second his ticket. Joey Logano failed to pull it off as he wound up third. Ryan Blaney had something to showcase and he had his moments. Not enough of them, as he had to settle for second.

Hot 20 – For some it comes down to a Texas sized win or hoping for a Big Three free fall

We have our Big Four. Finally. Joey Logano will join Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. racing for the championship at Homestead. That is, unless someone takes one of those spots away either this weekend or next.

The Final Word – Logano steals a musical chair from Truex at Martinsville

We are down to a game of musical chairs. Four spots, with eight drivers who very much want one of them. Let me just say that musical chairs sucks. When you are a reserved fat kid, the more athletic aggressive lads are going to go after those seats hard. Also, you will never be a hero dropping a young lady on her ass. Fortunately for the gents at Martinsville on Sunday, not a young lady to be found. No fat kids, either, come to think of it.

Hot 20 – Martinsville and it is getting late, as those who matter are now down to eight

Then there were eight, as the surviving championship contenders take to the track this weekend at Martinsville. It is damn near over, but that overweight soprano has yet to warble, so we have a few notes to wait for between now and Homestead.

The Final Word – Some had to be great at Kansas, while others had to be just good enough

It might have been Kansas, but the action was a whole lot like a Las Vegas slot machine. Gold bar. Gold bar. Grapes. Dammit! Take Kevin Harvick, for example. He was second best on the opening stage. He was the best in the second stage. He was dominating the third stage, at least until he went speeding on pit road. Dammit!

Hot 20 – If only the action at Pocono could be as cool as its name

Some things matter. Some do not. Every weekend, no more than 30 entries matter to some degree. The rest do not. Most weekends NASCAR features a race and while some matter to race fans, most do not. Bristol, Charlotte, Darlington, Daytona, Sonoma, and Talladega races matter due to what they deliver and a long history of tradition.

The Final Word – Homestead sees the end of the Junior era, as another Junior wins it all

It was an amazing two weeks. In that time, Kevin Harvick locked his way into the final four, along with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. We got to see Matt Kenseth win, spoil things for Chase Elliott, and allowed Brad Keselowski to round out our championship contenders.

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