Michael McDowell

Hot 20 – A Southern night with the lady in black at Darlington

With the Southern 500 coming our way from Darlington this weekend, it seems like a good time to talk about tradition. The first one in the books was back in 1950, making it the oldest of the sport’s iconic events. Most of the time, it goes to someone who is in or will be in, the Hall of Fame. That number will only grow once Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson get in, along with a few other contenders I can think of.

Hot 20 – Barring the unexpected, the Pure Michigan 400 could be just another race

Now we know why they call it Silly Season. 16 drivers will make the Chase, and we already know that three who have done well enough thus far this season may not have done well enough to save their rides for next.

The Final Word – Daytona…best race of the season

Daytona. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. A win to be in. Well, that is what many were hoping for Saturday night. Junior led from the pole, was...

The Final Word – Texas proves Johnson not done yet…as if any sane person believed he was

Enough with the contrived fake news. No, I am not talking about folks who think their candidate was robbed for being of a certain gender, or obviously the victim of the actions of a foreign power, or that they lost to someone who just has to be Darth Vader incarnate.

Hot 20 – Las Vegas featured Martin, Joey, and Kyle…but Phoenix could be all Harvick

Wins mean everything, but doing well in the stages and coming home close to the front seems pretty important also this season. Last week, Matt Kenseth finished ninth, yet lost ground by 30 points to race winner Martin Truex Jr. in Las Vegas alone.

Hot 20 – Kurt is King heading to Atlanta, but beware the Jungle Cat in the No. 1

It is expected. The standings look weird. With bonus points from the Duels and the demo derby that was the Daytona 500, some wound up with more points than anticipated, and some got far less.

The Final Word – Among Chicago lucky dog hopefuls, Harvick was the day’s Old Yeller

You got to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good. That is how the old saying goes. I wonder what the saying is when you are good, but everything just gets flushed down the toilet? Kevin Harvick had a bad case of the swirls, as in down the drain, for his Chicago experience.

The Final Word – Wouldn’t you hate having a Daytona night like Kurt, Carl, Jamie, Jimmie…

“I hate that I...” I love that phrase. It is the prelude to expressing some measure of regret for some on track transgression in the hopes that these mere words will make everything alright. For instance, "I hate that I got into Kurt [Busch] there at the end racing to the line.” So says Joey Logano after Busch got dumped on the final lap, crossing the line spinning backward in 23rd place Saturday night at Daytona.

Hot 20 – If rules are meant to be broken, somebody forgot to tell NASCAR

Rules be rules, and the book was tossed at a number of folks after Atlanta. The biggest hit was taken by Martin Truex Jr. after a roof flap issue meant the loss of 15 points.

Hot 20 – Some familiar names missing, but their replacements do not seem all that out of place

Interesting things can happen after the first race of the season. Some names usually near the front find themselves as also-rans as the schedule continues on to Atlanta. No Junior. No Biffle, No Bowyer. No Patrick. Okay, I’ve gone too far, I know.

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