Watching the Cup finale was like watching most Nationwide races. Few of the participants actually matter. You have your winner, you have those who actually are competing for the prize, and then you have the odd spectacular, special moment. Sunday’s race marked the end of ESPN’s run, which meant no more Allen, no more Dale, no more Andy, no more Rusty, no more Brad, and no more Nicole. A special moment, indeed.
In a thrilling green-white-checkered finish, Matt Kenseth, behind the wheel of the No. 20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, held both Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson at bay to win the 20th annual Ford EcoBoost 300.
There are drivers you like and there are drivers you do not. If a driver should be a whiney revisionist weasel who does his best to avoid cashing the checks his mouth keeps on writing, I am not a fan. This is how I once viewed Kurt Busch, and it is how I presently see Brad Keselowski. For him to not make the Chase finale came as a welcome conclusion to the activities at Phoenix.
Will it bother anyone if, conceivably, one not so deserving wins the Cup title this year? I mean, if it is Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, or Brad Keselowski, I doubt few would argue the outcome. One could even argue that the likes of Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, or Ryan Newman would be a worthy champion.
The news of late has been enough to make a clown cry. In fact, we just lost one of our most treasured entertainers, by his own hand. We have the tragedy involving Kevin Ward Jr. and Tony Stewart still on our minds. We have Martin Truex Jr.’s girlfriend facing health challenges.
There is a reason we read the entire book, rather than rely totally on the CliffsNotes version. For example, the shortened description of Saturday night’s Southern 500 action at Darlington would read that Kevin Harvick dominated and went on to win his second of the season.
As we head into Charlotte, there is a birthday to note and a milestone to recognize. Dale Earnhardt Jr has celebrated his 39th birthday, and on Saturday night he will run in his 500th Cup start. It is a track he has yet to win on, a track that launched his Cup career back in 1999.