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Paul Menard

The Final Word – B is for Bristol where the Busch Boys run wild

Officially, Saturday night’s race was not billed as the Bristol Busch Brothers 500. Those two boys are almost always front and center at the venue. Even when they do not want to be.

Hot 20 – Bristol is not over-hyped, but a lot is

Sometimes the news can be a little over-hyped. For example, no matter what you might hear, Kyle Busch is going to claim the bonus for the most points garnered by the time they leave Indianapolis. Kevin Harvick would need to close the gap by 21 points in each of the remaining three events to change that, and that is not going to happen. It is a done deal.

Hot 20 – Michigan is the focus of this weekend but, apparently, so is France

Jimmie Johnson. Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch. Kevin Harvick. Martin Truex, Jr. Denny Hamlin. Brad Keselowski. Kyle Larson. Chase Elliott. These men are NASCAR. These men, a few women, and so many others made the sport. Were the sport. Are the sport. Brian France is not NASCAR. There is a reason 97 percent of all family businesses do not survive as such into the fourth generation.

Hot 20 – Someone’s Chase hopes could get Allmendingered at the Glen

If we determine who is an actual contender, versus being just a pretender race in and race out, based on an average 20th place result, our field would be reduced to 22. Add William Byron and Jamie McMurray to the bottom of our list, and that is all you need to be concerned about.

The Final Word – Pocono at least teased us with the hope of a different story ending

We all tune in for the potential excitement, but the storylines set up the race. At Pocono, we witnessed Jimmie Johnson make his 600th career start. We wondered if the Big Three would dominate yet again. We also wondered how the bad boys, and maybe a few bad girls back at the shop, would fare after 13 cars failed post-qualifying tech.

Hot 20 – Pocono is another non-restrictor plate race, so which one of just four drivers will win it?

Another race, another win for one of the Big Three. Twenty races down and just seven individual drivers with a tick in the win column. That means, at most, 13 drivers could have a victory by the time they decide who makes the Chase. Something tells me we will not reach anywhere close to that number of winners.

Hot 20 – Getting down and dirty, be it at New Hampshire or Eldora

On Wednesday, the pick-up trucks race on dirt at Eldora. Some figure we need some dirt track racing in NASCAR. The fact is that in these times such a race would be a novelty, just as Eldora is, but does it need to be a feature in Cup?

The Final Word – Truex pretty much gave the field a blue moon at Kentucky

Kentucky. The land of Daniel Boone. Horses. Bluegrass (be it those you can grow, pick, or sing along to). Bourbon. Maybe they should consider marketing something called Dr. Truex’s Tonic and Magical Elixir. I mean, whatever he is drinking delivers some pretty positive results.

Hot 20 – Kentucky, where the thoroughbreds will run unless Stenhouse is moving at ramming speed

Kentucky. Lord, please not Kentucky. It is a track I have no affinity for, but I will be watching on Saturday night. It is all due to NBC. If you watch the broadcast, and still can not stand NASCAR, it is just not for you. If you do watch it and have any love of the sport, you will stick around. The boys and girls make it damn hard to skip forward, no matter how much you try.

The Final Word – Daytona and NBC delivered the goods, and the bads, on Saturday night

Daytona delivered. The action and the broadcast were both superb. If you missed it, you really missed something.

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