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Phoenix

The Final Word – Phoenix kind of reminded me of Las Vegas…and Atlanta. How about you?

The song ends like that every time. Same for NASCAR lately. Kevin Harvick won his third straight, maybe it was even unencumbered but we will have to wait on that. At least he was not the only car featured. Kyle Busch was strong all day and finished second. Chase Elliott was not, yet arrived later on to matter when it mattered to finish third. Not yet a win, but the result sends him back in the right direction. Denny Hamlin was a factor and, to a much lesser degree, so was pole sitter Martin Truex, Jr. as they completed our Top Five.

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.

The Final Word – Sometimes the dawn of a new season is an exciting time, sometimes it is 2018

A new season has dawned, the engines roared back to life, and the Clash delivered a...well...a modicum of excitement. If you are a Brad Keselowski fan, it was one hell of a race. If you like Jamie McMurray, it kind of sucked. If you were looking for diving and dashing for the opening, Chase Elliott gave us one or two moments. If you wanted to sit on the edge of your seat, share the chair. This was not one for the ages, I am afraid.

The Final Word – That Martinsville grandfather clock was too large for the shelf, so…

Martinsville, where eight boys were trying to lock themselves into the final field of four contenders for the championship in Homestead. At the same time, 31 boys and a girl were doing their utmost to spoil the party for someone by winning the thing themselves.

Hot 20 – Martinsville has to stay, but there is room for improvement in the NASCAR schedule

Thirty-six races. A few are great venues that produce very entertaining television events. A lot more are not. Some tracks have two events, and you wonder why. Some have two and you wonder...why not three?

Hot 20 – As Richmond arrives, Earnhardt announces his departure

One day they are going to make that movie. It will feature a young Dale Earnhardt Jr. growing up in the shadow of his legendary father. We will see his daddy’s pride as his namesake begins his racing career. That first Tier II win at Texas in 1998. The two Tier II titles that came that year, and the next.

The Final Word – Larson finally finds gold in California

Kyle Larson went back to his home state of California and won at Fontana. A win. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the 24-year old from Elk Grove is not perfect. Sure, he might be leading the standings, but perfection?

The Final Word – Newman rises in Phoenix, while a pair run down under in New Zealand

You had better luck finding Nemo than Ryan Newman in Victory Lane in recent years. He was there for the first time since July 28, 2013 in Indianapolis. That was surprising enough.

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.

The Final Word – Las Vegas almost had a great finish, but Logano’s team got in the way

I wonder what the highlight was from Las Vegas? Just maybe it was the passing opportunity to see Joey Logano get his ass kicked on pit road. However, before that could happen, a lot of dudes on Logano’s race team quickly took Kyle Busch out of the mix as their driver literally got carried off to safety.

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