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Rick Hendrick’s belief in Larson vindicated with emotional win at Las Vegas

“My wife and I were watching. Hendrick said. “It was emotional. It was joy. It was so many things."

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 – Truex is king, Junior is done, and the kids are moving to the big boy table

The cream rose to the top, as the top four accumulated half of the wins between them this season. Four drivers, 18 wins, and now four shared championships.

Hot 20 – They are getting suspended, hired, fired, and fired up heading to New Hampshire

Everyone is super excited about going to Loudon, New Hampshire for the big event on Sunday. Okay, Alan Gustafson is not. Is not going, that is. Chase Elliott was second in Chicago, leaving him sixth in points. That was then. Now, he is eighth in points. If your car fails post-race inspection, sometimes they take away 15 points, along with your crew chief for a week.

Hot 20 – As our attention shifts to the Windy City, the winds of change keep on a blowin’

Change can be a good thing. Sometimes it is, but other times it is a simple reminder that we are getting older and, like disco, what was popular yesterday might not be tomorrow.

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.

Hot 20 – Watkins Glen is another chance to win, but most are just as desperate to find money

Money, it makes the world go round. So I’m told, anyway. While you and I might remain in perpetual financial darkness, the stock markets would seem to indicate that those on top of the heap are reeling it in.

Hot 20 – To Xfinity and Beyond, or the day Justin Allgaier thought he was Buzz Lightyear

Okay, the biggest story from Indianapolis was not Kasey Kahne’s win. It was not the fact he has received no assurances that he will keep his spot with Rick Hendrick’s stable next season. The one thing we might be assured of is that whoever sits in the No. 5 next year, it sure in hell won’t be Justin Allgaier.

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