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Hot 20 – Dover is not Talladega, but it simply oozes the very best of tradition

Sometimes the news is good like it was at Talladega last week. Entertaining races and I loved the Cup guys manning the microphones for the Xfinity race. They were laid back, funny, and in the case of Darrell Wallace, Jr., pretty darn articulate.

The Final Word – After the opening segment, the storyline at California needed a re-write

Storylines. We all need them. I mean, other than those rare moments when what is happening is so riveting on its own, we need them to keep engaged. Let’s face it, California was not going to be one of those tracks. Over a year ago, some folks were cheering for history, hoping for the first woman president. Instead, they got the oldest man ever elected, and some have been melting down ever since. When your storyline goes down the crapper, we often get upset and choose our own narrative over the facts. It happens.

John Hunter Nemechek Places 4th in Xfinity Series Debut

After a flat tire during Stage 1, John Hunter Nemechek battles back to finish 4th in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Saturday's Rinnai 250.

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 – 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.

Hot 20 – Michigan is a track for legends, but no Junior to be seen as Buescher gets Ford support

Michigan. A big track, a fast track. Sadly, not exactly a legacy event, like winning at Daytona or Bristol or Talladega or Indianapolis or Darlington or either road course. What it is, is a track where legends have celebrated since 1969. In fact, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Richard Petty, Dale Jarrett, and Bobby Allison have combined for 46 victories there. That is a lot of suds for a lot of Hall of Famers.

The Final Word – Pocono proved a great place to be, whether you be 4 or 24 years old

Well, Monday was a great day for Chris Buescher. With the fog rolling in at the Pennsylvania 400, he stayed out while others pitted to have the fuel to run the final 22 laps that never were as the race was red flagged. With impending stormy weather ensuring things would not be re-started, the 24-year old claimed his first win in his 27th Cup start.

The Final Word – NASCAR is back, but how many of the fans have also returned?

The return of NASCAR for 2016 was a smashing success. I mean, if smashing cars was the intent, they could not have done better. By the time the Sprint Unlimited, which is actually limited to 25 drivers, came to a conclusion, someone had tallied up that an estimated $2.5-million in damages had been racked up.

NASCAR attempts to drum up some artificial excitement for their junior series, but will it work?

Time is ticking down on major sports shortest off-season. A day short of three months is all that separates the last race at Homestead to the action coming up at Daytona. That is like Major League Baseball wrapping up the World Series in October, only to return in January.

The Final Word on 2015

The gifts are open, the tree is on borrowed time, and a New Year is almost upon us. Seems like a good time to reflect on the year that was, as we embark on the one that will be.

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