Friday, September 24, 2010

Cheatin' Cllint and Dover picks

First some thoughts on the 150 points that NASCAR penalized Clint Bowyer for last week's race at New Hampshire for a rear end infraction.
Yes, it's true, Bowyer really has nothing to do with this, other than he is the driver and main spokesperson for the No. 33. He's out doing P.R. most of the week, keeping sponsors happy, that kind of stuff. But yes again, he's guilty by association.
No, the Childress team shouldn't act so surprised about the penalty. They were warned about it before, which is basically NASCAR saying, "we probably could have penalized you this time, but don't get caught again." But they were. The Childress team may have listened a little, but not a lot. Even if the team was riding the fence on the rules, it basically had nothing to lose because it was starting last in the Chase, so why not gamble a bit?
The No. 33 team gambled and lost and the penalty sent a strong message to other teams who might try something similar. So, while harsh, Bowyer's penalty is deserved.

Now on to the Dover top five picks.
1. Jimmie Johnson. He's on the pole and has been dominant there in the past.
2. Tony Stewart. He was about a mile short on fuel last week, but showed he has the equipment to run up front.
3. Kyle Busch. He had a good run at Dover in the spring, and is feeling pretty good about himself now.
4. Kevin Harvick. The neighborhood bully seems to hang around for good a finish.
5. Carl Edwards. A bit of an upset pick here, not because he's been terrible, he in the Chase afterall, but the Fords have run well here in the past, so I'm going with Edwards here.
Hopefully there is good weather all weekend.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Chasees and the Chasers ... and New Hampshire

Here's a quick breakdown of the Chase drivers, the final 12 who are eligible to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup title in these final 10 races, starting today at New Hampshire.

1. Jimmie Johnson: He's the king until he's unkinged, and has to be the favorite, even though he's struggled a bit lately.
2. Denny Hamlin: He's getting on a roll at the right time and starts with the lead due to his six wins.
3. Kevin Harvick: He won the regular season points and has been consistent this year. However, top 10s just won't getting it done when it comes to winning the Chase. He needs top five and at least two victories.
4. Tony Stewart: He had the victory in Atlanta, but hasn't had his normal hot streak, so he's got a real chance.
5. Carl Edwards: Whether you like him or not, the combination of the driver and team are too good to not win a race. They've been getting closer lately, too.
6. Kyle Busch: He's capable of winning two or three in a row at any point. Also capable of a finishing 30th or worse in a couple of races. Talladega could be key race for him.
7. Jeff Gordon: If he wants to break his winless streak, now would be a good time. He's actually a bit of an underdog here.
8. Kurt Busch: Has a bit of chip on his shoulder after getting penalized 15 minutes of practice time for having a set of extra tires. That chip just might be what he needs.
9. Clint Bowyer: A good qualifying run at New Hampshire helps him. Clean air means a lot in these cars and he needs to get off to a good start to have a chance.
10. Greg Biffle: Did get an elusive win at Pocono and also capable of getting hot at any time.
11. Matt Kenseth: Maybe the quietest Chase entry. He needs to show that he can win to have a chance.
12. JefF Burton: An underrated driver who has a knack for showing up in the top five at end of races. So, don't count him out.
My pick to win the whole thing ... Denny Hamlin, to unseat Johnson.

My top five for New Hampshire:
1. Tony Stewart: Has always been fast there.
2. Denny Hamlin: Can't ignore a guy on a hot streak.
3. Jimmie Johnson: Yes, they were off in qualifying, starting 25th, but he'll be there in the end.
4. Carl Edwards: First win this year will come soon.
5. Juan Pablo Montoya: Just because you're not in the chase, doesn't mean you can't win a race.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting richer in Richmond and picks

In past seasons, the race in Richmond has been one of the more riveting as the final positions to get into the Chase for the Championship are close, giving us some kind of suspense. But that's not the case this year, but that may not necessarily be a bad thing. Clint Bowyer enters the race in the 12th and final spot, 113 points ahead of Ryan Newman. The first 10 places are already guaranteed, so no reason to play it safe for those guys. And that's what might make this race a little interesting. These guys are going to be gambling for the win, to get the 10 extra points for a better position in the Chase. No playing it safe, on the so-called boring points racing, which isn't really racing at all. So, hopefully, we'll see some of the top teams going just for the win. The way it should be.
Here are this week's picks:
Carl Edwards: Second last week at Atlanta, on pole this week, he's got to win one soon.
Jeff Gordon: Solid all year, will be aggressive in trying to get first victory of season.
Denny Hamlin: Always a favorite at Richmond. He runs well there, but only has one win. He could make it two Saturday night.
Jimmie Johnson: It's about time for the four-time defending champion to heat up.
Kevin Harvick: The neighbor bully won the Nationwide racing Friday night, and the points leader would love to get 10 more bonus points for a better Chase position.

Friday, September 3, 2010


It's a holiday weekend, so the Sprint Cups guys aren't going until Sunday night in Atlanta. They moved it to a night race to try and get more fans to come to the race in Atlanta, but for some reason, Atlanta fans just aren't into attending live events. Even in years where the Braves and Hawks are good, they have trouble getting fans to come and it probably won't be any different for the race.

Here's this week's picks:
Carl Edwards: He's been inching closer to winning lately, and Atlanta has been good to him in the past.
Tony Stewart: Really needs a win, even though he has been pretty consistent lately.
Jeff Gordon: Seeking of guys who need a win this season ...
Kevin Harvick: The Neighborhood Bully loves the fast track at HotAtlanta.
Juan Pablo Montoya: Have to pick one of those Ganassi guys to win