Here's a quick take on some NASCAR happenings this week, along with picks for Phoenix
1. Does Jeff Gordon need to take boxing lessons? Yes, but it was good to see him stand up for himself, even if was against Jeff Burton.
2. Has Jeff Burton replace Mark Martin as the classiest act in NASCAR? Probably. He admitted he made the mistake in the Gordon wreck and didn't blame Gordon for being fightin' mad.
3. Will the close Chase race save the current points system? Probably not. But lets hope the NASCAR bosses use a system that rewards some type of consistency, not some attention getting quick-fix scheme.
4. Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. ever win another race? Yes, certainly, but probably not either of these last two. Let's go with the early race at Talladega in 2011.
5. Can Denny Hamlin become the next NASCAR Sprint Cup champion? Yes, he can, but he'll need to hold off Johnson at Phoenix this week, one of Johnson's best track. The Phoenix race may be even more key than the finale at Homestead, just because Johnson has been dominant at Phoenix.
OK, here's the picks:
1. Jimmie Johnson. Thought I'd surprise with this one.
2. Kevin Harvick. The neighborhood bully just keeps hanging around.
3. Tony Stewart. Due for a late-season win.
4. Carl Edwards. Can't believe he is winless this year.
5. Denny Hamlin. Too much at stake for him not to try and win this.