Odds and Ends- Stewart Mania and Battle of Richmond Edition
Each week I take a random tour of the world of NASCAR (Mostly) and give my take on the latest news. I hope you bring your funny bone to the party and take the good natured jabs in a responsible way. Some of what you see below is satire and if you are looking to be offended you are in the right place! You will also find my “Fantasy Insight” predictions for this week’s race complete with the best computer analysis available for NASCAR racing.
And now on with the show…
It was great to see Tony Stewart back in a race car at Atlanta last weekend because the man is a racer and racers are supposed to race. Some men look great wearing an expensive suit. Tony Stewart always looks best wearing a race car. Sadly NASCAR blew it by giving him an exemption to qualify for the Chase if he happens to win a race before the Chase. Why? Because this put Stewart in a more intense spotlight if he would have won at Atlanta or this week at Richmond. I understand that NASCAR fans who love Tony Stewart were excited to have their guy back but by hash tagging away you were also bringing more attention to your favorite driver than was needed. ESPN dedicated a camera crew to follow Tony Stewart anywhere he went hoping I guess to see some sort of reaction they could play over and over. (Thank you ESPN for turning off the camera when your guys tried to follow Smoke into the Port-a-Potty) A writer at Sports Illustrated asked whether 3 weeks was long enough after killing someone before a driver returns to NASCAR racing. Yes this sort of story brings out the idiots of the world looking to use a tragedy to make themselves famous and that just turns my stomach. The whole Stewart Mania hoopla made me uncomfortable last week even though I was happy to see Stewart return to racing.
Battle of Richmond
Fourteen Nations have punched their ticket to the Chase. Their armies are adding the latest cannons and mortars to their arsenal and their foot soldiers are being trained for the big showdown. (Will they give Albania an exemption?) OK, my sarcasm shows you just what I feel about the NASCAR commercial hyping the Chase. Does any other NASCAR fan base call their group a “Nation” other than “Junior Nation?” But this week we will see the biggest Battle of Richmond since General US Grant captured the city in April of 1865. (Hopefully without the fires, which were set by Confederate troops unlike when Sherman marched on Atlanta) Thirteen drivers enter this race with a chance to punch their ticket for the Chase by winning this race. This should lead to late race fireworks IF the right guys are in position to win. Fourteen drivers locked into the Chase have nothing to lose and will want those bonus points heading into the start of the Chase next week at Chicagoland Speedway. NASCAR wanted more “Game Seven” moments in the sport and they get one this week. The Field Generals have their battle plans. The foot soldiers are ready to give it all they have so their Nation can advance. Now it is time for another Battle of Richmond.
Fantasy Insight-Richmond 2
Every week I break down the statistics for the upcoming race with my exclusive Pro Power Ratings. Here is this week’s fearless forecast for Richmond.
Top Tier 92+
Second Tier 90-91.99
Driver Last 5 CourseType PRO
K Harvick 91.8 89.6 90.0 90.78- Unhappy with crew happy with car
Earnhardt Jr 88.4 90.8 95.2 90.48- Having best season ever
Third Tier 85-89.99
Driver Last 5 CourseType PRO
J Logano 94.6 84.0 86.2 89.74- Best thing since sliced muffins
M Kenseth 85.2 93.2 93.8 89.32- Mister Consistency looking for 1st win
C Edwards 86.2 91.4 88.8 88.28- Best driver not in a Chevy or Toyota
J Gordon 86.0 90.8 89.6 88.16- Dipped in the fountain of youth
R Newman 86.2 90.2 90.0 88.16- Bubble Boy has been very consistent
G Biffle91.4 83.2 86.0 87.86- Bubble Boy has been somewhat consistent
J McMurray 89.0 84.2 83.0 86.36- Win or go home time for Big Mac
K Kahne 86.2 86.8 82.4 85.62- Chase eligible but can he pick up pace?
Win- Dale Earnhardt Jr- His kind of track (12 to 1 Odds)
Place- Kyle Larson- Treating race like B-Main at Chili Bowl (20 to 1 Odds)
Show- Kevin Harvick- Asking Santa for new pit guns (6 to 1 Odds)
Longshot- (20 to 1 or More) Jamie McMurray (60 to 1 Odds) Needs win to advance
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