Friday, September 8, 2006

Friday Notes

The YouTube video this week is a clip of the funniest man on the planet this year: Dane Cook.  Enjoy.

Now, time for the Friday tradition:

- The story about Mark Martin to the 88 is.. well... interesting.  As I've said probably too much, it makes sense for Roush if Mark has his heart set on running in Cup another year because of NASCAR's idiotic four team rule.  Yates needs a veteran driver but I'm not convinced it'll be Mark.

- Here are a few more names that people seem to be forgetting: Bill Elliott and Ricky Rudd.  These guys could surprise and show up full-time in the series next year, one or both for Toyota. 

- Look at it this way: one more week is one week less of NBC's coverage of NASCAR.  Next year I fully expect (or hope) that TNT's 6-race deal is run better than what NBC did with it.

- The IRL season finale is this weekend at Chicagoland, and I haven't heard much of anything about it.  Helio Castroneves leads teammate Sam Hornish Jr. by the thinnest of margains... seriously, its 1 freakin point.  Also in the picture are teammates Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon.  Its pretty simple for Helio and Hornish: win the race, win the title.  That's all they have to do.  For Dixon and Wheldon, they'll each need some help if they want to win the title.  The Penske cars can't finish in the top 5 if they are to have a chance to win the title.  Dixon knows all about this circumstance based on his 2003 IRL title.  He more or less lucked into it.  My pick is going to be Hornish because he was able to make it through the race at Sonoma with a top 10 and the other three failed to win.  It'll also be interesting to see if AJ Foyt IV can prove he has talent as he will drive the #27 for Andretti Green after a concussion suffered by Dario Franchitti.

The Busch race this week will be fun to watch, because the guys that are contending for Chase spots that also are in the Busch race may show their stress - on the track, in the form of knocking someone out of the way.  In other words, short-track Busch races are fun to watch.

----- Big Richmond/Chase Preview -----

I had no takers for naming the race... come on people, I know you got something!  Crown Royal's naming the May race, I'm naming the 26th race!

- So here we are at Richmond for the 26th race.  The cutoff for the Chase.  Since 2004
this race has taken on immense meaning because as we all have seen, everything is on the line here.  As we have seen from post-race interviews, guys are either A.) ecstatic or B.) bitterly disappointed following the Chevy Rock & Roll 400.  This year features fewer competitors than ever to clinch a spot, because only one outside the top 10 has the opportunity to make it - that, of course, being Kasey Kahne.  He is riding a wave of momentum from Fontana to a track that he scored his first win on.  Will he do it?  I really don't know.  As I said earlier in the week, it would be a shame for the 31 or 6 not to.  Sure, it would be strange that a guy with 5 wins wouldn't have a chance for a championship, but thems the breaks kid.  I would feel worse if one of the guys that are in end up being left out.  As we saw last year, being a star doesn't entitle you to a spot.  It has to be earned on the track.  That's one of the biggest reasons I love racing.

Weekend winners:

WINNER - Kevin Harvick

WINNER - Denny Hamlin

DARKHORSE - Clint Bowyer

Tune in at 7 Friday night and Saturday night on TNT, you won't miss the races.  The IRL season finale runs at 1:30 on ABC.

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