Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday Notes

The YouTube video this week is a performance from the MTV VMAs.  The artist is Gnarls Barkley.  Enjoy.

Now time for the Friday tradition:

- I've purposely not commented on the RCR airgate situation this week.  I didn't want to say something about it before everything was in the open... it sure is interesting.  SPEED and Bob Dilner have stood by their story, NASCAR and RCR say it never happened.  The best take I've seen anywhere has been the last two blog posts by David Poole.  If the 29 and 31 go out at Dover and stink up the place, we might have our answer.  But I highly doubt that'll happen.

- Speaking of RCR, the Coast Guard won't be back on the 21 next season.  I don't think that after the year Harvick and Co. have had they'll have any trouble finding funds.  Also from RCR, Timothy Peters will drive for them next season.

-  The match made in hell of Armando Fitz and Terry Bradshaw will expire at the end of the 2006 season.  I'll give everyone a moment to mourn.  Unfortunately, Fitz himself will be back next year.  I'm hoping he doesn't last that long.

- Moves galore have happened in Busch, so I'll go by car numbers on what's changed:

33 (KHI) - Busch East driver Sean Caisse will pilot the car at Dover and for a partial schedule next season.  I know what you're thinking, because I thought the same thing... "holy crap, Harvick signed an east coast driver?"

35 (Rensi) - Bobby Hamilton Jr. will return to the only place he had success, that being the Rensi team.  He'll replace Regan Smith, who appears to be on the former MB2 Motorsports/currently Ginn Racing radar for whatever reason.

90 (Yates) - Stephen Leicht will have a veteran as a mentor and spotter in the form of the recently released David Green.  David's got a ton of knowledge and can help the youngster out.

- The Truck Series races at Las Vegas in what should be a much-anticipated event.  This will be the first race with the re-designed and repaved track.  Jeremy Mayfield will attempt to race this week in the #15 to get a head start and possibly have a bit of an edge for March 2007.  To update the Truck points for you, Todd Bodine leads Johnny Benson by 124 points and David Reutimann by 263.  Bodine hasn't been nearly as dominant as he was the first half the year, which is why Benson stands a pretty good shot of making the battle for the title interesting.  Johnny's got 7 races to make it happen.

- Also of note in the Trucks, Roush development driver Peter Shephard will drive the 6 wth David Ragan at Dover and Tyler Walker will race for Bill Davis next season in the series.


----- Dover Preview -----

Jeff Burton won the spring Busch race at Dover.  Too bad for him, he isn't entered in the one Saturday.  It makes picking a winner a lot easier though.  Dover races are usually entertaining, this one shouldn't be any different.  Just to show how dominant Harvick has been in the series this year: after this race in June, he lead the points by 297.

WINNER – Carl Edwards

This is the one Dover Cup race I get to watch from start to finish if I choose.  Family reunions have taken up the Dover weekend every year since birth.  I enjoy the track though, its a stretched out Bristol with high banks and high speeds.  Watching the cars fire off into the turns and look as if they're nearly airborne entering the straights never gets old, but this race was too long at 500 laps.  Chase race #2 tends to favor the Chasers to finish at the top.  Last year, Chase drivers took the top 5 spots.  That trend should continue.  A pit call here could be the difference between a win and 11th.  For Matt Kenseth, just finishing here would be an accomplishment.  I don't think I need to remind anyone that his title hopes have ended here the last two seasons.  I'll be holding my breath all day Sunday.  My picks:

WINNER – Jeff Burton

He was great here in the spring (the Busch win, 4th in the Cup race).  I'm hoping I get lucky because Jeff needs to be back in victory lane in Cup.  A win here would also help his title aspirations immensely.  My runner up choices were Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Denny Hamlin.

DARKHORSE – Jamie McMurray

He had a great run here in the spring, in fact he nearly won the event.  My secondary pick here would be Martin Truex Jr.

Here is your channel surfing schedule:

Today
Nextel Cup qualifying at 3:00 on SPEED

Saturday
Busch: Dover 200 at 3:00 on TNT
Trucks: Smiths Las Vegas 350 at 9:00 on SPEED

Sunday
Nextel Cup: Dover 400 at 12:30 on TNT

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