Sunday, September 10, 2006

Observations | Chevy Rock & Roll 400

Some things from the race last night that I wanted to talk about for a minute...

- Dave Blaney.  A great run for Bill Davis and the 22 team as Blaney looked great all night (and in the Busch race as well) and became the latest surprise top finisher in this race.  In 2004 it was Mike Bliss in the #80 Gibbs car finishing 4th and last year Terry Labonte's effort in the 11 netted a 9th place finish.  For a team waiting until 2007 to really get going, that was a great job last night for all involved.

- The end of the race was as good as you can get.  Two guys battling for the lead, the points situation, eqiupment troubles, and sitting there not knowing if Hamlin's engine would expire or if Dale Jr.'s brakes would completely give up, just good stuff till the checkers.

- Tony Stewart's post-race interview showed a great deal of maturity.  His season is for all intents and purposes done for and last night he didn't act like a brat, he did what the only thing you could do: congratulate the other teams and admit he and the 20 team didn't do enough to earn their way in. 

- Also good runs for Ken Schrader (7th), Scott Riggs (10th), and my darkhorse, Clint Bowyer (12th).

- Early Chase handicapping has a foursome of favorites: Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch.  In the two years of the Chase, there are few, if any patterns to pick up on to possibly predict an odds-on favorite.  Doing well at New Hampshire is a must but the best teams will show through by November. 

Tomorrow I'll have my expanded Chase breakdown.

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