Thursday, October 12, 2006

Friday Notes

The video to watch this week is the damage inflicted by Florida Freshman QB Tim Tebow.  Kid is something and he is a true freshman playing against a great defense in LSU.

Nowtime for the Friday tradition:

-The ESPN/ABC announcers were revealed yesterday and I’m impressed with thegroup they have assembled.  Runningthrough them one at a time:

BrentMusburger: I love Brent in his college football role and in his IRL role.  No reason not to expect his classy style to translate well to NASCAR.

Dr.Jerry Punch: Hallelujah!  If there were a NASCAR Commentator hall of fame Dr. Jerry Punch would be on the first ballot.  Great to have him back home.

RustyWallace: Rusty had a year in the IRL to learn how to do the announcing gig and thie seems to be the job tailor-made for him.  Looking for great things from him.

AndyPetree: It would appear that ESPN/ABC is trying to use Petree the same way FOX uses Larry Mac.  Not bad in theory; we'll see how he mixes with the other two in the booth.

AllenBestwick: Great move.

DaveBurns: Bad move.

JamieLittle: Sexy move.

MikeMassaro: Well-deserved move.  I'm not as big on him as some but the promotion is well-deserved after being the only NASCAR reporter working for ESPN for the last 5 years.

Also,a new show will be starting next February titled NASCAR Now.  The show will feature Brad Daugherty, FrankStoddard, Jeff Burton, and others.  I’manxious to see how it comes off, if it were an ESPN makeover of the old TotallyNASCAR show on Fox Sports Net I would be a happy camper.

-After not getting the 6 car next year, things keep piling on for ToddKluever.  Now he’ll only run the 06 inBusch part-time.  Call me crazy, but itseems counter-productive to have a guy stop racing in hopes he develops.  He might even go back to driving a Truck, buthonestly I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

-David Reutimann was officially confirmed to the 00 Cup car after Mikeyapparently begged, borrowed and/or dealed with Dominos and Burger King to lethim have it.  Good move as he is alreadyin the Toyotafamily and is one of the best drivers available.

- MB2(not Ginn until 2007) made another splash signing motorcycle legend RickyCarmichael to a development deal.  I haveno idea if his success will translate to NASCAR but hey, I’ll give him ashot.  Now I hope someone breaks out somemoney and get Travis Pastrana in a car.

-A few more Busch notes: Robert Yates will keep the 90 car in his shop withdriver Stephen Leicht and won’t run it out of the Rensi shop.  I’m still betting that David Gilliland endsup in the 25.  Also, add two teams to thelineup of Toyotateams in Busch: the 38 Braun team with Jason Leffler and the 4 Biagi/DenBeste teamwith Auggie Vidovich.

-The IRL looks like they want to be all things to all people in open wheel.  They added another road course race to theirschedule in Mid-Ohio.  Should be aninteresting year in the IRL next season.

----- Lowes Preview -----

TheCup Lite err… Busch race tonight will be dominated by Cup drivers.  Of course, you knew that.  I like Matt Kenseth to finish the job afterblowing his engine in May.  Keep an eyeout for some one off rides (Tony Stewart in the 8, Jimmie Johnson in the 48,David Ragan in the 6) and RCR puts Jeff Burton in the 21 this week whilechampion-elect Kevin Harvick drives his own 33.

WINNER– Matt Kenseth

Qualifying ran last night as is the usual for this race.  Scott Riggs took the pole as Dodges lookedincredibly fast and swept the top 4 positions. The full race lineup is here (quickly: not a good start for Red Bull and Kurt Busch's top 5 time disallowed). This track is just going to get better and better as more races are runon it.  The new pavement helpedtremendously for the May race.  Thatsaid, NASCAR is still mandating the teams use the 14 gallon fuel cells so itwill be interesting to see how much of a role that plays in the outcome of therace.  Logic says that Chase drivers needto do well here and most will.  MarkMartin, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. allrun well here and should be factors in the finish.  All those choices, but I’m not going to pickany of them.

WINNER– Denny Hamlin

Ijust feel like Denny will make a statement that he is still here and pull offthe win.  Last season he finished in thetop 10 in this race which I think is lost on most everyone.  My secondary picks here are Mark Martin andScott Riggs.

DARKHORSE– Reed Sorenson

Comeon… you surprised?  I’m too chicken tosay David Gilliland but I have a feeling this will be his best Cup run to date.

Hereis your channel surfing schedule:

Busch: Dollar General 300 at 8:00 on TNT

Nextel Cup: Bank of America500 at 7:00 on NBC

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