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Hot 20 – If it was something we could not see, was Fontana truly debris free?

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Nothing gets NASCAR fans hotter than the possibility their conspiracy theories might actually be true.

Is NASCAR using phantom debris to manipulate the outcome of races through the use of late cautions?

“That’s a preposterous allegation,” says NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell. Actually, it is those cautions that many fans are finding preposterous. With debris shown in only one of three late instances, fans are left to wonder. With bad boy Kurt Busch apparently heading to victory, how fortuitous that a caution was called to open up an opportunity to alter the outcome of the race at Fontana. That should be easily enough addressed, one would think. Show us the debris, and it better be something more substantial than a hot dog wrapper. Either that, or give Michael Waltrip his money back.

Of course, it is preposterous that some fans fail to understand just how transparent NASCAR now is. Anyone know what the attendance was at Fontana? Oops, sorry, I forgot. Some information is as tough to get made public as a Hillary Clinton e-mail or a Richard Nixon taped conversation.

As for our Hot 20 heading to Martinsville…

1. Kevin Harvick – 2 Wins (225 Points)
33rd at Martinsville last fall, first or second after each race since.

2. Joey Logano – 1 Win (197 Points)
If the damn tire stays in the box, maybe NASCAR should stay out of it.

3. Brad Keselowski – 1 Win (163 Points)
NASCAR loves me. They really love me.

4. Jimmie Johnson – 1 Win (159 Points)
After all the restarts left him finishing ninth, I need to ask Jimmie, “What does NFG stand for?”

5. Martin Truex Jr – 192 Points
Five events, five Top Tens. That works.

6. Dale Earnhardt Jr – 164 Points
Zero for 23 at Fontana, but 1 (last October) for 30 at Martinsville.

7. Ryan Newman – 162 Points
If he had sat out the Daytona 500, would only slip to 8th in points.

8. Kasey Kahne – 159 Points
If 17th is the worst he can do (Phoenix, Fontana), you will find him here each week.

9. Paul Menard – 152 Points
Crew chief Justin Alexander’s magic helped massage a Top Ten on Sunday.

10. Aric Almirola – 138 Points
His boss won 15 times at Martinsville. Guess who wants a clock of his own.

11. A.J. Allmendinger – 137 Points
Thinking of Martinsville, dreaming of an Indianapolis-Charlotte double.

12. Casey Mears – 132 Points
His uncle won the Indianapolis 500 four times.

13. Matt Kenseth – 127 Points
Great pit stops, just one too many at Fontana.

14. Denny Hamlin – 125 Points
Gibbs cars lead 100 laps, none finish among the Top Dozen.

15. David Ragan – 124 Points
Upset Gordon at Fontana, but still sits a dozen points ahead of him in the standings.

16. Carl Edwards – 120 Points
Turned his foot long into a six-inch sub in practice and still searching for first Top Ten

17. Jamie McMurray – 120 Points
Yet to finish in NASCAR’s Top Ten. Is this the year?

18. Austin Dillon – 116 Points
With four Xfinity starts, tied with Larson for most visits to the kiddies table this year.

19. Kyle Larson – 116 Points
Now, NASCAR, THAT is what I would call debris.

20. Clint Bowyer – 115 Points
Martinsville changed its hog dogs, but this hot dog has endorsed ‘em as being just as good.

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Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.

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