There are a dozen races run on eight tracks that are truly iconic NASCAR events. Last Sunday was one of those races. The SpongeBob SquarePants 400 in Kansas is not. That is not to say we will not see one of the all-time great races this Saturday night…though the odds might be stacked against us. While they have been racing here since 2001, this marks just the fifth spring race since it picked up its second date in 2011.
Now, I may be a bit unfair in regards to the cartoon derby this weekend. Last year, they had highlights galore. First, we started late due to lightning in the area. Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, and Marcos Ambrose all went for wild rides at one time or another to bring out a caution, but it was Jamie McMurray who actually went up in smoke. We had a pair of four-car wrecks, one that just destroyed the auto of David Gilliland. Danica Patrick even ran near the front, and came home with a Top Ten. Hey, we even had the lights go out on the backstretch to cause yet another delay before Jeff Gordon won the thing. Maybe it won’t be a bad one to tune in after all.
The Hot 20 heading to Kansas are…
1. KEVIN HARVICK – 2 WINS (394 Points)
Fast repairs by the crew helped save an eighth place finish at Talladega.
2. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 2 WINS (342 Points)
Last week it was Junior’s turn, with Jimmie taking second.
3. JOEY LOGANO – 1 WIN (335 Points)
Logano won Saturday, but the big boys were racing on Sunday.
4. DALE EARNHARDT JR. – 1 WIN (319 Points)
When will Payton Ives be named car chief?
5. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 1 WIN (305 Points)
New sponsor, thanks to a Silicon Valley implant.
6. MATT KENSETH – 1 WIN (292 Points)
Wanted a caution on the last lap last week…but Junior fans did not.
7. DENNY HAMLIN – 1 WIN (281 Points)
What he needed last Sunday was a Hendrick engine. Didn’t everybody?
8. KURT BUSCH – 1 WIN (255 Points)
Crew chief got rid of a major pain, and no it was not the driver.
9. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 354 POINTS
Second in points, ninth on the depth charts, best damn car out of Colorado.
10. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 297 POINTS
If he does not lose his steering, find the wall, and catch fire, he could top last year’s performance.
11. KASEY KAHNE – 286 POINTS
If you squint your eyes, a lot, Kasey kind of looks like Sponge Bob.
12. PAUL MENARD – 280 POINTS
Daddy’s money, Paul’s talent, and one hell of a crew chief in Dale Alexander.
13. ARIC ALMIROLA – 279 POINTS
Showed the kids what they ought not to do in Talladega’s XFINITY demolition.
14. JEFF GORDON – 277 POINTS
Won the pole in Alabama but things went to the pits after a late speeding penalty.
15. RYAN NEWMAN – 271 POINTS
Returning to the truck series this Friday night in Kansas.
16. DANICA PATRICK – 253 POINTS
Yes, she is not a good driver…but what does that say about the Boyfriend, the Biff, and the Boss?
17. CLINT BOWYER – 249 POINTS
Kansas boy claims this as his home track…but he is 0 for 13 there.
18. CARL EDWARDS – 240 POINTS
Missouri boy also claims this as his home track…and is 0 for 15…but has 11 Top Tens.
19. A.J. ALLMENDINGER – 229 POINTS
A bad vibration and no speed, but other than that Talladega was one hell of a great time.
20. DAVID RAGAN – 224 POINTS
Moves to MWR this week to make room for the Boy Wonder whose age matches his car number.