It would appear I got up on the wrong side of the bed again. Maybe I simply am becoming an old cantankerous SOB. Maybe I’m already there. If I were a muppet, I probably would have a seat in the balcony, if you know what I mean. Is it my fault things just seem to tick me off?
Oh, what if Jimmie Johnson wins a seventh championship? Some wonder if fans can stand to see him win again, and I wonder what kind of snowflake, safe space, pronoun changing, easily offended, easily bored band of twits have we become? If he wins, great. We are watching a living legend. If he does not, great again, as the dreams of someone else would have been fulfilled. I worry more about what kind of action is presented, if what I see and hear can keep me entertained long enough to wish to continue to watch. If they can manage that, I could not care less if Johnson wins seven or 10 bloody titles.
I learned something last week. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a future in the broadcast booth. It is not that he is super smooth or has those deep pipes, but rather it is the quality of what comes out of his mouth. I found myself listening to him. That is the trick, and not all have that mastered. From what I hear, few do.
NASCAR is in the advanced stage of talks to replace Sprint, who replaced Nextel, who replaced Winston as the Cup Series title sponsor. Please, Lord, let it be a corporate entity that does not embarrass us by their inclusion. I mean, we already have a majority of races with no lasting identity other than this year’s corporate clown 500 monikers. I am just saying that, please, let it not be the Anusol Cup in 2017.
Problem. Solution. Last week, the problem was that they ran off 30 laps under caution to figure out what the running order was. A solution would be to not allow more than 3 percent of the scheduled laps to be run off under any one caution before the red flag comes out. In Martinsville, that would have been 15. At Talladega, that would have been five. You are welcome.
Now on to Texas, where only one of our Hot 20 is safe, four others are close, and three have to make things happen if they want to be in contention later in the month.
1. JIMMIE JOHNSON – SEGMENT WIN (4044 Pts)
Was kind enough to leave three free passes at the door. Now we watch to see who claims them.
2. DENNY HAMLIN – 4039 PTS
Carl Edwards was about the only teammate not bitching about him come Monday.
3. MATT KENSETH – 4039 PTS
Thinks he could have done better if Hamlin had got the hell out of his way.
4. KYLE BUSCH – 4037 PTS
Thinks he could have done better if Kenseth had got the hell out of his way.
5. JOEY LOGANO – 4033 PTS
All Logano has to do is stay ahead of those Gibbs’ boys and he should be fine.
6. KEVIN HARVICK – 4021 PTS
A Yellow Rose is nice, but Harvick would prefer his first checkered flag of Texas on Sunday.
7. KURT BUSCH – 4019 PTS
At least his teammate did not stick his head into his car to say “howdy” last week.
8. CARL EDWARDS – 4005 PTS
Damn tires. Damn walls. Damn Martinsville.
9. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 2226 PTS
At some time on Sunday, his will be the car in front.
10. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 2207 PTS
Using a season-long format would be second by 19 points to Harvick in the championship fight.
11. AUSTIN DILLON – 2187 PTS
Cup driver on Sundays, a truck driver this Friday.
12. CHASE ELLIOTT – 2185 PTS
No sports analyst has ever suggested a bounty on Chase Elliott. I can’t say the same for Ezekiel.
13. KYLE LARSON – 2183 PTS
NASCAR’s Kyle rule in XFINITY and the Trucks does not affect this Kyle just yet.
14. TONY STEWART – 2156 PTS
Just one win away from 50, as the clock continues to click down.
15. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 2143 PTS
GearWrench might not be Goodwrench, but it sounds close enough to me.
16. CHRIS BUESCHER – 2123 PTS
Could he be switching with Biffle for next season?
17. KASEY KAHNE – 883 PTS
Unless the news is good next season, Kahne could wind up leaving the same time as his sponsor.
18. RYAN NEWMAN – 819 PTS
Believes a new man should be in the White House come January. I wonder who he means?
19. A.J. ALLMENDINGER – 749 PTS
Third straight Top Ten came last week, with designs to extend that to four on Sunday.
20. RYAN BLANEY – 735 PTS
With a Top 20 last week, and with Stenhouse last, look who rejoins out little band of brothers.