Hot 20 – Heading to Texas after a week off to ponder some stuff

A week off with no races to forecast or summarize. Funny, I did not get the shakes or suffer any other negative reactions. That probably is not a good thing for NASCAR.

The downtime means that some took the time to ponder how NASCAR might be made better, or at least more palatable. Some theorize that a shortened schedule might do the trick. They either have the attention span of a gnat, or they view much of the menu like some of us react to having to fulfill certain expected family obligations. You cannot wait for the damn things to be over.

However, others believe more short tracks could be the answer. Maybe those folks are on to something. There are just 10 races on six tracks that feature events I really look forward to. While they include Talladega, Daytona, Darlington, Sonoma, and Charlotte, Bristol is always a joy to take in. In fact, I could be convinced to also include the presentations that are offered at Richmond and Martinsville. They usually provide a pleasant way to spend a few hours on the weekend. Good luck expecting the same from me for California, Texas, Michigan, Chicago, and Pocono.

There are those who figure diversity will do the trick. Frankly, once they get into the car all I care about if that they have talent and the auto is competitive. A black Canadian woman with some aboriginal ancestry would not increase my excitement if the car is a dud or they remind me too much of Joey Logano. If the race bores the hell out of me, including my sister in the mix might help, but not by much. It does not matter who is doing what, but what they are doing and if it entertains me. If it does not, I care not.

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This month, we have Bristol, Richmond and Talladega to soak in. This weekend, we have Texas. There is a lot to love about Texas, but this venue is not one of them. Hopefully, the boys will prove me wrong on Sunday.

Here are our Hot 20…

1. KEVIN HARVICK – 3 WINS – 212 Pts
A fourth win in seven tries this season would put ole Happy in very exclusive company.

2. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 1 WIN – 249 Pts
Making Happy unhappy at Texas this year would make Truex…well…happy.

3. CLINT BOWYER – 1 WIN – 210 Pts
Last month, he went from low on gas to full throttle to pick up a grandfather clock.

4. AUSTIN DILLON – 1 WIN – 148 Pts
If nothing else, his sponsor will make some wonder as to just what exactly AstraZeneca is.

5. KYLE BUSCH – 257 POINTS
Has a closet full of bridesmaid dresses, but he wants his own white wedding moment.

6. RYAN BLANEY – 233 POINTS
Like Rowdy, still looking for that first win…but sitting damned pretty in points.

7. JOEY LOGANO – 232 POINTS
My favorite Cup driver named Joey.

8. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 226 POINTS
My favorite Cup driver named Brad.

9. DENNY HAMLIN – 217 POINTS
He discovered at Martinsville that it appears Harvick does not like having his backside patted.

10. KYLE LARSON – 195 POINTS
I love 3-year old Owen’s question to Bowyer, “Good job, Clint. How’s your hangover?”

11. KURT BUSCH – 177 POINTS
Last fall set the Texas qualifying record with 200.915 mph. Wants to top it this spring.

12. ARIC ALMIROLA – 171 POINTS
If team-mate Bowyer can end his winless streak, surely Aric can end his at 125.

13. ERIK JONES – 152 POINTS
I miss Matt Kenseth, but Jones’ performance is making that harder to do.

14. ALEX BOWMAN – 145 POINTS
Replacing the Most Popular Driver to become Hendrick’s best of 2018…thus far.

15. PAUL MENARD – 139 POINTS
Isn’t it about time for Menard to snap his 238 race drought?

16. RYAN NEWMAN – 135 POINTS
Before you criticize Dillon’s lack of performance since Daytona, he still has more points.

17. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 121 POINTS
Still cold as ice, and yet he keeps climbing the ladder.

18. CHASE ELLIOTT – 115 POINTS
If an Elliott cussed in a forest and no one is around to hear it, do they still make a sound?

19. A.J. ALLMENDINGER – 110 POINTS
One eighth place finish can make all the difference.

20. WILLIAM BYRON – 108 POINTS
A 20-year old dissatisfied to be just among our Hot 20. I wonder how Bubba and Trevor feel?

21. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 108 POINTS
Wrecked his primary car at Martinsville and the replacement was a dud.

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