Hot 20 – Getting down and dirty, be it at New Hampshire or Eldora

by Ron Thornton On Wed, Jul. 18, 2018

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Overton's 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images.

On Wednesday, the pick-up trucks race on dirt at Eldora. Some figure we need some dirt track racing in NASCAR. The fact is that in these times such a race would be a novelty, just as Eldora is, but does it need to be a feature in Cup?

Why not? The fact that NBC has finally returned television coverage that actually keeps one glued to the action, entertained and informed with real insight, allows me to watch Loudon without any complaint or the use of the fast-forward feature on my PVR. Finally, I am content with what I watch on the pavement. Being different, though, is not a bad thing.

Bristol is different. Daytona and Talladega are different. Sonoma and Watkins Glen are different. So will be the road-course feature coming up at Charlotte. Why not a little dirt? Just no gimmicks. We do not need any more gophers. I have had it up to here with “boogity, boogity, boogity.” No more draft tracks. You can even toss out the wild sound laps, where we get to hear the roar of the engines as the announcers take a time-out. It comes nowhere close to being at the live event.

No more gimmicks. Just tracks that are different. Dirt is good. I have high hopes the New Hampshire experience on Sunday will be as well.

1. KYLE BUSCH – 5 WINS (799 Pts)
To be the man, you have to beat the man…more times than he has beaten you.

2. KEVIN HARVICK – 5 WINS (740 Pts)
This fall, the Magic Mile will magically look a lot like Las Vegas. Hey, it’s magic.

3. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 4 WINS (689 Pts)
Has never won at Loudon…yet.

4. CLINT BOWYER – 2 WINS (629 Pts)
Like Harvick, the pit road experience at Kentucky fell short of the standard set on the track.

5. JOEY LOGANO – 1 WIN (648 Pts)
A single win locks one into the Chase this season.

6. ERIK JONES – 1 WIN (480 Pts)
Earned his golden ticket, so when does he get to visit the Chocolate Factory?

7. AUSTIN DILLON – 1 WIN (362 Pts)
After Daytona, he went into Witness Protection and has not been seen since.

8. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 630 POINTS
“We’ve been good, not great this year, and this is a sport of great.”

9. KURT BUSCH – 601 POINTS
Three career wins at Loudon ties him with his brother, Jimmie, Ryan, Denny, and Matt.

10. KYLE LARSON – 581 POINTS
On Tuesday was at the Lernerville Speedway winning a World of Outlaws event.

11. DENNY HAMLIN – 559 POINTS
The defending race champion returns, but will the checkered flag?

12. RYAN BLANEY – 546 POINTS
Might find Loudon too easy after testing this week at Charlotte.

13. ARIC ALMIROLA – 534 POINTS
Did the former driver of this car ever threaten to make the Chase? Ever?

14. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 484 POINTS
Only a true disaster will keep even a winless Johnson out of the Chase.

15. CHASE ELLIOTT – 469 POINTS
William Clyde’s nickname features his season goal. Next year, he wants to be known as Champ.

16. ALEX BOWMAN – 427 POINTS
Spent his Tuesday spinning in Turns 3 and 4 of the Charlotte infield road course. It is sketchy.

17. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 418 POINTS
He has a standing offer to Kyle Busch to help him stop running his mouth. Jimmy Spencer, Jr.?

18. PAUL MENARD – 404 POINTS
23 points between him and a playoff spot, but he averages a 23rd place finish at Loudon.

19. RYAN NEWMAN – 348 POINTS
Pick-up racing is cute. Now, European Truck Racing is for the big boys with the big toys.

20. DANIEL SUAREZ – 344 POINTS
Two Loudon starts, two Top Tens. Unfortunately, only a win gets him to where he wants to be.

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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