Hot 20 – Bristol is not over-hyped, but a lot is

Sometimes the news can be a little over-hyped. For example, no matter what you might hear, Kyle Busch is going to claim the bonus for the most points garnered by the time they leave Indianapolis. Kevin Harvick would need to close the gap by 21 points in each of the remaining three events to change that, and that is not going to happen. It is a done deal.

The purveyors of all things NASCAR who tell you there is going to be a change in the lineup for the Playoffs are dreaming. No one outside the current Top 16 is going to make the Chase for the Championship, unless someone outside that group wins at Bristol, Darlington, or Indianapolis. Those who have won on those tracks in the recent past are already among that Top 16.

With one exception. There is a driver not among the already blessed who has won at two of those venues who will be trying to win his way in. However, do not bet on Kasey Kahne succeeding. He won at Bristol five years ago. He won at Darlington last year. However, there is a mighty big difference driving equipment supplied by Rick Hendrick and what Leavine Family Racing has in stock this season. Kahne finished fourth at Daytona last month, but outside the Top 15 everywhere else. Do not expect a Bristol or Indianapolis miracle.

Sometimes a story gets clearer once you get the details. Actually, it always does. Take former driver Greg Biffle. When you heard he was secretly videotaping his wife in the bedroom and bathroom, you could have been forgiven for wondering what in hell was up with the Biff. However, he suspected his wife was cheating on him. It appears she was. Biffle was convicted for invading his wife’s privacy, but the jury awarded his now ex-wife $1. That is ONE dollar. Even the jury saw things much clearer once they got all the details.

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As for Saturday night, Bristol is going to be freaking awesome. A venue that usually delivers great racing, and this year we have the NBC broadcast crew that actually keeps you tuned in even when the track is in Chicago or Michigan. Hey, do not take my word for it. I could be over-hyping the event, but I am not. Watch for yourself. I think you will be glad you did.

1. KYLE BUSCH – 6 WINS (986 Pts)
Has a Top Five in 10 of the past 11 events. There is a reason he is up here.

2. KEVIN HARVICK – 6 WINS (1 E.W. – 924 Pts)
Keelan is a great kid, but we hear he still can not drive a golf cart worth a damn.

3. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 4 WINS (842 Pts)
Other than for Bowman, that pit penalty, and the gas issue, it was one hell of a day last Sunday.

4. CLINT BOWYER – 2 WINS (732 Pts)
Clint’s last Top Ten was at Chicago on July 1st.

5. JOEY LOGANO – 1 WIN (723 Pts)
Roger Penske has Logano, Keselowski, and Blaney in his stable. That could work.

6. CHASE ELLIOTT – 1 WIN (647 Pts)
A straight quartet of Top Tens, including his win at Watkins Glen. Peaking at the right time.

7. ERIK JONES – 1 WIN (596 Pts)
Well, Michigan sure sucked.

8. AUSTIN DILLON – 1 WIN (451 Pts)
Damn. There was a Dillon sighting at Michigan, I kid you not.

9. KURT BUSCH – 750 POINTS
Could he be replacing McMurray over at Ganassi?

10. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 709 POINTS
His promise to drive through blockers might come true this Saturday night.

11. RYAN BLANEY – 687 POINTS
Chase has a win. Erik has a win. The young gent is starting to feel left out.

12. DENNY HAMLIN – 684 POINTS
Works for his favorite NFL coach, and now he has a replacement for his long-lost cap.

13. KYLE LARSON – 681 POINTS
The lad likes to get down and dirty.

14. ARIC ALMIROLA – 639 POINTS
Before we set off at Bristol, Abby and Alex will be setting off back to school.

15. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 572 POINTS
Isn’t it time for the firm of Johnson and Knaus to show up?

16. ALEX BOWMAN – 542 POINTS
Spin Truex. Check. What else did you want me to do?

17. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 480 POINTS
Win? Hell, he has not even managed a Top Ten since May.

18. PAUL MENARD – 472 POINTS
Do not expect great things at Bristol. It just does not happen.

19. DANIEL SUAREZ – 460 POINTS
Daniel claims he is capable of winning races this season. Okay. Prove it.

20. RYAN NEWMAN – 456 POINTS
Just glad Kurt is not rumored to be replacing him again.

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