Hot 20 – Will the drama continue in Texas and Phoenix on the road to Homestead-Miami?

by Ron Thornton On Wed, Nov. 01, 2017

Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is right when he says NASCAR needs more Martinsville-like dramas to play out every week. What they need is “drama and exciting finishes — the fans sitting there in the grandstands cheering like crazy, and booing, and cheering and booing after every interview, for 15 minutes after the race — we need that every weekend.” Damn right.

They need more races on tracks that excite us and fewer on those that do not. They need better announcers who can pull off a telecast all on their own, regardless as to the non-action. People we are compelled to tune in to watch just because they are as entertaining, at least, as the product they describe. They, the good folks running NASCAR, need to listen and to act. One thing I am pretty sure of is…they don’t and will not.

Texas is one of those races where the sport is popular in a large metro area. That might be enough to get folks to actually go to the facility. Tuning in at home might be another question. As for the storyline coming in, we have one driver locked into the final four, one almost there, a wide-open battle for the final transfer spot, and one young gun who has to win or hope somebody, or some bodies, will fall on their face. Eight drivers matter. Thirty-two others are hoping to play spoiler.

Only a dozen drivers will be worthy of mention come next week. I, for one, will not mention a single one. My focus will be on other things for the next couple of weeks, but we will chat about the outcome after Homestead when the smoke clears.

The only thing we know for sure is that Kyle Busch and, more than likely, Martin Truex Jr. will be two of the four seeking to win the title. Who the other two shall be is why Texas and Phoenix should keep us tuned in for the answer.

1. KYLE BUSCH – SEGMENT WIN – 4100 POINTS – 5 Wins
Saw the post-race celebration with his family. So, who vacuums Brexton’s room afterward?

2. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 4117 POINTS – 7 Wins
If he took Sunday off, he still would be at least 27 points to the good come Phoenix.

3. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 4079 POINTS – 3 Wins
Just a Logano cut tire away from victory last week. Teammates can be such fun.

4. KEVIN HARVICK – 4053 POINTS – 1 Win
“It all started when Blaney hit me back.”

5. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 4050 POINTS – 3 Wins
Nine-time Martinsville winner had just a slightly better chance than you had to win last Sunday.

6. RYAN BLANEY – 4047 POINTS – 1 Win
The new generation is getting a lot more comfortable expressing themselves these days.

7. DENNY HAMLIN – 4045 POINTS – 2 Wins
The last Virginian to get in this much crap in his home state was Gen. George Thomas.

8. CHASE ELLIOTT – 4027 POINTS
In the immortal words of Popeye the Sailor, “That’s all I can stands, cuz I can’t stands n’more!”

9. KYLE LARSON – 2237 POINTS – 4 Wins
His elimination from the Playoffs is not a flaw in the system…it is what happens in playoffs.

10. MATT KENSETH – 2215 POINTS
If the 10th best driver this season cannot get hired, damn few drivers have much job security.

11. KASEY KAHNE – 2150 POINTS – 1 Win
Some refer to Kahne as a Hendrick refugee. To my knowledge, he did not even cross a border.

12. AUSTIN DILLON – 2148 POINTS – 1 Win
So…Austin and Rowdy get foiled by Happy again. It must be true. I saw it on Youtube.

13. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 2146 – 2 Wins
Could a new teammate be his present housemate?

14. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 2146 POINTS
Believes the next All-Star race might be a good time to unveil Charlotte’s road course.

15. KURT BUSCH – 2139 POINTS – 1 Win
Won the NASCAR title, the Daytona 500, and seen every MLB park. Check, check, and check!

16. RYAN NEWMAN – 2130 POINTS – 1 Win
During these times, anytime you sign a new sponsor is a very good time.

17. JOEY LOGANO – 839 POINTS – 1 Win
“I missed the call” – Crew chief Todd Gordon. The problem no doubt lost in the billowing smoke.

18. CLINT BOWYER – 829 POINTS
Third at Martinsville, a track that produced the kind of racing that “put this sport on the map…”

19. ERIK JONES – 768 POINTS
That Jones Boy is down to his final three before taking over the ride Smoke made famous.

20. DANIEL SUAREZ – 731 POINTS
An average of 22 points per race gets you on this list. That is an easy top 16. I guess not so easy.

** 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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