Hot 20 – It is a summer time Saturday night in Daytona

by Ron Thornton On Wed, Jul. 04, 2018

Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Patriotic Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, lead the field during pace laps prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 59th Annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 1, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images.

Daytona. Usually, I look forward to any race from that track. After Chicago’s race coverage on NBC, I am really looking forward to it. That was the best NASCAR television broadcast in years.

I like to be informed and entertained, with an odd opportunity to laugh mixed in. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Letarte showed their personal chemistry extends beyond the track and into the broadcast booth. They talked, they joked, they provided insight, and they were fun to listen to.

Jeff Burton did what we expected the Mayor to do. He was obviously excited to share with us what he saw and what it meant, and that just ratcheted up our own excitement and understanding of what we were witnessing. Rick Allen kept it all nicely wrapped together with his call of the action.

Add to that the descriptions from pit road, the camera work, and the direction that masterly mixed the audio and the video into a seamless professional package, and NASCAR fans finally got what they deserved. Great television, and from a track few expected to find it.

It has been a very long time since I’ve been able to answer Sheryl Crow’s question from all those years ago in a positive fashion. I can now.

Not a boogity, boogity, boogity to be found.

1. KYLE BUSCH – 5 WINS (736 Pts)
Some did not like the way he won at Chicago, but he is just fine with it…and he got the trophy.

2. KEVIN HARVICK – 5 WINS (674 Pts)
I am guessing he is not Happy to be referred to as the second-best driver in NASCAR.

3. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 3 WINS (594 Pts)
Plate racing is not Martin’s thing. Never has been. Might that change on Saturday night?

4. CLINT BOWYER – 2 WINS (579 Pts)
Some think Larson could be part of the Big Three. He needs to get by Bowyer and Logano first.

5. JOEY LOGANO – 1 WIN (617 Pts)
Driving the right make and for the right owner to make waves near Daytona Beach.

6. AUSTIN DILLON – 1 WIN (314 Pts)
Well, they are returning to Daytona. Some think ole Austin never left.

7. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 592 POINTS
Driving a Penske Ford has meant good results the past few years on the big tracks.

8. KURT BUSCH – 560 POINTS
Hates teammates who refuse to just hand over Stage Points. Tough.

9. DENNY HAMLIN – 537 POINTS
Tops list of active drivers with 407 Daytona laps led in 25 starts.

10. KYLE LARSON – 524 POINTS
Larson is a true racer, not a snowflake. Learn from him. Don’t be a snowflake.

11. RYAN BLANEY – 495 POINTS
Along with Larson, the best of the newest generation.

12. ARIC ALMIROLA – 493 POINTS
Damn loose wheels.

13. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 442 POINTS
75 points to the good makes things all good for the seven-time champion.

14. CHASE ELLIOTT – 435 POINTS
His dad took 116 races to win his first one. Chase is heading into #95.

15. ERIK JONES – 408 POINTS
The 22-year-old is good, good enough for this season, but not as good as he will be.

16. ALEX BOWMAN – 390 POINTS
Good enough as long as someone else behind him in points does not get a win.

17. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 367 POINTS
23 points can be made up, but his last top five was at Talladega.

18. PAUL MENARD – 362 POINTS
Four Top Tens, but five times outside the Top 25. Which Menard will show up at Daytona?

19. DANIEL SUAREZ – 316 POINTS
When it comes to the Chase, no win and he won’t be in. Just ask Dillon as to how that works.

20. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 309 POINTS
Jamie is back in as William Byron drops out.

** 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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