The Final Word – Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more

Funny things happen in Kansas. One day things might seem normal, but then a twister comes, your house takes off, the neighbor lady goes from riding a bicycle to flying on a broomstick, your abode lands on a witch, and then you get a hung lug nut.

One of those was the reason Martin Truex Jr., dominant throughout the evening, found himself down a couple of laps. Sometimes a removed lug nut bounces up where it does not belong and ruins your day. Those flying monkeys did bad things on his parade, though Truex managed to get back on the lead lap before it was over, with 14th his fate.

Sometimes, you get a nice pair of ruby red slippers, and Kyle Busch took the fancy foot gear to the finish line, outdistancing Kevin Harvick, brother Kurt, and Matt Kenseth. All were among the supporting cast but got bumped up to main roles at the end. It marked the third win of the season for Rowdy, the 37th of his career, and now he boasts nine Top Fives in 11 contests. Somebody seems intent on working his way to the Emerald City for a second straight year, and now that Kansas and Martinsville have been removed to his to-do list, that only leaves Charlotte and Pocono for him to record his first win at.

American Muscle

The Haunted Forest is real, my friends. Just ask Jamie McMurray, who thought things were going well until his car was attacked by a big jack man, who hip checked the auto into flaring out its skirt. NASCAR does not like that. Just like that, McMurray was a couple of laps down and stayed down to finish 26th. Tires went flat and, ding-dong, their hopes were dead. Carl Edwards (11th) managed to struggle back, but Trevor Bayne was left outside the Top 20.

Denny Hamlin had a couple of speeding penalties but was rushing back into contention when he went between Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson late in the game. The hopes of most melted quicker than a sorceress at a water park. Keselowski spun on his own, though he recovered to finish 10th. Hamlin did the same time, without any contact, until he contacted Larson against the wall while Joey Logano nailed Denny coming through the smoke. Brad, and Denny, and Kyle, oh my. The trio finished 35th and worse. However, a trio of munchkins did well, with Top Ten finishes recorded by Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, and Chase Elliott.

The Yellow Brick Road continues next to Dover for a Sunday matinee, the place where champions go to win. The past 14 winners all have a NASCAR championship to their credit. Those eight drivers are Jimmie Johnson (7 times), Harvick, Kenseth, Keselowski, both Busch boys, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Stewart. Stewart won there just three years ago, and after a 12th place finish on Saturday night, maybe there is a glimmer of hope. One win and a gain of 59 points against the 30th ranked Regan Smith, between now and the conclusion of Richmond, would do the trick.

Now, wouldn’t that be enough to make a guy click his heels in celebration if he only had the heart, the brain, and the courage to do so, along with a little luck?

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