Hot 20 – Like life, Sonoma is a series of challenging twists and turns

It is not always just about NASCAR, as most of us got a chance to check out other things since the boys and girl last ran at Michigan. There was a basketball game in Cleveland I understand of some note. The NHL has an amateur draft this week and it seems you will have yet another reason to go to Las Vegas in the winter soon enough. One of the sport’s greatest icons, Gordie Howe, passed away. Wayne Gretzky’s future son-in-law won a golf tournament, France continues to host a big soccer event, Ichiro Suzuki gets closer to 3000 MLB hits, and the Chicago Cubs are #1. Hell, I am even reading a book.

Sadly, damned idiots are everywhere, as Mike Wallace and his family discovered. Leaving a concert, the former driver was attacked and knocked unconscious and even his daughter was injured as she tried to protect her dad. They will be alright, though Mike requires some dental work. Three thugs have been arrested, and here is hoping real justice prevails. I do not give a damn what their problems are or how pathetic their lives have been. They did wrong and should pay for it.

Meanwhile, some think Jeff Gordon could be the new Regis or Michael Strahan on set with Kelly Ripa. His first season as a FOX announcer is about to come to an end after this month, and we will have to wait until the fall to find out where his future lies. Life sure has a lot of twists and turns. So does Sonoma, the next stop on the NASCAR Cup tour on Sunday.


American Muscle

Here are our Hot 20 heading to California.

1. KYLE BUSCH – 3 WINS (417 Pts)
Just can’t wait to get on the road again, maybe win that Sonoma race again.

2. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 2 WINS (480 Pts)
Failed to win in Iowa last week. Bet he feels like a total schmuck.

3. CARL EDWARDS – 2 WINS (472 Pts)
On his off days, this is one pilot who purposely takes his vehicle off the ground.

4. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 2 WINS (441 Pts)
Along with Junior, listed by Forbes as among the world’s highest-paid athletes.

5. KEVIN HARVICK – 1 WIN (526 Pts)
Fifth in the standings but first in points. By far. Maybe it is time to end his Sonoma jinx.

6. KURT BUSCH – 1 WIN (496 Pts)
Visited the Middle East to test a Formula One car. That is one way to keep busy on a week off.

7. JOEY LOGANO – 1 WIN (455 Pts)
Might be a ways away from taking the Most Popular Driver award, but a Chase place is his.

8. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 1 WIN (433 Pts)
He has a lot of teammates…though he is the only one who gets to drive the car.

9. MATT KENSETH – 1 WIN (409 Pts)
Stats show that Sonoma is his worse track. Imagine how much fun Monaco would be for him.

10. DENNY HAMLIN – 1 WIN (380 Pts)
2 wins, 20 Top Tens. That is the standard for rookies Hamlin set a decade ago.

11. CHASE ELLIOTT – 453 PTS
Still looking for his first victory, but his points collection is rather impressive.

12. DALE EARNHARDT JR. – 383 PTS
I was hoping for a 2004 Intimidator SS Monte Carlo for Father’s Day. Maybe for Christmas.

13. AUSTIN DILLON – 381 PTS
Maybe Junior or this guy could help me out in my quest. They know people.

14. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 374 PTS
Not known as a guy who does well on the pretzel tracks, but maybe he should be.

15. RYAN NEWMAN – 369 PTS
Looked great in the Spring 2016 issue of LVLten magazine. Doh! Wrong Ryan Newman.

16. RYAN BLANEY – 364 PTS
Plays something called food roulette with his buddy Darrell Wallace Jr. Training for Survivor?

17. KASEY KAHNE – 353 PTS
For someone supposedly having such a bad season, even a win might not be necessary to turn it all around.

18. TREVOR BAYNE – 345 PTS
A storied yet still single car team making a resurgence this season, and still better than most.

19. A.J. ALLMENDINGER – 337 PTS
Win at the Glen put him in the 2014 Chase. Why not another road win in wine country?

20. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 337 PTS
Not the best place to be, but Kyle, Paul, Greg, Clint, Danica, and Aric would swap in a second.


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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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