Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR, prediction, the chase, Uncategorized

Charlotte

I was disappointed that both Gnassi cars were eliminated at Dover, especially the way they went out.  I’m a bow tie fan all the way and I like Larson and McMurray. I am glad to see them showing more speed and hopefully next year will see even better things from that team.

So on to the round of 12 and Charlotte.  Is there any reason to believe that Toyota, led by the 78, isn’t the favorite to win? Some people are saying the JGR cars are a little off but it may be very little.  Truex stunk up the 600.  Jimmie has been showing a lot of speed and so has Chase Elliot.  Neither of them will win however.  It also seems the Penske Ford’s are a bit off since the rule change.

I believe there will be a big surprise this weekend!!  Here’s my top 5.

5  Carl Edwards

4  Jimmie Jonson

3  Chase Elliot

2  Kyle Busc

1  Austin Dillon

Thats right!  Get ready to see the 3 and Austin Dillon in Victory Lane. RCR and Slugger aren’t afraid to push the set ups as far as possible now that there isn’t  a P2 or P3 for the LIS.  Austin was fast last week and will be faster this week!!

Let me know what you think.

 

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Denny Hamlin, Ford, Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmie Johnson, Joe Gibbs Racing, Joey Logano, matt kenseth, NASCAR, prediction, Uncategorized

New Hampshire

I was fortunate to attend the Fall race at NHMS a few years ago.  It’s a great place to watch a race!  The only thing better than New England in the fall is NASCAR racing in New England in the Fall!

So who will win this Sunday?  Last weekend we saw the Hendrick cars make a comeback of sorts and show a lot of speed they hadn’t displayed recently.  We also saw the Penske Fords run really well, which is flying under the radar a bit with all of the post race contoversy.  Of course the 78 had the best car, the most speed and won the race keeping the Gibbs and Toyota dominance going.  Although the actual Gibbs cars were a bit off.

They won’t be off this weekend but they won’t win.  Team Penske won’t fly under the radar this weekend.  You can’t do that from victory lane.  With both cars long locked into the race they’ve been looking to the chase for quite a while and it pays off this weekend.  Here’s my top 5.

5. Jimmie Johnson

4. Denny Hamlin

3. Joey Logano

2. Matt Kenseth

1. Brad Keselowski

Thanks for reading!  Let me know your thoughts.

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Chevrolet, Ford, Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmie Johnson, Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Larson, Sports, Uncategorized

Chase Time

So here we go, the chase is on.  8 Chevrolets, 5 Toyotas, and 3 Fords are set to battle it out for the next 10 weeks for the Sprint Cup title.

Notice I didn’t break it down by driver but instead by manufacturer.  Let me tell you why.  I believe that the title will come down to two manufacurers.  Chevrolet and Toyota will be throwing everything they have at the title.  Let me break it down a little further.  Chevrolet will be putting most of its support behind Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliot, Jamie McMurray, and Kyle Larson.  Sorry Harvick and Kurt Busch, your teams move to Ford will prove to hurt you in the chase. You are leaving Chevy and Ford can’t help yet!

The Five Toyotas have been the class of the field this year with 11 of the 26 wins.  You can’t discount that! They have been dominant and there is no reason to believe they won’t continue to be strong in the chase.

Sonwhat will happen?  Here’s my prediction.  Jimmie Johnson will win this weekend at Chicago, close behind will be Kyle Larson in 2nd and Chase Elliot in 3rd.  Martin Truex will be the highest finishing Toyota in 5th.  NASCAR media will be going crazy.  Did they see the Chevy’s coming?  No, but now they will.

Just a guess!

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Joe Logano, NASCAR, Sports, Team Penske, Uncategorized

Team Penske

I thought the race in Daytona was pretty good.  It went by very quickly and there wasn’t really much doubt about who was going to win.  Not a lot of drama at the end.  That’s ok, it was still good racing with great teams.

I am liking Team Penske more and more.  I think there are fewer and fear teams in Cup who want to win every race and yes who try as hard as they can all of the time.  Earlier this year I wrote an article about drivers needing two or three wins to automatically qualify for the chase.  I still think that is a good idea and apparently Brad and Joey think that is already the rule.

They both race hard, which after all is the point, for every position on the track.  They also don’t ever say they had a, fill in the blank, place car and that was where they finished.  They continue to race fro the next place and the win from the green to the checkered.  Again, that is what they are supposed to do.

I realize that this is not very popular with the other drivers in the garage.  Apparently most of them have become complacent, happy to finish where they finish and go home to one of their mansions with their money.  I don’t particularly like that and I bet you don’t either if you take some time to think about it.  Hey, I don’t begrudge them a bit for their success but lets go, right?!

Joey and Brad aren’t at the track to make friends, they are there to win.  I’m betting this mindset comes directly from Mr. Penske himself.  You don’t become that successful in life without having drive and focus and always, always trying to win.

I will be pulling for the 2 and 22 more and more.  I like competition in my competition.

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Kyle Larson, NASCAR, Sports, Uncategorized

Kyle Larson

Here is what I am going to say about the All Star Race format this past week.  Nothing.  Here is what I am going to say about the racing this past weekend, wow!!!  Thank you very much NASCAR, Kyle Larson and Chip Gnassi Racing.

NASCAR has created a new package that has led to better racing.  Gnassi has clearly stared fielding better equipment.  Giving Kyle Larson better equipment should worry the rest of the Cup field.  Larson put on a show this past Saturday.  He and Chase Elliot, who I recently put in my top 5 and still do, raced each other hard in the Showdown.  I am an unapologetic HMS fan but I have to admit that I was happy to see Kyle win, in part because I was pretty sure Chase would make it on the fan vote.   Kyle’s racing was spectacular and he finally showed the type of aggression he should if he wants to win.  Matt Kenseth should be glad he didn’t come to his senses at Dover.

Then in the All Star race itself Kyle put on a show tracking down Joey in the final laps of the final section.  He came up just short when he scraped the wall.  Why did he scrape the wall?  Because he was driving the car to the limits, a level that would have been way past the limit for a lot of drivers.

I have never been more excited about the racing in the Cup series.  These aggressive young guys, the new downforce package, and the chase format are to me a perfect storm that will keep the racing great for years to come.  I want to see Kyle Larson win a race this year and I think he may as long as the folks at Gnassi, don’t forget about the infusion of money brought by Rob Kaufman, keep pushing ahead to make sure their equipment keeps pace.  If I were Chip I would do whatever I had to do to keep Kyle there for a long, long time.  I can’t wait for the 600.

 

 

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Uncategorized

Unfair Comparison

Yesterday I heard and read a lot about giving the driver who ends the regular season as the leader something for his/her accomplishment.  Brad Keselowski brought it up indicating he thought it would be a good idea to give a first round bye.  Really?  I don’t know about that, I don’t know about that at all.

Now, I understand that in other sports there is an incentive for teams to finish in the highest possible position while also making the playoffs.  Often, in those sports that play in a series format teams with the higher seed get home field/court/ice advantage and play weaker teams when the rounds begin.  So how does this compare to NASCAR?  It doesn’t.

Please, please stop trying to make comparisons between NASCAR and other sports.  They aren’t the same.  Yes, I doubt that anyone would argue that the chase is not NASCAR’s version of playoffs. I love the chase and I think it has added, especially in its most resent format, a lot of much needed drama.

I think that the win and your in format has allowed some teams who win early to try things and experiment during the remainder of the regular season.  I am not convinced that this is always the case.  I am also not convinced that doing so is not at the team’s peril.  Isn’t it better to continue to race hard and try to win than to mess around with set ups and such.  I would argue that it is.  I would also argue that most teams do just that, continue to race to win and not look to the chase.

So please, lets not mess with the chase by awarding the regular season finisher some unfair advantage because, and here is my big point.  THEY DON’T NEED IT!!  The driver who finishes the regular season first will be a favorite to go deep into the chase anyway because he/she will be the best car.

Lets all just love our sport for what it is and how great the racing is and not try to make it something it isn’t.

 

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Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, NASCAR, Sports, Team Penske, Uncategorized

Kansas

Here we go, back to a 1.5 mile track.  I like Kansas more than most of the mile and a half tracks.  I think the racing there is competitive and fun to watch.  Especially last fall when Joey and Matt got in to it.  That apparently isn’t going away.  There was more finger wagging after the race this past Sunday.  I didn’t like to see Matt upside down but I do like to see that kind of rivalry in the sport.

So who will win.  Still hard to bet against those Gibb’s  Toyotas.  They are making speed, speed, speed.  I am going to though and I’m not going with any of my Chevrolet teams, as much as that hurts me.  A Blue oval car will pull into victory lane this Sunday.  It will be back to back wins for Team Penske but not for Brad.  Joey Logano, who I am liking more and more will win.

In case you haven’t noticed Ford is making quite a push in the Sport.  The RFR bunch are running better, Brad has won twice, and young Ryan Blaney is running very well in the Wood Brother’s 21.  Next year they will have four more quality cars from Stewart Haas.  I am beginning to second guess my earlier opinion that it will take that team time to adjust. All of this hurts me a lot.  It also makes me happy to see more competitive cars on the track.

So it will be Joey who wins.  He will qualify well, top three, and run up front all day.  Kansas doesn’t have a history of a lot of yellow flags so look for a lot of green flag runs.  Here is my top 5:

  1.  Joey Logano
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Jimmie Johnson
  5. Carl Edwards

Thanks for reading.  Talk to you tomorrow.

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