Is it No More Johnson? Or No More Hamlin? Can anyone else win?
What wasn't mentioned were news reports that Red Bull Energy Drink, the sugar free version, has been linked to the forming of blood clots. Of course, damage control on the part of Red Bull would mean this would never be mentioned. However, this fan is suspicious.
Tony Stewart, who had a wonderful year last year, has struggled this year, although 18th in points at this point in the year doesn't mean his season is done. For Tony, however, who expects to win, and win often, it is considered "a season in the toilet". Apparently, Old Spice thinks so, too. They have announced that they will withdraw sponsorship of the number 14, after the 2010 season. As an owner and driver, this has to be on Tony's mind, but Dover may just be the place for him to snag a new one. Tony does well on the concrete track, and this may be the weekend that turns his season around.
As speculation was made only a few weeks ago that Kevin Harvick would likely move to Hendrick for 2011, Kasey Kahne and Rick Hendrick dispelled that rumor when they announced that Kasey would be with HMS in 2012. Exactly where he will be in 2011 has yet to be decided, but it will be Kasey moving to HMS, not Kevin. In fact, speculation is that Kevin is going to stay exactly where he is. Last week, the duo indicated that they should have an announcement to that effect by Charlotte. It certainly can be said that Richard Childress Racing has pulled out all the stops to ensure the drivers they have in their stable will stay there. All three have improved drastically since last season which saw not one RCR car in the Chase. Kevin currently leads the Sprint Cup points, by 110 over Jimmie Johnson.
Another announcement expected soon is the re-signing of David Reutimann with Michael Waltrip Racing. Exactly how long for remains to be seen. David has been extending his contract by one year each year since 2007 and wants a multi-year deal this time around. "Rooty" has done well with MWR and has done well for them. While Michael started the multy car race team in 2007 amid expectations (by some) that he and the teams would immediately fail, the opposite has been true. David has a desire to win, and has done so, at Charlotte. He also has a wonderful personality and teams with "Mikey" in the Aaron's commercials. He and Michael seem like a perfect fit, and the addition of Martin Truex Jr. to the fold has the naysayers choking on their "he's gonna fail" predictions. Martin currently sits in 13th in points, only 16 behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has been struggling again.
The "Roushketeers" of Roush Fenway Racing have a great chance this weekend to move up in the points, or even put one in the win column for Jack Roush. Carl Edwards has been nicknamed "Concrete Carl" because of his success on the concrete tracks, but victories have eluded him since 2008.
And finally, although neither of them is in the points lead, both Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin have notched 3 wins this season. Jimmie is only 110 points out of first place, behind Kevin Harvick, but Denny's struggles early on in the season have him currently in 8th spot, moving up with each win.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened this week, a long time coming in this fan's opinion. One of my friends was in attendance, and as soon as I can quit working long enough to catch up to him, we will hopefuly have some pictures posted.
No matter what is going on off the track, no doubt there will be a lot of action on the Monster Mile. Elliiott Sadler has already moved to a back up car, having hit the wall in practice.
On the Nationwide side of things, Jason Keller will attempt to make his 500th start at Dover, provided he will qualify. Kyle Busch leads the point standings but will relinquish that lead soon as a run for the Nationwide Championship has been ruled out by JGR. Brad Coleman and Mike DeBenedetto are also contracted to run in the 18 car this season.
The Nationwide Race goes off Saturday, with the Cup race running Sunday.