Kyle needs a win. Matt Kenseth has won two races and Jimmie Johnson has won one, so far in the Chase, so Kyle needs to add one to the Win column, if he expects to contend for the Championship.
And speaking of Jimmie Johnson, the black helicopters are circling. Social Media came alive after Jimmie's win last weekend. Teammate, Dale Jr., pitted with 25 laps to go and got four fresh tires. Jimmie only got two. It only took Jr a handful of laps to catch the 48, but he just couldn't get past him. Immediately conspiracy theories arose to the forefront. "Dale Jr was under team orders to let the 48 win". "Dale Jr isn't in a Championship position, and the 48 needed the win, so Dale Jr had to settle for second".
However, I read one comment that I think may be closer to the actual reality.
Jr "knows" he can be beaten... even tho' he does have talent, the best equipment, and even 4 tires... he still didn't think he could REALLY pass Jimmy for a Win..... and THAT ment6al state is the difference between their week to week performance ...Does Dale have that mental block? Did he absolutely drive that car to the very best of his ability last week? Or did he lay back just a bit, not wanting to engage the 48 in a "balls to the wall" battle for the win? Does he have confidence in his ability to win? This is something I think needs to be explored further, perhaps during the off-season, but it certainly gives a fan something to think about.
Penske Racing was again in the news this week, first with the announcement that they have signed both Brad Keselowski and Miller Lite to deals through 2017. This deal gives Brad and Penske some breathing room. Brad had a rather disasterous year, and currently sits 15th in points. Granted, penalties paid a part in his position, but the team has not had wins this year, and a Championship contender needs wins. The team will be ready for the 2014 season.
Penske also announced that they will not have a place for Sam Hornish Jr. in the Nationwide Series next year. As we all know, sponsorship is hard to come by in recent years, and although Sam currently leads the Nationwide standings, he does not have sponsorship in that car for 2014. Penske will run one car in 2014, with Brad and Joey sharing the majority of the races, and Ryan Blaney filling in the rest. Penske is of the opinion that they have given Sam everything he needs to move into the Cup Series, and hopes he is able to find a ride.
I'm home on Sunday for the first time in.....forever. I get to watch the race, start to finish. I might even throw up a Race Thread!! I'll leave you now with a "one to watch". K&N Pro Series driver, Cole Custer, isn't even old enough to hold a driver's licence at 15, but he has won twice in the past month. Car owner of the 00 car, Kenny Schrader, has an eye for talent. Cole (isn't that the perfect driver name?) drives his car now, but Kenny may not be able to hang on to this talented young man for long. Cole is already eyeing the Camping World Truck Series. Watch this young man. You'll be hearing about him.
I'm waiting on practice to make my picks for the win, what about you?