Kes wins the pole, Johnson starts last at Loudon ..Wait... What?
Unfortunately, that is bad news for the rest of the crowd. Usually, if the 48 gets into trouble with NASCAR, the team pulls together with a vengeance and grab the checkered flag before anyone else.
Keselowski hopes that isn't the case. The 2 team has been in trouble ever since NASCAR found the rear end in his car to be illegal at Texas and confiscated the parts. Toyota has had no end of troubles this year, but it seems things might be turning around for Keseleowski, at least. He doesn't have a win yet this year and needs one desperately if he wants to even make the Chase, let alone defend his championship. Last year's five wins are a memory and a win has appeared elusive so far this year. Perhaps Loudon will be the track to turn things around for the 2 team.
If you have watched racing for any length of time, you've heard the name Morgan Shepherd. Morgan is one of those rare men who doesn't worry so much about winning, or breaking records, rather driving the car and racing. This week, however, Morgan will break a record. At 71 years of age, starting 42nd, Morgan will be the oldest driver ever to drive in the Winston/Nextel/Sprint Cup Series. That is a true testament to Morgan's will to continue what he loves to do. Are the other drivers worried about Morgan's ability to perform safely on the track? It seems not. For one, he has to pass the physical, and it isn't as easy as passing a driving physical just to drive on the highway. Secondly, it is really unlikely he will be up front in the mix of the leaders racing.
I'm sure he would love to be, and perhaps in his mind he feels like a young man. I know plenty of seniors who don't feel their age. Mark Martin has already shown us, time and time again, that 50 doesn't mean incapable. Kudos to Morgan Shepherd for showing that 71 doesn't either.
This week as well, the folks at Stewart-Haas Racing were all smiles. Their newest team member, Kevin Harvick, was also all smiles. It was an announcement we have been waiting for, confirmation that Kevin will be at SHR next year, with Budweiser on the car, which will display the number 4. A move like this one takes time. There are a lot of "i's" to dot, and "t's" to cross. Finally, however, the deal is done.
Look out NASCAR. Kevin Harvick needed this change, the same way Matt Kenseth needed his. Expect greatness right out of the box from Happy next year.
Finally, NASCAR announced that they would not penalize the 31 cars, from both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series, for the "modified" roof flaps at Daytona. The reasons are all just too much gobbledy gook, but essentially boil down to the fact that they are manufactured by Roush. In this case, it seems like a smart move on the behalf of NASCAR. Fans are getting tired of NASCAR - just read our blogs and comments for the evidence of that.
The top five starting positions are Keselowski, of course, then Kurt Busch takes over the front row along with Kes, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon.
I have no idea who will win this race, but I know that every one of the drivers in the top five starting positions is desperate for a win. They just have to look out for JJ. I have no doubt he will be in the top ten within a hundred laps.