This Week in NASCAR [September 7th Edition]

The "Race to the Chase" ends tomorrow - Who's in and who's out?

9/7/12 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [September 7th Edition]All the hard work has paid off, in most case, and the Race to the Chase is almost done.  Tomorrow night, after the Richmond race, we will know who will be in the running for the Sprint Cup Championship for 2012.  Our Champion will be one man among 12, and the eleven others in the group will be fighting every step of the way to thwart his best efforts to claim the crown.  Who will that man be?

The standings as we see them now will change drastically after tomorrow night.  Greg Biffle sits on top of the leaderboard today, but even if he wins tomorrow night, he will vacate that position, likely to Denny Hamlin, who has four wins.  Of course, any one of the drivers with three could tie Denny for four wins, and Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, or even Tony Stewart could take over the top spot.

I've always been in favor of awarding more points for a win, but I have always said they should be awarded at the time of the win, not after the Race to the Chase is done.  Yes, this way awards consistency as well as wins, but I am not a fan of the re-alignment of the leaders once the Chase competitors are set.  

It isn't really possible to establish today who the leader will be, but unless Martin Truex Jr or Kevin Harvick get a win tomorrow, the two of them will be down in the cellar.  Even Kasey Kahne has two wins, although his first season with Hendrick Motorsports hasn't been as consistent as he would have hoped.  
Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [September 7th Edition]
It all comes down to Richmond.

As the Race to the Chase winds down, we are also hearing official announcements from teams and drivers regarding where they will end up in 2013.  Matt Kenseth has a great chance to win his second Championship, just as he finishes up his time with Jack Roush.  Earlier this week (Surprise!) Matt and Joe Gibbs announced that Matt would take over the number 20 ride in the JGR stable, and much is being said about his "leadership" role in that team.  I'm sorry, but although Matt is an experienced driver, and veteran, the other two drivers in JGR, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, don't strike me as the type who will want any kind of guidance from the likes of Matt.  Matt is just too nice.  Denny and Kyle are, well, hotheads.  Both have let their tempers lead them on more than one occasion, and neither has been particularly sorry for anything they have done on impulse.  Sure, we've heard they "I'm so sorry for anything I have done that might have .....blah blah blah..."  Did they mean it?

Not a chance in hell.
Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [September 7th Edition]Would they do it again?


Of course.

So you can say what you will about Matt's leadership at JGR, and as much as I love Matt, I don't see it.  I do, however, wish him the best.

Now, Joey Logano will move to the 22 of Penske Racing, come 2013.  Good move?  Probably.  Penske needs a driver who is better than mediocre.  Yes, Sam Hornish Jr has done well for the team, but he just isn't the same caliber of driver that Brad Keselowski is.  Can Joey be that good a driver?  I think so.  He needs to "grow some" - and I don't mean in height.  Brad will be great for Joey.  That team, I think, will be a force to reckon with in 2013.

And finally, on the heels of the announcement that the Army will no longer sponsor Ryan Newman's number 39 car for Stewart-Haas Racing comes the news that Ryan has agreed to stay with SHR for another year.  No sponsor is in place, the team is hoping they will find sponsorship.  Tony won the 2011 Championship, and has lost two sponsors this year for his stable.  Just goes to show us how strapped our economies really are.

So there you have it.  Who will win tomorrow night?  Will it be one of our Chasers, determined to make a final mark as we move into the playoffs?  Or will one of the Wild Cards seal the deal?  Or even better, will it be a first time winner?

Look out.  It's gonna be a wild one.
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9/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Eric_ wrote:
So I see what's going on, and Hornish is currently 10th. Logano is currently 29th. I'm well aware that that's a very small sample size, but just saying.

*sigh* I really hate when you take my comments in a thread regarding a former open wheel racer as a personal kind of insult.  They are not racing IndyCars, they are racing NASCAR.  I'm sure if Kes and Hornish raced in an IndyCar, Hornish would run Kes into the ground!!! That's pretty much a given. 

Hornish is a talented racer and is doing a great job in the 22 car this year.  I hope someone sees what he has accomplished in the car and gives him a quality ride - he definitely deserves it!!!

However, you have to look at the number of former open wheelers who have moved into NASCAR and been successful - the kind of success that equates to Championships.  Is Hornish capable of a Championship?  Is Logano?  

9/9/12   |   texas_tornado4261   |   84469 respect

This is turning into one crazy race !!

9/9/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Also, no matter who wins, I hope they do donuts in tribute to Zanardi, who of course started that tradition.

9/9/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

So I see what's going on, and Hornish is currently 10th. Logano is currently 29th. I'm well aware that that's a very small sample size, but just saying.

9/8/12   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Don't know what happened to Jr's car, but after taking the lead quickly on the restart, he was passed by three cars and now sits in 4th behind Hamlin, Johnson and Bowyer.  Meanwhile, Matty narrowly avoided hitting Mark Martin by slamming on his brakes, but now he needs tires.

9/8/12   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

And of course, just as I type that and hit Post Comment, comes the update that the track is drying, no rain on the radar and driver are being called back to their cars.....

I might get the finish in after all!

9/8/12   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

UGH Red flag for rain.  They didn't get half way, got stopped on lap 152 of 400.  Yawn - I have to work at 7am, so I'm thinking I'll be in bed before too much longer......

9/8/12   |   texas_tornado4261   |   84469 respect

Debi_L wrote:
C'mon Junior!!!!!  He and Denny Hamlin are swapping the lead back and forth.....

Dayum, I really don't like Denny Hamlin, but right now I REALLY don't like him!!angry

I am so with you there....Go Jr. !!

9/8/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Kyle Busch, describing his car, says "the front end bites and it swings the ass around." 

9/8/12   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

C'mon Junior!!!!!  He and Denny Hamlin are swapping the lead back and forth.....

Dayum, I really don't like Denny Hamlin, but right now I REALLY don't like him!!angry

9/8/12   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Thought I was going to be golfing tonight, in a "GlowBall" Tournament, however, I find myself sitting in the trailer "watching" online, due to the inconsiderate nature of someone.

However, Dale Jr is was leading the race, and I'm stoked that he is.

Tony Eury Sr., or "Pops" mentored Dale Jr and helped him win a lot of races.  As they said in the release, this is only one of several anticipated changes.   I don't think Pops is any kind of a hurry to jump into anything new.  If his heart wasn't in the work any longer, and being that they weren't being as successful as hoped, I'm sure he was the first one to agree to the changes.  I'm not surprised in the least.

9/8/12   |   JenX63   |   32900 respect

I'm watching pre-race stuff. Something interesting, maybe. Darrell alluded to Penkse "pushing" Matt out.  Anyone else watch this and get the same feeling? Really doesn't matter the deals are done. Just thought I would mention.

9/8/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

(Edited by Canadianhick)

Just a quick though from the race last night, the more I watch Darrell  Wallace race the more I become impressed of this kid, he looks he has a really bright future ahead of him.

Will they race tonight? Richmond  is now under a severe t'storm watch until 10pm EDT for potential of severe storms later this evening. Brian Neudorff who is accurate more times that not,  anticipate storms arriving between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. There is also a lot more rain behind that, he doesn't  see it clearing out until at least midnight.

9/8/12   |   JenX63   |   32900 respect

Jesse8 wrote:
So Tony should pay for his job because a certain someone over there  underpeforms or crashes ever week therefore likely made him look really horrible at his job..... makes perfect sense.

I was referring to it NOT, being shocking that they parted ways. I don't know where or what your comment is referring to.

9/8/12   |   Jesse8   |   24 respect

JenX63 wrote:
You're being sarcastic, right?
Honestly not a shocker. 

So Tony should pay for his job because a certain someone over there  underpeforms or crashes ever week therefore likely made him look really horrible at his job..... makes perfect sense.

9/8/12   |   Shaconage   |   39856 respect

I root for only one driver in this race ... Kyle Busch ... Win and be In! Go Kyle.

9/7/12   |   JenX63   |   32900 respect

Canadianhick wrote:
Here is perhaps the biggest shocker yet of the NASCAR season, JR Motorsports and competition director Tony Eury Sr. "amicably part ways", effective immediately.

You're being sarcastic, right?
Honestly not a shocker. 

9/7/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Hornish has proved this year that he does have what it takes to race in Cup, and of course Penske thinks very highly of him. Why Logano then? He's 11 years younger. From my (admittedly incomplete and somewhat biased) perspective, Hornish and Logano are pretty simliar at this time, but since Logano is so much younger, his ceiling is higher. Sam has made great progress, but a guy starting out in stock cars in his late 20s just doesn't have the room to grow that a guy who started in his teens and still in his early 20s does.

Also, if you put Hornish and Keslowski in IndyCars, then we'll see who isn't "the same caliber of driver." wink

9/7/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Here is perhaps the biggest shocker yet of the NASCAR season, JR Motorsports and competition director Tony Eury Sr. "amicably part ways", effective immediately.

9/7/12   |   JenX63   |   32900 respect

I'm waiting til after tomorrows race. I have looked back over the past 5 years of racing, maybe more, but, I am struck by the coming and goings. The seat changes. The winners and the losers. It is great, to see so many (new) drivers up in the Chase contending spots, (really) even though they may not be my favorite, they are someones.  I am really shocked at the lack of some names, but after seeing the races this year, not really. I would love for Tony to win back to back Championships! I would love to see Harvick in that Top 10. This has been a great year for surprises!

9/7/12   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

And yet, he has the 44th qualifying position...........

9/7/12   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

But Jr was second fastest, and I understand there is rain in the area?  

9/7/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Jesus, what is going on with Smoke?  He was 42nd out 44 drivers in the first practice session. Yes, you read that right.