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(Photo source: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Race winner for the Auto Club 400 is Kyle Busch, getting his 200th win in all series. I’m glad that he got it over with because frankly I am tired of hearing about it and I honestly think Kyle was tired of hearing about it. I don’t understand why they take this magical 200 wins in all series number and put all this emphasis on it. It would be like taking Tony Stewart and tabulating all of his dirt car wins into his cup wins and putting that number out there. And don’t even get me started about comparing him to Richard Petty. Richard Petty and Kyle Busch aren’t contemporaries. How many you raced in a season and what you raced are different. It would be like comparing my SAT scores to the SAT scores of someone of the same age taking them today. The test has dramatically changed since I took the SATs so it wouldn’t be a fair comparison, just like NASCAR’s premier series has changed over the years. (more…)

The 2019 Clash at Daytona always signals the start of the 2019 NASCAR season to me. This year it seems like we were just turning over a new year and BOOM its race season. The thing about the clash is that it’s all about bragging rights. There are no points. It’s also a good time for teams to run in race conditions that will be similar to the Daytona 500 because Thursday’s Duel Races will be run during the evening and will not give the teams any real feedback that would necessarily be useful for the big show on Sunday.

(photo source: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The Clash itself was red flagged twice for rain and once at the end of the race for a major accident involving at least half of the 20 car field. This accident was “one of those racing deals” that happened when Paul Menard came down the track as Jimmie Johnson was coming up the track. Jimmie hit Paul’s left rear fender which sent Paul Menard sideways which collected the field coming up behind him. It put Jimmie in the race. The race was then stopped with a handful of laps left as the rain again descended on the cars that were sitting on pit road.

Jimmie Johnson was in the lead after the collision with Menard and declared the winner when they decided the weather would prohibit them from continuing the race. Ironic that Jimmie won the clash with his new crew chief Meendering when Knaus led Byron to the pole for the Daytona 500. Seems both are doing well after their off-season divorce.

For me- the hardest part of this new season is going to be remembering the driver changes. It seems wrong to me to see MTJ in the 19 and Kurt Busch in the 1. Those are going to be the hardest ones for me to remember. I don’t know about you all, but I am ready for the Daytona 500. Have at it boys!

I’ve always felt that Jimmie Johnson gets a bad wrap as a driver among non-Jimmie fans. The team’s 7 championships don’t seem to be taken seriously and many fans seem to have a “yeah but” when talking about them. “Yeah but they cheated” or “yeah but that was all Chad, not Jimmie.” You get the idea. I follow Jimmie on social media and I love his sense of humor.  Case in point: (more…)

Ahh- did you hear that? It’s the sigh of a happy race fan girl now that cars are officially back on track for the beginning of the 2018 NASCAR race season.

Keselowski takes the checkered flag at Daytona Speedway on February 11, 2018. (photo credit: Getty Images)

And can you believe that Jimmie Johnson crashed at the Clash yet again? The clash and Jimmie just don’t get along well.  Before his bigger incident at the end of the race he actually had a narrow miss earlier in the race when a car decided to split the difference in the middle. I was impressed though by the power that team Penske seemed to exhibit in the Clash- finishing 1 (Brad Keselowski) ,2 (Joey Logano) and 4th (Ryan Blaney) with fellow Ford Kurt Busch coming in 3rd- a strong showing from last year’s Daytona 500 winner from Stewart-Haas Racing. Winner was

After watching the clash though I have to admit- I am reconsidering some of my drivers that I was going to pick for my first race using the new NASCAR Fantasy Live for certain. I haven’t officially picked my roster yet because it was my understanding that you can’t really select your roster until this week anyway. I am thinking of waiting until the results of the duels. I will miss watching the duels because I am stuck in training sessions most of the day.

One driver I was considering having on my fantasy team that I think I will remove is McMurray. I wasn’t impressed with his performance even before he had his on track incident.  One driver that I wasn’t the least bit considering and now am thinking twice about is Chase Elliott.  He was strong and aggressive at the beginning of the clash. I was impressed I admit.  Although then again at the end of the race he fell back and never really recovered ending up 13th in a field of 17 cars.  So I am kind of wishy washy about selecting him although maybe I could use him as my garaged driver and put him in (before the final stage).

So tell me- did results of the Clash and other on track activity this last weekend make you change your mind about who you will include on your race team this week?

Oh by the way- I have my own league in the NASCAR Fantasy LIVE edition…wanna join? Leave a comment with your email address and I will contact you with the information for joining us.

Two races into the playoffs and I am just now making my predictions as to who will win the cup.

Speaking of the cup- surely by now you have seen the new trophy? I have seen and heard both positive and negative comments about the trophy. Personally I like it- I love the section at the top that at a glance to the non-NASCAR trained eye just looks like a random squirrelly design but is really comprised of the outline of the tracks. I LOVE that part of the trophy the most.  I have no problem with the new series sponsor making a new series trophy.

Back to my predictions though. I am going to say that Martin Truex Jr is going to win the championship. I feel that is pretty safe bet to take don’t you? He has all those championship stage win points to carry him through to the final four so unless he has a pretty disastrous stage two I do not see a “final four” in Homestead-Miami without Martin Truex Jr in it.  So since my bet on Martin Truex Jr is so safe- who should I say will be the other drivers he is up against in that last race? I would put my money on Kyle Busch for sure but who else? As much as I would love to see Ryan Blaney or Kasey Kahne or one of the other one win underdogs in the final four I think the other two drivers will be Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson.

The Stewart-Haas Racing fan in me would love to see Harvick take home the cup but I really think that the Toyotas have something that the Fords just do not seem to have under the hood. Not sure what it is not being a technical person with my nose under the hood of either car but it is quite obvious to this race fan that there is something that is favoring the Toyotas this season while leaving the Chevys and Fords in the dust. I also wouldn’t mine seeing Kyle win the Championship- I have always liked Kyle as a driver. He’s got a certain something. And I wouldn’t mind seeing Jimmie Johnson win- if only to get that mythical championship number 8. You can say what you want about Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus and that Lowes 48 team but this is a legacy in the making.  (more…)

 

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images North America)

They don’t call Dover International Raceway the Monster Mile for nothing… and Sunday provided the NASCAR Monster Energy Series with quite the challenges.  The concrete mile presents its own unique set of racing issues…and it always has. Have you seen the trophy? It’s of the concrete monster mascot, Miles.  (more…)

(photo source: zimbio.com/Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America)

Start: 6th

Finish: 26th, 4 laps down

Points: 2156 (14th in points)

Tony’s weekend started out with awesome practices and a solid qualifying effort but unfortunately it didn’t end up so swell. After the first caution when a majority of the field pitted and Tony’s team did not he ended up falling back in the field to fresher tires.  The car sustained damage when Ryan Blaney came across the nose of Tony’s car as well. Between battling a car that wouldn’t turn and the loss of track position he was unable to make up any ground and eventually ended up loosing laps to the leader and finishing 26th. Tony was discouraged. The team was discouraged. The fans were discouraged. It wasn’t the best of weekends so why dwell on it I say. (more…)

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Sarah Crabill/Getty Images North America)

Started: 11th (Qualifying was rained out and starting position was based on the points).

Finished: 16th

Chase Standing: 12th*

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images North America)

Tony Stewart speaks with his team on the radio before the drop of the green flag before every race- and this week he wanted to emphasize two points with the crew and team before the first race of the playoffs start. He wanted them to know that they win as a team and lose as a team but that he wanted them to finish off the last ten weeks of his last season as a NASCAR driver having FUN no matter where they end up at the end of the season.

I don’t know about how much fun Tony was having out there in Chicagoland during the first race of the Chase however.  After a handful or two of laps Tony radioed into the crew to let them know while he was still having handling issues that car’s stability was much better than it had been during Saturday’s practice. Tony then seemed to struggle for the majority of the race with his handling falling down the field until he was around 19th or 20th but still on the lead lap.  He went a lap down three times during the race- once for pitting during a caution but luckily he was able to take the wave around for that and get our lap right back. Once he got passed by race leader Chase Elliott but was able to maintain lucky dog position until a debris caution came out and allowed Tony to get his lap back.  The same thing happened again at the end of the race when Tony was again passed by leader Chase Elliott but Tony again was able to maintain his lucky dog position and then  the caution with four laps to go put him back on the lead lap. In the first overtime of the playoffs- Tony was able to maintain his position on the lead lap and finished 16th. Race winner was Martin Truex Jr. (more…)