This weekend NASCAR visits Martinsville Speedway for the Tums Fast Relief 500 and the Kroger 200. As the schedule draws to a close and the title hunt grows increasingly tighter, I can’t help but ask the following questions:
Can Keselowski maintain the points lead? He’s been at the point five of the last six weeks, leading by just seven over Jimmie Johnson with only four events left in the season. Keselowski has been strong all year long, but Martinsville could turn the tables and find Five-Time taking the lead and ultimately the title. Don’t count out Hamlin for a win either. Both Johnson and Hamlin have take the lion's share of wins at Martinsville over the last several years and both could be a threat to Keselowski’s dream.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans will be rejoicing this weekend as their favorite driver returns to the track after a two week break after sustaining a second concussion at Talladega a few weeks back. Cleared by doctors on Tuesday, Earnhardt is out of the title contention but he’s still got a lot to prove this season. Will he bounce back quickly once he gets behind the wheel in a close contact situation? Or will he be a little gun shy? Regardless of the finish, we’re all happy to see a healthy driver behind the wheel.
Will retaliation or close quarters racing change the points picture or cause bad blood between drivers as we head into the final three races of the season? Anytime NASCAR heads to a short-track, tempers boil. Last year we saw Brian Vickers in the middle of five cautions. It might not be Vickers leading cautions this year, but you can be sure that when you put 43 cars inside a half mile it’s going to get bumpy.
Can Matt Kenseth continue to disprove the lame duck theory people were floating a few weeks ago? Could he possibly earn a third Chase victory? Despite parting ways at the conclusion of the season, Kenseth and the No. 17 team have rallied around each other in the past month, earning wins at Talladega and Kansas and solidifying their spot as one of the most competitive teams in the last decade. With positive momentum on their side, Kenseth’s first victory at Martinsville could be around the corner.
The Camping World Truck Series points are closer than ever with only one marker between James Buescher and Ty Dillon. Both drivers fared well in the spring earning second and third place finishes. Will one emerge a clear-cut leader in the points or will it go down to the wire?
Bonus Question: How many Martinsville Hot Dogs will I eat? I’ll be covering the race live from the track this weekend and plan to partake of my first Martinsville Dog. You hear stories of people eating several….can I stop at just one? Follow @SkirtsandScuffs this weekend to see how my willpower holds.
Skirts and Scuffs Founder Katy Lindamood has been following NASCAR since the age of 12. She's never known a season without Jeff Gordon and looks forward to celebrating her 20th season as a fan in 2013.