Friday, June 28, 2013

That's My Nature: Five Questions for Kentucky

Credit: Katy Lindamood for Skirts and Scuffs 
Standardized testing is my nemesis, as it is to all high school students across the world. It is everything I hate and more. The timed aspect, the crowded room, the cramped hands all equal torture. I mean, I love writing, but filling in bubbles for four hours? Eh, no.

I have taken the ACT three times, so I feel like an expert on this subject. Sadly, being an expert on Mathematics and Science would be more useful. The reason I have taken "The Devil Test" multiple times is that my score doesn't meet the score needed to get my school’s Honors diploma. There are eight criteria for this regard; however, you only need to achieve seven to receive the actual award.

Since I’ve set for the other seven standards, I don’t need to worry about the score, but I do. People think I’m crazy, but I have my reasons. It’s mostly a pride thing, yet a majority of it involves my future.

No, not getting into college. My current score will get me into my dream school. I’m talking about my future endeavors. Life. The winding, ever-changing road.

Everything is a test of character, morals, intelligence. I plan on keeping my mind sharp for a long time. I hope you are, too.

In this world, we tend to focus on the fleeting aspects, like beauty, sex appeal. To me, it’s sickening; I’d rather have a genius I.Q. than a supermodel body. You may think that’s crazy, but that’s my nature, my priorities.

So, as I wait until September to take my fourth ACT test, I wonder why I put myself through the stress, the emotional breakdowns, the frying of my brain. But, that’s my determination. Is it a good thing? Yes and no. Will it get me somewhere?

Heck yes.

We delve into The Bluegrass State, where we have thoughts about Bobby Labonte, Silly Season, and slashed hotel prices. I sound-off on those topics this week.

How heartbroken should Bobby Labonte be? As many fans are aware, Labonte won’t be racing this weekend, ending his streak of 704 consecutive starts. The only active driver with a longer streak is Jeff Gordon with 705. Putting yourself in his shoes, you would think he would be devastated. However, I see it differently; his career has been amazing, Hall of Fame worthy. He needs to celebrate that fact and his stats in general.

As Silly Season begins to stir, who will go where? Sonoma race weekend brought the news that Ryan Newman is the frontrunner for the no. 29 in 2014, as said by Richard Childress himself. This means that Silly Season is in full effect. We have four drivers with contracts up this season: Newman, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Jeff Burton. Everyone knows that Harvick is going over to Stewart-Haas Racing, but Busch and Burton? The no. 78 will most likely be home to the eldest Busch brother next year; he and that team have jived so well that it seems impossible to imagine the driver with another team. As for Burton, it’s a tossup. Does he stay at RCR one more year as a warm-up act for Austin Dillon? Or does he step aside and let the inevitable take over? I’m not sure, but when Burton is ready to announce these plans, we will get our answer.

Does the ‘Austin Dillon vs. No. 3’ debate hold any water? Speaking of Austin Dillon, Childress has also revealed that whenever his oldest grandson gets into Cup, he will run the No. 3, and BOOM went the dynamite. This debate has been going on forever: should the No. 3 even come back into Sprint Cup competition? The answer is yes; Childress owns the number, and he will do with it whatever he pleases. Although Dale Earnhardt Sr. won six of his seven championships with that slanted number on his side door, we can’t keep it from carrying more history. NASCAR is different for not retiring numbers. It has always been that way, and it will never change.

Is Atlanta Motor Speedway getting trendy? Atlanta Motor Speedway announced that it was partnering with local hotels to offer deals during their upcoming race weekend; no fan in town for the race will pay more than $114 for a room. First off, FINALLY! This idea has been swirling around for so long, and it’s going to actually happen. I am so proud of Atlanta, I really am. Now, will other tracks follow suit? Because if they don’t, it will be a HUGE mistake. This is hopefully the start of a trend. A really good trend.

Can Michael Waltrip Racing ride the upswing? Momentum is a beautiful thing in racing, and MWR has a good bit of it right now. Clint Bowyer is fourth in points, Martin Truex Jr. in tenth, and the latter just broke his 218-race winless streak. So things are looking up for this group, but can they ride the wave into Kentucky? I say yes. After Truex Jr. won his first race, he knocked off multiple runner-up finishes, so I expect him to do well. Kentucky just seems like a Clint Bowyer track; it has a certain feel. I can see those two and part-timer Brian Vickers finishing in the top ten this weekend.

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