|NASCAR needs racing. Whose winning car will Miles the Monster |
hoist after this weekend? Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images
I’m going to get right to the point: we’re racing at Dover International Speedway this weekend, and it’s a great thing. Why? Because it’s needed.
NASCAR needs racing badly. It needs a race that will darken all the things that have happened over the past few weeks. It needs something positive that will make headlines.
It needs Dover.
Although I’m taking a direct approach this weekend, I still have questions. I’m talking Ricky Bobby, Carl Edwards, the Chase and more in Five Questions.
Will people be cheering for “Ricky Bobby” this weekend? The “Talladega Nights” character is coming back to NASCAR later this year. Kurt Busch will don a Wonder Bread paint scheme at Talladega Superspeedway, continuing with the theme that began with Phoenix Racing. It’s ironic that this light piece of NASCAR news is being delivered by a previously pessimistic driver, but it’s also a great thing. Right now, those in and around the sport need something to cheer for, a life boat to rescue them from a Sea of Despair. I wrote before that all of us are becoming Busch fans, and this is even more proof that he’s one to support. As long as he doesn’t strip down to his briefs and scream for Tom Cruise to get the fire off his body, I’m all for it.
Who’s down and out of the Chase? We are only two races into the Chase, and there is a distinct gap between the top three in points and the rest of the field. However, it isn’t safe to count anyone out just yet. I believe that someone’s Chase is over when winning the championship is a statistical impossibility. With that in mind, nobody is down and out, though some drivers have more work to do than others. It’s early in the playoffs, and there’s no way to tell how the rest of the journey will go.
When did Joe Gibbs Racing land on top? Remember when the headlines were talking about the engine problems that plagued JGR? Well, those days are long gone, and the organization has put two cars at the top of the heap. The upswing came after a month of being downsized on power, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. Both Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch are poised to strike at the championship. Now, it’s figuring out which one comes out on top.
Should we expect a charge from Carl Edwards? The Monster Mile is a concrete track, and that means Edwards will be fast. He also has momentum on his side; he’s in the Chase, he has some great runs under his belt, and confidence is radiating from his smile. Going into Dover, it’s a strong possibility that he can gain some playoff ground. The whole dynamic at the No. 99 team has shifted with the addition of Jimmy Fennig. We’ll see if Edwards will charge while he can.
Is it time for a fuel mileage race? No, this question doesn’t have a positive ring to it, but hear me out. We haven’t seen a fuel mileage race for a while, and Dover is known for bringing those about. Although having an outside factor affect the outcome is VERY frowned upon, it would be a lovely twist in the Chase saga. What happens if someone on the No. 20 team forgets to carry a one in their calculations? How about Chad Knaus making a rare mistake? History shows that running on fumes is a common theme at this track, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see it rear its ugly head.