“Dreams and false alarms….”
Jimmie Johnson’s wreck in the early laps of last Sunday’s Dickie’s 500 at the Texas Motorspeedway gave a few of the Chasers a bit of hope that this year’s Chase would become competitive once again. Johnson lost 111 of points, but he still holds a respectable 73 point lead on Mark Martin, and a healthy 112 lead on Jeff Gordon. Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, and the rest, are for all intents and purposes are out of it and will spend the next two Sundays racing for Pride, Dignity, Style and Culture. Mostly for pride and style, I would imagine. Since style and culture and NASCAR are ofttimes incompatible concepts.
The numbers, of course, don’t lie. And as close as the leads seems, and as tenuous a grip on that lead Jimmie Johnson might have, the likelihood of him falling on his ass again like he did at Texas (through no fault of his own) is not very likely. Yes, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon have a fighting chance, and they will fight like hell to take the lead and win it at Homestead. But the reality of it is that this sudden ray of hope is really just a false alarm.
Unfortunately for Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon, there is no magical ability that they can summon to defeat Jimmie Johnson. All things being equal, and they most likely are and will be, the Evil Mechanations of Chad Knaus and the Damned Ability of Jimmie Johnson will carry those two to Victory Lane at Homestead a week from tomorrow.
I don’t think they will wrap it up at Phoenix, but you never know. Stranger things have and still could happen. But not bloody likely. Does the Chase suddenly become more watchable now? Maybe. But…the racing is still a bit more boring than in years past. The thrill is diminished. We will all root for the underdog, they same way we’d root for Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker on the last day of, say the Masters or the US Open with Tiger holding a 1 or 2 stroke lead. We root for Mickelson and Stricker, and yet every time they seem to cut the lead or tie, Tiger finds a away to pull away and the stroll up the 18th fairway is just a mere formality. This is how the Chase will end this year. Martin and Gordon will make it close, but from the first lap to the end, it will be Jimmie Johnson leading the parade, Jimmie Johnson who will be hoisting the Championship Trophy for the remarkable 4th year in a row.
“Hi, I’m Kyle Busch and you are cordially invited to my Pants Party…”
NASCAR’S other two touring series, the Camping World Truck Series, and the Nationwide (Busch) series are pretty much over and done (and one them WAS locked up after last night’s race…more on that in a minute). But nobody seems to mind. Not too much anyway. Most of the speculation and alacritous commentary was about celebrating early, before Ford Championship Weekend concludes a weekend from now in Miami. What would Ron Hornaday and his guys do, and what will Kyle Busch and his guys do when they seal the deal here at Phoenix? More to the point, what will Busch and Hornaday do NEXT Friday and Saturday at Homestead, drive around backwards sucking a beer and burning heaters for a lap or three and then park it and say Fock ALL!!? ((I DID mention that as I write this, one deal IS already sealed, ne?))
Kyle Busch has an insurmountable 247 point lead on Carl Edwards. He’s up 267 on Brad Kesolowski who’s moving to #12 Penske Dodge next season. In fourth place, Jason Leffler (yes, THAT Jason Leffler) is 1000 points off the pace. Yes, you read that right. In Nationwide, this season, Kyle Busch really was terrifying true vampire. He made everyone, even his fellow Buschwackers, look like stuffed animals.
As for Ron Hornady, well…. Ron Hornaday is THE toughest guy in all of NASCAR bar none. Tougher even than Mark Martin. Hornaday could kick any one’s ass.
And what he accomplished Friday night….well, we’ll get to that after the jump.
By the way, Ron Hornaday will come to your house and kick your ass like hell wont have it if you go to the jump before Joni Mitchell song is over. You have been warned!
“Who is most gar?? ME, that’s who! And if you don’t believe me I’ll come to your house and kick your ass!!”
All the congratulations in the world to Ron Hornaday for winning his 4th Truck Series title and his second in a row. That he did that age 51 makes it all the more remarkable. He is the oldest driver to win any of the 3 major NASCAR series championships.He joins very elite company. Only Jeff Gordon has won as many titles, and only Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt have won more.
I really like Ron Hornaday. There’s no bullshit about him. He races like hell won’t have it. He’s old school in the best sense. He’s as nice as can be, albeit a bit gruff, but you don’t want to fuck with him on the track. As I lamented previously, there aren’t a whole lot of drivers like him anymore, and someday there simply won’t be. So enjoy and cheer for and appreciate Ron Hornaday now and while you can. Next Friday night’s race will be a 200 lap Victory Lap. But don’t think for a minute that Ron Hornaday will take it that way. He’s going to be running balls out to win at Homestead, because that’s the kind a driver he is. Also, he wants to secure the owner’s points championship for his owner Kevin Harvick. While Hornaday has won the driver’s championship, Kevin Harvick is still locked in an owner’s championship battle with Billy Ballew. Harvick won last night’s race as Hornaday finished 4th to clinch. They did synchronized double burnouts to celebrate ((and no, THAT’s not gay at all…though it would be if Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson did them)), but they would really love to repeat that at Homestead. I hope they do.
“My Pants Party starts at 4PM EST today. You are cordially invited and you’d better be there!!”
On again. off again and so on. Now it appears a bit less likely that Danica Patrick will be saving NASCAR anytime soon. The latest report from Dale Earnhardt Jr is that a deal with Danica is NOT as close as we’ve previously thought. Junior hinted that GoDaddy is moving their sponsorship for next year to Mark Martin’s #5 car next season. ((WTF?? Mark Martin and the GoDaddy Girls?? Yeeeeeeeeee!!)) So now who knows what the fock will happen. Stay tuned for next week.
It’s now 10:43AM as I type this. TIME for a beer! And, oh yes…time for the soundtrack for the REST of the NASCAR season.
Here’s to Pride, Dignity, Style & Culture:
“Dreams, Amelia, dreams and false alarms…”