Could someone not involved in the run for the championship take out another driver who is? Well, it seems like Greg Biffle does that about every week, which could benefit his teammate Carl Edwards. My spell check always wants to change Biffle to Baffle, and that may be appropriate. Kurt Busch could help Kevin Harvick by dumping Joey Logano or Keselowski. I don’t see any of the Hendrick drivers eliminated from the Chase last week helping Jeff Gordon that way though-not their style at all. Deliberate or not, there will be plenty of bumping and banging during the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500, and more than one driver will like need some of that Goody’s relief.
Of the eight drivers with a shot at the Sprint Cup Championship, only Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, and Jeff Gordon have won at Martinsville. Hamlin has won there four times and considers the Virginia track one of his home tracks. Gordon has won eight grandfather clocks-the winning driver’s “trophy” at Martinsville is a grandfather clock, and earlier this season he tested at Martinsville preparing just for this race. He must have believed it was an important test, because while Gordon was tearing up the Martinsville oval, his family met President Obama and got a tour of Air Force One.
So, who is the favorite, Hamlin or Gordon? Maybe neither driver. Jimmie Johnson has also won at Martinsville on eight different occasions, and the 48 team may feel like it has something to prove after not making it to round three of the Chase. If I was making any prediction about the race outcome, I would go with Johnson as the winner.
When I said the stakes are high at Martinsville, it wasn’t just hype. Win at Martinsville or Texas or Phoenix, and you become one of the four drivers racing for the championship at Homestead, Florida. The point fund checks handed out in Las Vegas in November get big, very big, for the top four drivers. And, every driver’s goal from is to be known as a Sprint Cup Champion.
Below is today’s post on my other blog, The Rest of the Dirt. If you want to check out other posts-and there are some very entertaining posts, no bragging, just the truth, go to www.therestofthedirt.com and clik on ‘blogs.’
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A Brilliant Idea
Kurt Busch is entered in the Race of Champions, an event that will be held in Barbados in December. I Googled ‘ROC’ and found this race has been held in locations in Europe and Asia and has been on the scene for over 20 years. In 2012, the race was held in Bangkok, Thailand in what appears to be a soccer stadium. Photos of the track show it to be a giant version of a slot car track, and the cars raced would have to be termed ‘exotic.’
Riding to races and games with my son Matt is always an adventure. Almost every trip he has a new, whacky, but really good idea for some type of event. Being exposed to his thinking so often, got me thinking about stadium or arena racing after reading about Busch and the ROC.
There are plenty of indoor midget races in the winter, most notably the Chili Bowl in Tulsa. In Richmond, Virginia a half-million dollar high banked track is set up in the Richmond Arena to race light weight, half-sized stock cars on 12 dates running January-March. See the link below.
The problem with these types of racing is the fumes produced by the high octane fuels that power the engines. What if there was an indoor race series that did not come with the headache-literally-of gas fumes? I am thinking electric motors in ArenaRacingUSA type cars, cars that look like smaller versions of NASCAR Sprint Cup cars.
I realize that the trade-off for no fumes would be no engine roar, but electric engines mean no carbon monoxide and no hearing loss either. Electric cars are among the fastest in the Pikes Peak Climb-and yes, I realize that is due in part to not needing oxygen to burn fuel in such a high altitude. Still, the cars aren’t going to go 200 miles per hour indoors, so an electric engine could provide all the power needed.
I wonder how well this type of racing would do at an arena like the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Or if you could make the series a tour with stops in places like Indianapolis, Des Moines, Milwaukee, Charlotte, and Las Vegas. Heck, a track could be set up in the home of the Dallas Cowboys, A T & T Stadium in Texas in January-it is never needed for football in January anyway.
While I realize that NASCAR stars aren’t very likely to do much racing on dirt in the future, perhaps this type of indoor racing would be OK with car owners. They could race against other “pro drivers.” Since so many parents are eager to put youngsters in race cars, there could be a youth division too. MAVTV could televise the events-obviously there would be no rain-outs, and since Lucas Oil sponsors about 99 other racing series, get ‘ole Forrest to sign off on one more. Yeah, I know, pipe dream, come back to reality (thanks for those words Blues Magoos). Add this to my “if I win the lottery bucket list.”
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