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Sabtu, 04 Juni 2011

Sprint Cup 2011: Race 13 -- Kansas - Half Way to the Chase

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A number of racers whose season needed a sign of forward momentum got what the needed in qualifying, so given this opportunity, which ones will make it hold up for 400 laps and help them move up in the standings will be determined. The STP 400 from Kansas is the 13th race of the year, halfway to the cutoff after which the field for “The Chase” will be determined. Yes, the shape of the 2011 field is beginning to come into focus and six of the top eight rides need to get moving upward or they will find September has arrived with nothing to show for the big show. This is the first late spring race at Kansas as the track gains its second race of the season taking a date from Fontana, California whose expansion to two races a year proved a horrible failure a move that along with other shuffling closed down Rockingham as a Sprint Cup track and robbed Darlington of one of its events. The racing world will see if the folks in the Heartland prove more devoted race fans than those from Tinsel town country. Somehow, a race at Rusty Wallace’s Iowa speedway would make the Midwest heartland expansion more exciting given it’s atypical ¾’s of a mile distance rather than yet another 1 ½ mile venues.

Here are the top starters:
1. Kurt Busch, #22, Dodge
2. Juan Pablo Montoya, #42, Chevrolet
3. Kyle Busch, #18, Toyota
4. Brian Vickers, #83, Toyota
5. Joey Logano, #20, Toyota
6. Jamie McMurray, #1, Chevrolet
7. Carl Edwards, #99, Ford
8. Martin Truex Jr., #56, Toyota
9. Paul Menard, #27, Chevrolet
10. Kevin Harvick, #29, Chevrolet
11. Regan Smith, #78, Chevrolet
12. Ryan Newman #39, Chevrolet
13. Tony Stewart, #14, Chevrolet
14. Greg Biffle, #16, Ford
15. Denny Hamlin, #11,Toyota

The starting field does not look good for the Hendricks garage as Mark Martin (#5) starts 18th; Jeff Gordon (#24) starts 22nd, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#88) starts 28th, while Jimmie Johnson starts #48. After last week’s horrible performance and blown engine for the 48 team, Chad Knaus will surely be ready to push some buttons if the team does not manage a good finish especially after their embarrassing mistakes on pit road. Earnhardt’s team will attempt to build some momentum off of last week’s painful almost.

The Earnhardt/Ganassi team has struggled this year despite flashes of glory for the #42 car. Jaime McMurray seemed to be the fellow for whom the Chase wild cards were designed for as his team had two such impressive victories at the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 only to have nothing to show for those wins in September.

All Childress/Earnhardt powered teams are among the top qualifiers except for Clint Bowyer, competing at his home track. Regan Smith has a chance to capitalize on his win at Darlington with Childress/Earnhardt power.

Joey Logano’s season, especially after such consistent good results late in 2010, has been a complete disaster in 2011. If results aren’t forthcoming immediately, the former “can’t miss” will be seen as missing horribly taking the seat in a championship operation that won two cups for Joe Gibbs with Tony Stewart, another driver who needs to gain some positive momentum for this season.

The slug patrol begins to clutter up the field at the 32nd starting position with J.J. Yeley’s #46 Chevrolet closely followed by the 34th starting spot with “Please Go” Joe (Nemechek). Once again, this fleet of start and park freeloaders, one of the most curious and disgraceful phenomenon’s in organized sports, is forcing out a sponsored low budget ride which attempts to complete races as the #37 Ford driven by Tony Raines goes home. Also shut out is the #50 Toyota driven by T.J. Bell, almost certainly would have been a quitter.

Meanwhile, the field is dirtied by the following sick jokes beyond the Nemechek wreck, include in 38th, Scott Riggs (#81, Chevrolet), the unctuous #66 Toyota in 37th driven by Michael McDowell. Robby Gordon who has defied NASCAR and been a general annoyance during his tenure in the sport won’t be present in Kansas but Johnny Sauter will embarrass himself and contribute to trashing his career taking a few parade laps for the #7 ride, the inheritor of the Alan Kulwicki legacy as if it can be any more shameful. The Gordon joke starts 41st. Mopping up the rear like cheap toilet paper, Mike Skinner perpetuates the fraud the #60 Toyota represents. If seeing over half a million dollars be bestowed upon fraudulent half-assed losers last week in the Coca Cola 600, the results at Kansas will sure add to major sports greatest shame making the current revelations at Ohio State seem so minute.

The weather will be hot near 90o at “Gentlemen start your engines!” command. No chance of rain is indicated.

Talk about it! email: rightmindedfellow@comcast.net


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