Will Smoke rise to the top at The Magic Mile?

As Chase Race #2 begins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, I’m thinking about Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin. Tony could give everyone a run for their money (not to mention the 22 pound lobster that’s up for grabs for the race winner!). For the past three years the winner of this race has gone on to win the  championship.

Hmm. Denny’s car isn’t quite where he’d like it to be so the crew has some work to do. Keep in mind this is a short race where track position is crucial. Jeff Gordon is going to need to be aggressive and consistent if he wants to produce big today and get back some points he lost last week when his throttle stuck and he went into the wall.

So I’m thinking it will be Tony or a Chase spoiler like Kyle Busch. In either case this will be an awesome race.

My picks: Tony Stewart; Martin Truex, Jr.; Ryan Newman; and Brian Vickers. Enjoy the race!

Desperado time for Ryan Newman and the wildcard guys

The old Eagles song keeps playing in my head as I ponder my final picks for today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Check out my pre-qualifying fantasy pondering here.

The Magic Mile will be either majestic or disastrous for drivers digging for their first win. Considering the fact that this is a short race on a flat track that runs like a short track (weird, I know!) this is sure to be one crazy race.

Look for Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, and Jeff Gordon to make some chancy moves. It is go-time for these drivers if they expect to make the Chase.

Hold on tight and enjoy the race!

AJ Allmendinger to bring in his own experts for Sample B

Not unexpectedly AJ has opted to get the Sample B tested from his Kentucky random drug test that was flagged by NASCAR. This week the unknown suspense was vaguely named as a stimulant.

The latest on this story is that AJ will bring in his own medical and testing personnel as well as his lawyer to oversee the process. This nuance will push Sample B testing into next week.

Sam Hornish, Jr., will be the wheelman for the No. 22 this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Here are more details on this evolving story. Click here.
Here is some background on the NASCAR policy and process with drug testing. Click here.
Here is a draft of the actual policy that the Charlotte Observer posted. Click here. 

On a personal note I am hoping that AJ is okay, not using, and will be back soon! He is a driver with so much promise.

Fuel mileage & weather factors at New Hampshire?

It may be wise for NASCAR to consider hiring astrologists and meteorologists to work their magic to schedule races. Weather and math issues — basically figuring out if a car has enough fuel to finish — have made for some interesting race finishes lately. And kids think you’ll never use all that math! Let’s see, if a car leaves pit road with four fresh tires and returns to a mile and half track traveling at 180 mph, but I digress …

We are probably safe from rain for today’s race, but keeping up with track conditions created by sun and cloud coverage will be a factor as will fuel mileage. With competition so tight the real difference today could very well be made in the Pit Box.

When all is said and done I think the Chasers will dominate today. I’d love to see Tony Stewart do well, but I think Ryan Newman will lead the Stewart-Haas team today with Smoke finishing in the top 5. It’s about time to show the fans why 5-Time is a five-time Champ so today will be the Chad-Johnson show. I’m crossing my fingers for Dale Jr. today too. I think he is showing what he’s got and that he has the passion, skill and drive to win.

So my picks: Jimmie Johnson; Ryan Newman; Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; and Bobby Labonte.

The Magic Mile: Who will be blessed, who will be cursed?

New Hampshire Motor Speedway, nicknamed the Magic Mile, is a tough track. Track position is key because it is hard to pass, and you need to keep up with track changes. Cars that can roll in the center and allow the driver to stay in the gas will run well. Oh, did I mention the fuel mileage factor?

I hope Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt run well today. When all is said and done today’s winner will be the team that can pull it altogether: driver; top equipment; no mistakes in the pits; staying out of trouble and a whole lot of luck.

My fantasy picks are: Jimmie Johnson; Clint Bowyer; Ryan Newman; and Paul Menard.

Have fun watching!

From Kentucky traffic jams to New Hampshire’s flat track

Wow. Looked like Kentucky Speedway’s Sprint Cup debut was a bust for many fans stuck in traffic. That’s 10,000 to 20,000 fans! Bummer. What a nightmare. The track is offering a ticket exchange. I wonder who is paying for that? Check it out here. And NASCAR is promising to fix it. Here’s Mike Helton’s take on it.  For those of us watching on TV it was cool to see a first time event and even cooler for the race winner Kyle Busch.

So what’s New Hampshire got in store today? If practice and qualifying are any indication it looks like track speeds will be record-breaking. The Nationwide race shows up a bit about what impatience will do at a fast, flat short track. With pressure on for those win less drivers and many big names starting toward the back this race could be particularly crazy and eventful.

As I ponder my fantasy picks (thinking track position and those drivers good at Richmond and Phoenix) I would be remiss in not acknowledging Kyle Busch for his 100 combined win on Saturday tying him with my favorite driver Mark Martin. Here’s the story.

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