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!

Who will be snakebitten on Phoenix’ slippery track?

Track position and tires may be the key elements for the Sprint Cup race today. In practice we saw lots of cars slipping around especially when their tires weren’t warmed up yet. This is bound to make restarts and exiting pit road particularly treacherous, and eventful!

It was great to see Mark Martin get the pole in his new Michael Waltrip Racing equipment as well as a good run from a much quieter and humbler Jimmie Johnson.

So who is on my fantasy racing team? Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte and argg Kasey Kahne (not Ryan Newman). Kasey has a fast, fast car this weekend and he knows his way around this track — having won here last November and finished sixth in this race last year — right behind Ryan Newman. No matter where Kasey and Ryan end up today, this should be a great race. Enjoy!

Did Denny Hamlin sandbag practice?

Hmm. Looks like Denny Hamlin out smarted the NASCAR practice speed/qualifying order. Pretty funny. I know Carl Edwards has been going back and forth between qualifying set up and race set up during practice, but this Denny Hamlin thing is quite cool. I think the weather is going to be the decider today though.

Whatever happens today I don’t think it will be as eventful as last night’s Nationwide race finish at Iowa Speedway. Check out the Carl Edwards/Ricky Stenhouse Jr. crash across the finish line. I’m thinking it’s going to be an interesting conversation in the Rousch camp this week!

Enjoy the rest of the race! Oh BTW I went with Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and Regan Smith. We’ll see …

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!

Lady in Black takes no prisoners

Darlington Raceway is often referred to as NASCAR’s original super speedway. Racing there is punishing. Not only do you have to keep up with the track, but also keep your car in one piece although most will be sporting at least one Darlington stripe by the race’s end. Oh, did I mention it is basically a four-hour race?!  Strong engine shops with patient drivers have a better chance of doing well here although it is basically anything goes. You can do everything right and just get caught up in a wreck and your night is over.

Who knows what will happen between Montoya and Newman tonight. Should be fast and interesting whatever happens. Picking a fantasy team is just a nightmare for this race so I look for drivers who can persevere that have hardy engines. I check over past DNFs on the track and just hope for the best.

So I’m thinking: Denny Hamlin; Ryan Newman; Mark Martin; and David Ragan.

Enjoy the race!

Tires, dogs and pit stops at Martinsville

As you can see from the first 100 laps this race is going to be all about 4-tire stops, pit road speeding and entrance issues and keeping up with changes on the track. Those drivers who can make the least mistakes on and off pit road and find a way to hug that bottom groove will do best today. Pit crews need to be on the ball today too, making the race today about strong teams.

Martinsville is hard to predict, but I made my fantasy team picks about strong teams. I went with Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman and Bobby Labonte.

Wish I was there in person, but I’ll have to settle for TV. Enjoy the race!

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