Friday, May 26, 2006

Coca Cola 600 preview

I am laughing my ass off right now. During a break in the NASCAR Busch Series qualifying, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth were together on camera. The microphone was handed to Da Biff, who interviewed Matt. Biffle might have a future in acting, but it won't be in sportscasting. He asked the tough questions, like, "what do you think of that green suit you're wearing," and, "Why are you wearing that hat?" (like any good driver he highlighted the sponsors).
The mike was then handed to Matt, who said, with a laugh, "I can't do this. Why are you guys making us do this? It's not even raining!"
I like Matt Kenseth.
I like the Home Depot commercial, which ends like this:
Stewart: "Harvest Gold? Dude!"
Zippadelli: "Boys, I smell another championship!"
No matter how many times I've seen it, I still like it. Same with the Allstate commercial, either one, where the women are fantasizing about Kasey Kahne and wreck their car, causing catastrophic damage.
You know what else I like? Wait a minute, Cloudy Revelation Ball (CRB) is trying to tell me something. Oh yeah, time to make my picks for the Coca Cola 600.
Scott Riggs got the Pole! Good job Scotty. I have made no secrets of the admiration I have for Riggs. Even before he was racing for Everham, I have had high hopes for Scott, and it looks like he is stepping up this season. I think he has the talent to get a top ten finish--he seems to have the car, and the team is getting it together. I would like to see him win, but I don't think it will be at the Coca-Cola 600, even though he dominated the Nextel Open at Lowe's last week.
The 600 has been a first win race for several drivers. I don't know how that works, because it seems that such a long race would take a lot of experience to endure and keep the adreneline to have the talent to win at the end. I believe that JJ Yeley is gaining the talent, and is learning in giant leaps, but I don't think he has the experience to win. If he doesn't wreck towards the end of the race, he should be able to pull off a top ten at Lowes. Have you noticed how JJ Yeley and Smoke seem to have a similar sense of humor and style in interviews? JJ and Smoke have had a fairly long relationship, as Yeley was driving for Smoke in 2003 when he became the second driver in USAC history, after Stewart, to win the USAC triple crown in a single season. One is inclined to suspect that Smoke is tutoring JJ in interviews, as well as in driving.
Greg Biffle's luck has changed, and now that it has, I don't expect him to not have a top five finish at any intermediate track. The guy is exciting to watch, when he isn't being an "idiot," and, even then, he can be exciting. I think, if his luck holds out, and he suppresses his tendency toward idiocy, he will have a strong run at the finish.
The last Winston Cup Champion, Da Biff's team mate, will also make the top ten. He really deserves the win, and he is one of the most patient drivers in the sport. In fact, his combination of skill and patience is strongly reminiscent of NASCAR great David Pearson, a driver who has multiple wins at the North Carolina track. I would not be unhappy if he won, and it would definitely make for an exciting finish if he did.
Another Roush driver, Mark Martin does have several wins at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and it is a track he loves. He seems confident that he will win Sunday, and when Mark is that confident, watch out! He loves to race door to door, and if he is beside another driver, that driver better hope he has the faster car. If not, he has two choices: 1) let off the throttle and let him pass, or 2) wreck.
Where did Boo Bait get his personality? Last week, he donated $1 Million to Victory Junction Gang Camp for a sports stadium, and he did it without too much self-agrandization. In today's interviews (I'm writing this Thursday evening) he was very upbeat and entertaining. I'm wondering, is Penske doing this for him, or did he buy that personality somewhere? Can I buy a personality? How much does it cost? Maybe if I get my ears pinned back? Actually, in spite of myself, I'm beginning to like Kurt Busch.
Back to the top ten picks. The whole point of the Coca Cola 600 should

Jimmie Johnson does not own Lowe's Motor Speedway. Bruton Smith does. It is not his house, it is Humpy Wheeler's house. Somebody ought to show him that. While it is quite a feat to have three consecutive wins in the Coca-Cola 600, and I don't have anything against Johnson, I would really like to see someone else win.
That someone else could very well be Tony Stewart. Nine times out of forteen starts, he has had a top ten finish at Lowe's, including a win in the October race in 2003. Two of those top tens have come after he drove in the Indianapolis 500 on the same day. He starts in the 32nd position Sunday, but it is a six-hundred mile race, and he could start one or two laps down, and finish in the front. Race fans know that, whether they like Stewart or not.
So here is how I imagine the finish, as portrayed by my Cloudy Revelation Ball:

White Flag! Johnson and Biffle are still racing side by side for the win. Stewart and Jeff Gordon are fighting for third, a mere five car lengths behind. Coming out of turn two, Johnson inside, Biffle inches away on the outside. Gordon cuts in front of Stewart! Stewart tries to go low, Gordon blocks. Contact! Gordon slides up the track, and Stewart makes the pass. Gordon brushes the wall, but no caution. Going into turn three, Johnson and Biffle are still side by side! Stewart is right behind them, closing rapidly. Johnson gets loose coming out of turn four! Biffle moves up the track to avoid, but Johnson hits Biffle! Stewart goes low, and takes the lead! Stewart wins!
Stewart takes his Victory Lap, does a Bootlegger turn at the end of the front stretch, and parks in front of the flag stand. The crowd is wild, chanting "Climb it, climb it, climb it!"
Hammond, who do you have down there on pit road?
Hammond: I'm talking to a very unhappy Jeff Gordon. Jeff, what happened back there, coming out of turn two?
Gordon: Whaaaaaaaawhiiiiine!
Interpreter: I have to say the Dupont team did an excellent job throughout the race, getting the car into a winning set up.
Gordon: Whaaaaaaawhiiiiine!
Interpreter: We were gaining on the leaders, and could have passed them before the end of the race. Our car was good enough.
Gordon: Whaaaaaaawhiiiiiine!
Interpreter: But some moron decided that he had to try to wreck us. That's okay, it's a long season. There's plenty of time for paybacks.

Sorry, CRB got carried away. Here are my top ten picks for the Coca-Cola 600:
1. #20 Tony Stewart
2. #16 Greg Biffle
3. #48 Jimmie Johnson
4. #17 The Last Winston Cup Champ
5. #6 Mark Martin
6. #29 Kevin Harvick
7. #18 JJ Yeley
8. #10 Scott Riggs
9. #2 Kurt Busch
10. #24 Jeff Gordon


Babs said...

That interview with Biffle and Kenseth was funny. Matt did not want to be the interview person. He's so not a media hound and distracts them with the "why are we doing this, it's not even raining!" Cut camera...
Note, it was the Kurt Busch foundation that gave the money. Not all, if any, came from his own pocketbook. I think it was a PR move. But still it helps the kids. That's good.
Those Tony commercials are all pretty funny.
Please, anyone but JJ win the race or any Busch brother or HMS driver except Vickers. Amen.

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