Friday, June 02, 2006

The Monster Mile

I poked fun at Jeff Gordon last week, so now I'm done with that. In fact, I am picking Jeff Gordon to win at Dover this weekend. Why would I do that? I have never accused Gordon of not being an exceptional driver. It was fairly obvious, from the beginning of the 2006 season, that all the #24 team needed was some experience working together, and some adjustments to get the handling combination to a point where Gordon could feel comfortable. I think Gordon is feeling comfortable in the car now, and, with his skill and experience at the Monster Mile, he should be able to see Victory Lane.
Gordon has three team mates who could cause him some trouble. Jimmie Johnson holds a comfortable lead in championship, and will more than likely run a supporting role for his mentor and car owner. But Brian Vickers is very hungry for a win, and is in a very good car this weekend. If he can avoid wrecks, and if he doesn't run over somebody who would retaliate, he stands a chance of putting some real pressure on the #24 team. Then, there is "Rowdy" Kyle "Shrub" Busch who is a loose cannon, but a talented loose cannon. He probably would care who's team the #24 team is on if that car is in the way of a win. One would think that Shrub would be a little more careful, after recieving a fine and points deductions, but this is Shrub we're talking about here. He has to get someone angry at him, so he can be angry as well. As I said, loose cannon.
I think Ryan Newman can change his luck, as Greg Biffle already has. Biffle, last year's winner, can get a top 5 finish, and Newman will finish somewhere in the top ten, if only it is a good track for him. With both Kasey Kahne and Scott Riggs on a roll, Everham should be able to put two Dodges in the top ten.
Robby Gordon is pulling double duty this weekend--at Dover, and at the Baja 500. He usually does well pulling double duty, and will win one of the races, most likely the Baja. But his adreniline level will be up, and he is another pick for the top ten at Dover.
I can't pick 10 without putting Mark Martin in there.
Finally, I'm picking Denny Hamlin, just because I know he can do it.
This, then, is our proposed finishing order:
1. #24 Jeff Gordon
2. #16 Greg Biffle
3. #9 Kasey Kahne
4. #25 Brian Vickers
5. #5 Kyle Busch
6. #7 Robby Gordon
7. #48 Jimmie Johnson
8. #10 Scott Riggs
9. #6 Mark Martin
10. #11 Denny Hamlin.

Now, a word about the #20 team. Tony Stewart has to be very careful not to get caught up in anything which may add to his injury. He will have to start in the back, because Rudd will be doing the qualifying, and no matter what position Ricky gets, the driver change at the start will put the #20 car in the back. Rudd, a four time winner at Dover, is a very good choice for substitute, but the driver change, ideally at the first caution, should keep the car behind, but hopefully not a lap down. As much as I hate it, I do not see a top ten finish for Stewart/Rudd this weekend. Let's hope for an early caution.


Babs said...

I hope for an early caution too and that Tony gets out ASAP.

Bravo to Robby for running the Baja and Dover. What a racer!

RevJim said...

Yes, I'm impressed by Robby this week, too. He has my admiration. Let's just hope that the #20 driver change goes smoothly, and under caution.
Even though I didn't pick him this week, good luck to that former Winston Cup Champion, in the #17. And, of course, both the former champions in the #20.

Babs said...

The former Winston Cup Champ in the # 17 didn't have good luck in the Busch race today. Oh well... maybe tomorrow.
I hope that Esad's qual run and practice speeds indicate that RYR finally gave him a great car this weekend. I'm afraid to cross my fingers though. I did that once for Esad qualifying for the Nextel Open and he wrecked. I won't do that again.

michele said...

Blogmad hit! stop by for a visit.

Babs said...

Thanks for not picking Kenseth in your top ten!!! LOL!!

Babs said...

Thanks for not picking Kenseth in your top ten!!! LOL!!

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