Thursday, February 14, 2008


Today is another day with a good reason to call in sick to work. You may want to spend it with your significant other, since it is Valentine's Day, after all. What better way to spend it than watching the Gatorade Duels at Daytona together?
From what we saw at the Bud Shootout last week, it will have all the elements that will keep you and your lover excited and who knows what will happen afterwards! is your One Stop Shop
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The Gatorade Duels will not be about love and sweetness, it will be about do or die for several teams. They are about making the field of 43 and getting the season off to a good start.
Of the teams outside the top thirty-five in owners points, there are three locked in on time; Michael Waltrip, David Reutimann, and Joe Nemecheck. Other than that, Kurt Busch, Dale Jarrett, and Awesome Bill Elliott can get in on champion's provisionals, but, in order for all three of them to get in, at least one of them has to finish among the top two "go or go homers."
Since neither Dale Jarrett, nor Bill Elliott will be racing full time this year, I have to pull for the guys who have to make it in and who are attempting to race the full season.
The first Duel features several go or go homers who will be attempting a full season run this year, including the Red Bull team of Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger. Kurt Busch is also in the first heat, but he is first in line for the champion's provisional, and I can not find myself wishing that he races his way into a transfer position, as he is currently on my "bad guy" list. Now there are other drivers in the first heat who I feel are just as deserving to make the cut, such as Jaques Villeneuve and Regan Smith, but I like Vickers, because he even has a chance to win the 500 if he makes the cut, and Allmendinger, because I really think he deserves a chance. You're right, there is nothing scientific about my picks, except they are both driving Toyotas, and the Toyotas look strong so far.
Since David Reutimann will be taking over from Jarrett after the first five races of the season, I suppose rooting for Dale will be rooting for David.
So with that in mind I will show some love for Dale Jarrett and hope that he transfers in to the 500. He can do that by finishing the second Duel in a transfer position, or, if Kurt Busch races to a transfer position in the first heat. Currently--and temporarily of course--I have no love for Dirty Kurty, so my pick for one transfer position is Dale Jarrett.
The other driver I hope to see race himself into the lineup is Travis Kvapil. Kvapil does have talent, and I feel he did not get a fair shake in his first bid as a Cup level driver. Now, we know that the Fords look underpowered during the practice sessions, but in a racing situation, and as racey as the Formula N car is, he has as good a chance as anyone to race his way into a transfer position.
My picks for the winners of each heat are much easier to make and deserve little or no explanation, so I will go with "no explanation."
I think Dale Earnhardt, Jr will win the first Duel, and Tony Stewart the second.
No matter who wins, I hope you find love this Valentine's Day, if not with another person, at least with the racing!

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