Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crown Royal 400 Preview

Well, that was wild. Talladega brought us the most exciting race we've seen all year. In fact, maybe even in our lifetime(unless you were around to see Bobby Allison's 1987 crash). But now, onto the track that brought us the best finish of 2008.

If you will recall, a year ago, the Crown Royal 400 was Denny Hamlin's to lose. He started on Pole, and lead 381 of the first 382 laps(the only other lap leader was AJ Allmendinger), only to blow out a right front tire with 18 laps remaining.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. inherited the lead. But, with 3 laps to go, Kyle Busch got into Junior's left rear and turned him racing for the win. In the meantime, Clint Bowyer, the unsuspecting 3rd place runner, snuck past the incident, and took home the checkers in one of the most thrilling finishes I thought I'd see in a hundered lifetimes... until Sunday.

On Sunday, of course, Brad Keselowski got together with Carl Edwards with 1,000 feet to go, sending Edwards on the ride of his life. Keselowski earned his first career Cup win after not even competing in Cup the previous week. This week, Hopper looks to earn his first career win after not nailing one top 5er at Talladega, and I plan to do it by picking the man who should've won last year. And no, it was not Dale Earnhardt Jr.

5.Tony Stewart
4.Ryan Newman
3.Clint Bowyer
2.Kyle Busch
1.Denny Hamlin

Denny will win his first at the track he wants to win at more than any other on the circuit, and he'll make it that much sweeter by beating his teammate to do it. As for Junior, well, seeing as it's Busch's turn to hit him(if you'll recall, Junior got his revenge in the fall race), I believe he won't hesitate to wreck NASCAR's most popular driver again. Folks, that's all for this week. Have a happy Sunday!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Aarons 499 Preview

Well, I am back from my weekend retreat, and ready for some serious action this weekend at Talladega. I'd like to thank my mother for taping the race for me, even though I did not watch it, nor did I have any desire to. Still, it's the thought that counts. Thanks Mom!

Yes, brownie points. I do have one more thanks to give out before I proceed to this weekend. I'd like to thank you, the readers, for nothing. I kindly asked you to inform me of "what went down in the desert", and I didn't even receive so much as a comment on my lonely wall. Shame on you!

Awww, I can't stay mad at you. Especially coming off of my retreat. I love you all. I love everybody. I love Ju... wait, that's taking it WAY too far. You know what, how about this: all is forgiven assuming you do something for me. All I ask is that, when I make this weekend's off-the-wall picks, you are hereby bound to not make fun of me.

Alright, now that we have that behind us, we can move on to what's really important: Talladega! Everybody loves Talladega, except Mark Martin, and Ryan Newman, and, well, over half the drivers in Sunday's field. Okay, people hate Talladega. And that's what makes it s great.

Last week, I nailed 2 top 5ers, and missed another by a mere spot. Also, last week, Dale Earnhardt Jr. managed to stretch his attention span even thinner by making himself a new, um, friend. Yes, Casey Mears was added to the list of drivers that Junior Nation cannot stand. He joins an elite list, including the likes of Brian Vickers, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin; the list goes on and on.

Also last week, the winning car had the same number as the number of fingers on my hand(5 in case you were wondering). This week, I believe that I will need an extra finger. To see what I mean, scroll down.

5.Jimmie Johnson
4.Greg Biffle
3.Paul Menard
2.Regan Smith(yes, that Regan Smith)
1.David Ragan

Ragan will grab his first this weekend. Folks, I've gotta run. We've got storms pounding us right now. Have a Happy Sunday.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Subway Fresh 500 Preview

Greetings to all! Hope everybody had a very Happy Easter. It was certainly nice hearing people worship God and Jesus our Savior last weekend instead of the Hendrick boys. I'd say they deserved it, wouldn't you?

If you didn't get to watch the Texas race 2 weeks ago, you missed nothing. The race was unarguably the most boring I've seen all year, and the announcers were their usual selves, drooling over anything with a bow-tie on the bumper. In the end, Jeff Gordon broke a 47-race winless streak, as well as winning at Texas for the first time ever, both of which I was very aware of after the conclusion of the event, thanks to Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and of course, Darrell Waltrip.

However, I will give kudos to Mr. Waltrip for his Fox pre-race show rant about NASCAR not allowing the drivers to be themselves. I responded with my own article on Now, hopefully someone's listening.

Last weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series raced at Nashville Superspeedway, which is actually only 1 1/4 miles long. Joey Logano earned the victory in his Gamestop Toyota, and took home the coolest trophy in NASCAR, the Gibson Guitar. I guess that would make him the "Guitar Hero".

Wow, that was bad.

On that note, time for some picks. 2 weeks ago, I correctly predicted 2 top 5 drivers(affectionately called "top-5ers on this site). Thankfully, they just so happened to be the 2 guys who have won the last 4 Phoenix races, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Naturally, they're in by default. And all 5 of my picks from Texas finished in the top 15. And as I improve, my comment wall gets quieter and quieter. I miss Ruel.

Here's this week's potential top 5:

5.Greg Biffle
4.Jeff Gordon
3.Kyle Busch
2.Jimmie Johnson
1.Denny Hamlin

Hamlin bumps Johnson out of the way to win it. That's how I see it playing out. Unfortunately, for Yours Truly, I will not be able to catch the race this weekend. I will be spending an extra weekend not worshipping anything with a bow-tie on the bumper, and instead worshipping our higher powers. This week, you the fans will have to fill me, the Hopper, in on what went down in the dessert. Unless my family is kind enough to tape it. In which case, I hope I've been nice enough to them over the course of the past 16 years. My fate depends on them this weekend. That's all folks! Have a Happy Sunday!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Samsung 500 Preview

Okay, so Martinsville wasn't the best race ever. But at least it wasn't boring like it usually is. In fact, come to think of it, none of the races(except California, by default) have been "boring" this season. They've all had at least some excitement, or at least intermittent caution flags.

While I wasn't too thrilled with the outcome of the race(i.e. the winner), I could not complain. For the first time all year, all 5 of Hopper's picks finished on the lead lap. And, Hopper had 3 correct drivers in his top 5, a season best. Hopper also missed winning by one measly Jimmie Johnson bump. Sigh.

Now, on to Texas. I'd like to predict 10 cautions. And since this is my blog, I will. I'm still waiting on the Junior/Vickers retaliation deal. I don't know whose turn it is, but somebody please hit somebody. Oh, by the way, I finally got my NASCAR '09 game to work. Turns out, the key was to actually play other video games for awhile first, and then put the game I really want to play into the console. The answer always ends up being so simple!

Ok, I can see you're bored. Time for picks:

5.Jeff Gordon
4.Jimmie Johnson
3.Denny Hamlin
2.Carl Edwards
1.Kurt Busch

Kurt will get 'er done this week. And of course, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th place drivers all earned themselves a spot based on last week's performance. That's all for this week. Have a Happy Sunday!

Note: The Easter Bunny is coming next week, so no picks! Unless you want me to predict the outcome of the Nationwide race.