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MONTE DUTTON - I CAN'T MAKE OUT THE WORDS ANYMORE

It’s the final race of the season, and the last time Kyle Busch won a Monster Cup race, most Democrats were against impeachment. The Atlanta Braves looked like they might win the World Series.

It was June 2 in the Poconos, which was like being no place at all.

Justin Haley has won since Kyle Busch won. Kurt Busch has won since Kyle Busch won. The Washington Redskins have won since Kyle Busch won.

DENNY HAMLIN DELIVERS AT PHOENIX

It essentially took a win at ISM for Denny Hamlin to walk into Homestead-Miami with an opportunity at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship, and win he did with a dominant victory.

The day in the Phoenix sun began with Kyle Busch winning his first pole in what many have called, even though he has four wins and a chance at the championship, a trying and difficult year for him. On the green, Busch cut low onto the track to keep the lead and Joey Logano followed through with him to get right on his bumper for second. After a quiet race with no changes for the first sixty-five laps the first caution came out for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hitting the wall and getting to pit road with a flat tire. Everyone on the lead lap pitted aside from Brad Keselowski and William Byron. On the restart, Keselowski shot to the lead while Byron begin to fall; Brad didn’t hold the lead long however as Hamlin got ahead to get the stage win with Chase Elliott right behind him.

MONTE DUTTON - IT’S A LOVELY ADDICTION

 

 

This is a week of penultimacy, leading me to ask …

… Is that a word?

NASCAR is in Avondale, Ariz., for its next-to-last race.

Virginia Military Institute is in Greenville for Furman’s next-to-last home game, but that’s likely more important to me than you.

MONTE DUTTON – GUILTY AS CHARGED

It is said that a politician gives people what they want and a statesman gives them what they need. Thankfully, that’s all I’ve got on politics today.

NASCAR is giving fans what they want, but the ones with wants are dwindling. For the sport to regain its hold on hearts and minds, it has to analyze what they need. I don’t think minds bring the fans back to the grandstands. For the people willing to sacrifice their hard-earned money, risk bad weather and high costs, auto racing has to appeal to the hearts.

HARVICK HEADED TO HOMESTEAD WITH TEXAS WIN

 
Drivers are told every year to watch out for Kevin Harvick when the Playoffs make it Phoenix, and it seems that will change to Texas Motor Speedway after another strong victory at the AAA Texas 500. Harvick started the day winning the pole with Erik Jones starting beside him and, on the start, Jones was able to stick to Harvick’s side long enough to just lead the first lap until Harvick was given a push by Hamlin to get to the lead. The first caution of the day then came out only ten laps in as Playoff driver Chase Elliott got loose into the corner and spun into the wall. The damage wouldn’t end Chase’s day, but it would put him many laps down and in desperate need of a win going into Phoenix.

DOCUMENTARY: AMERICAN STOCK: THE GOLDEN ERA OF NASCAR

American Stock: The Golden Era Of NASCAR provides excellent insight into the formation of NASCAR into one of the greatest series for automobile racing. This three=part series covers everything from the the early years of NASCAR to the beach racers of Daytona to the whiskey runners.

The three-part series is both entertaining and educational. 

TRUEX DOMINATES AT “MARTIN’S” VILLE

 
The easiest way to get to the NASCAR Final Four is to absolutely dominate the First Data 500 at Martinsville; something Martin Truex Jr easily did with leading 464 laps on his way to his seventh win of the season. 
 
Hometown favorite, Denny Hamlin, won the pole while Chase Elliott got second but would have to start from the rear due to blowing a motor in the first practice; Aric Almirola then took over the spot. Hamlin easily got to the lead on the green while Truex kept along the bottom with him and moved to second. As drivers started to get aggressive early, the first caution of the day came out as Ross Chastain came up in front of Matt Crafton (Filling in for Matt Tifft after he had a health scare and had to go to the hospital earlier in the week. He would be discharged but was not cleared to race.) and tore off part of his splitter and knocked out the brake ducts from the right front. Truex was first off pit-road while Ryan Blaney got to second when Hamlin had a long stop. No issues on the restart as Truex and Blaney get away easily. After some long side-by-side racing and attitude between Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez, Suarez was able to get a fast run on the top to get fourth while Truex had lapped up to twentieth place. Truex went on to win the stage even with constantly having to deal with heavy traffic. 

MONTE DUTTON – WHEN IT LOOKS LIKE RAIN

I don’t often see people who go to the race track a lot. Usually it’s when old friends and I meet. Al Pearce met me for lunch a couple weeks back, and I saw Mike Hembree at the Furman-Citadel football game on Oct. 19. About the only person I see regularly who goes often – other than Darlington – to watch NASCAR races anymore is an old high school football teammate.

He was at the Touchdown Club Thursday, so I asked him if he was going to Martinsville Sunday. He said it looked like rain, so he was going to make the call early Sunday morning. It occurred to me that this is one reason why the crowds aren’t bigger these days.

THE RISK AT KANSAS PAYS OFF FOR HAMLIN

 
Denny Hamlin really wants the championship this year, and he proved how badly he wants it with another win under his belt for the season to clinch into the Round of eight and put himself in prime position to possibly advance to the Championship four. 

RACE REPLAY - 1000BULBS.COM 500 FROM TALLADEGA SPEEDWAY

Relive the all the big wrecks and Ryan Blaney's .007 second win over Ryan Newman in this weeks Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series full race replay.

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