Talladega Night(mare)

Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:39 am

OCT. 17 SPORTS COLUMN — MARK SPENSLEY, CO-PUBLISHER

The race for the cup is hot and heavy and at times violent. The violent part was ever so evident two weeks ago when Tony Stewart started a gigantic chain reaction wreck that claimed most of the top contenders at Talladega.

Being a longtime race fan, I enjoyed watching wrecks when I was younger. Even now I don’t mind a wreck or two during a race.

But what I witnessed at the end of the Talladega was down right disturbing. Winning at Talladega isn’t about skill, it’s more about luck. I’m no longer a fan of restrictor plate racing.

Matt Kenseth won this race but only because he sneaked through the carnage laid about the racetrack.

I have a suggestion. Let’s get rid of the Talladega race as one of the 10 chase races. Keep both sets of Talladega races but lets take a racetrack like Las Vegas and swap it out for Talladega in the Chase for the Cup.

With five races left in the chase it looks like it’s still anybody’s championship to win. At this point it’s probably Brad Keselowski’s championship to lose. Breathing down his neck is Jimmy Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Clint Boyer.

Quietly making a push behind these guys is Kasey Kahne. He could be the dark horse in this thing.

Earnhardt Jr. is pretty much done, having to miss two races due to concussions. Gordon, Harvick and Kenseth might just be too far back as well. Biffle and Truex Jr. are also sitting on the fringe.

At the beginning of the season I predicted a top five of Hamlin, 5th, Johnson 4th, Keselowski 3rd, Gordon 2nd and Carl Edwards to finish as your NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. Looks like I could have four of these right as Edwards had a terrible year, not even coming close to making the chase.

Next up is the Kansas race. I’m hoping for a pretty wild finish to this season. I should also note that I am close to finishing in the money in this year’s racing pool. These past two races have been a killer for my team.

I rolled my dice on Earnhardt Jr. over Keselowski and the gamble is not paying off. Gentlemen, start your engines!

Bla