Guess who is going to grace the NASCAR nation with her presence at the Chicagoland Speedway this week? You probably do not have to even guess, but Her Danicaship (A.K.A. Danica Patrick) makes her next start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this on Friday night in the #7 Go Daddy Chevrolet. Jump back to Sunday afternoon when Danica was running at Watkins Glen in the IZOD Indy Car Series. A top 20 finish to write home to mom about. Now if 40 some cars were in the race, then that would probably be something to cheer and holler about. Another bad run in the IZOD Indy Car Series for Her Danicaship under the belt, should we really expect anything more?

Her Danicaship moves on to Chicago to see how she will fare in her next go around with the boys in the stock cars. I do not see much of an improvement coming this week for the wonder girl of racing. I actually feel bad for the car that is on its way, or has already arrived, in Chicago for her to drive. The car has a pucker factor of over 10 right now knowing that it is going to find the wall somewhere along the race track. The car knows this may be the last time it sees screaming fans and the race track. The scrap metal heap is waiting for yet another expensive vehicle that Her Danicaship will destroy on Friday. For the record, a worse than 30th place finish awaits. 400 will unveil before our eyes on Saturday night. We go for the second straight weekend on Saturday night. When Saturday is over, we get our final off weekend for the season. Amazing that there are no more off weekends after next week’s bye.

On to what we are going to see this week. The Evil Empire (A.K.A Jimmie Johnson) of the 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports car will look to rebound after being involved in the Big One last week at Daytona International Speedway in the Coke Zero 400. Not a surprise that the Evil Empire was involved in the wreck, in restrictor plate racing anyone can be involved in the Big One. By the way, congratulations to Kevin Harvick for taking the checkered flag last Saturday night.

I look for Roush Racing to have a big weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. I have a feeling that Greg Biffle is going to have good run at the track. It is time to see the Biff come through with a good finish. Matt Kenseth could have a breakthrough run as well. Remember a couple years back that it was Jeff Gordon that bumped Kenseth out of the way to take the win. Carl Edwards is also a factor. Although we have not seen Carl at the front of the pack a whole lot over the last couple of years, it is only a matter of time until Cousin Carl finally gets the 99 car in back into victory lane.

Sleeper of the week is Baby Joey Logano. Baby Joey just may surprise us with a good run in the Home Depot machine.

Scheduling rumors are in full swing as we approach the time of the year that the schedule will actually be released by NASCAR. Not only are rumors in swing for the NASCAR schedule, but there have been plenty of rumor and speculation on the IZOD Indy Car Series schedule as well. The speculation on the IZOD series is that Las Vegas may be added next year to the schedule. Las Vegas may become the final race of the season for the IZOD series starting next year. For me, I think that would be a fitting end to the schedule for the IZOD series. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is an action track, and would provide good racing for a season finale.

The NASCAR schedule appears to be heading towards a major shakeup. The skinny on the internet is that Atlanta, New Hampshire, and California are all going to lose races. Those races are going to be heading to Las Vegas, Kentucky, and Kansas City. It is not much of a surprise that these tracks are going to lose races. Atlanta and California have had major problems with putting fans in the seats for their first race on the schedule each year. New Hampshire is kind of a wild card. Seems that every time I have watched a race at that track, it seems to be fairly packed. Even a couple of weeks ago the track looked pack. Perhaps politics are in play for New Hampshire, which has been reported with the cost of security provided by local law enforcement.

Along with the changes to the schedule, there is buzz that changes are going to be coming to the Chase. Start with the schedule for the Chase. The rumor is that tracks are going to be changed out for the Chase each year. Some tracks will remain in the Chase each year, but others will be rotated in. Not a bad idea in my humble opinion. Nothing wrong with having different tracks each season in the Chase. Also rumored is that a road course will be included in the Chase. The reason for this is that NASCAR wants to do everything possible to make sure they can call their drivers the best in the world. That would include making the boys turn right during the Chase.

Along with a possible new schedule for the Chase, a new format may be coming again. With changes to the Chase possibly coming, it sounds like NASCAR is tired of the Evil Empire winning championships. I do not agree with changing the way the Chase works. I think it works fine the way it is. The Evil Empire has shown that if you win during the Chase, you win a championship. That is the way it should be. This is racing though, you should also be rewarded for consistent runs. You can have a DNF during the Chase, and still end up winning the championship. Again, the Evil Empire has excelled in the format that is established. Others need to step up their game in they want to take home the Sprint Cup.

The change might be that the 15 drivers will make the Chase, and eliminations will happen over the 10 races. At the end of the Chase, three divers will be left over the last three races in the Chase. Still the question has to be why change something that works? Not every driver that gets in the Chase ends up with a shot on the final race day at Homestead Miami with a chance to win, but it gets the job done. NASCAR wants to bring fans back that they have lost since the introduction of the Car of Tomorrow, keep the formula you have and allow some time to go by. A minor tweak or some type of bonus points or something I can understand, a major overhaul again will only alienate fans further.

Final item before the action starts on the track. Congratulations to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the 3 car for winning the Nationwide Series race on Friday night at Daytona last week. It was nice to see Jr. win the race in the 3 car. Hopefully it will be an indication of good things to come for Jr.

Until after the races this weekend, have a great one. Keep in mind the countdown ticks closer to the Brickyard 400. is about to in full swing when we get together to bring you the action live from the track.

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