It is good to be back at the computer and putting my thoughts together for this weekend’s racing action. Took a little vacation from writing last week for the Easter weekend and traveled up to Illinois to visit with family, and Alan as well. Alan and I had some good discussions for what will be coming up in the next few weeks, and we look forward to bringing it to you. As the month of May approaches, look for Dave to make some writing and tweeting appearances with coverage leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile race. More on that in the near future.
A couple of weeks ago we saw a photo finish at Talladega with Jimmie Johnson getting his first win of the year. The last couple of laps of the race were edge of the seat what is going to happen at the end of this race fodder. The end was enjoyable and my hands were shaking at the end of the race. The race did leave a lot to be desired though. It was tough watching the two car packs just kind of ride around. I have said it before, I still prefer the pack racing to the two car racing, but as more races go by with the two by two racing, the drivers will prefect the craft. When they have perfected it, we might see a little more excitement throughout the race.
We move on this week to the first visit to Richmond International Raceway. Richmond is a three quarter mile short track that is known for a lot of action. A big sweeping front stretch allows for the drivers to dive into turn one. Drivers will need to be able to ride the bottom of the track in order to have a successful night on Saturday.
A couple of names come to mind when I think of Richmond: Denny Hamlin, Jeff Burton, and Kyle Busch. Hamlin and Burton seem to be right at home in Richmond. Hamlin has been burned by the track a couple of times, but he has also put his car in victory lane at the track. Burton considers Richmond his home track. Jeff is from Virginia so Richmond is his backyard. Throw out how Burton has run in the last couple of weeks, because he will put on a show Saturday night. It seems anymore that no matter where the NASCAR Sprint Cup series is running, Rowdy is going to be on the radar for running near the front. The same is going to be the case this weekend. After winning the truck race last weekend at Nashville, I will predict that Busch gets a win in one of the two races at Richmond this weekend.
I cannot say that I have a lot of news to talk about since the last race. Nothing has really caught my eye that really deserves discussing. A couple of quick tid bits from the world of NASCAR. Trevor Bayne will miss the Nationwide Series race this weekend with illness. Bayne has been hospitalized for tests stemming back from the insect bite a couple of weeks ago. Caterpillar has resigned its sponsorship contract with RCR, and Jeff Burton has signed a contract extension as well. The Nationwide Series race on Friday will be seen on Speed TV instead of ESPN. ESPN has decided to carry the NFL Draft and NBA Playoff basketball instead of the race. I will leave debate on that to the chat box.
The IZOD IndyCar series will also be back under way this weekend with another, sleepy time for the viewer, road course race in Sao Palo, Brazil. Although I did not watch the Long Beach race, congratulations does go to Mike Conway for winning the race. Remember the end of the Indianapolis 500 last year? Here is what Conway experienced at the end of the race, which ended his 2010 season:
I am not even going to try to pick a winner this week for IndyCar. It might be interesting to watch Helio Castroneves though. I understand he took a teammate or two out during the Long Beach race. IndyCar is going to be keeping an eye on him this week for aggressive driving concerns.
If you are looking for the races on TV this weekend, here is the schedule:
Nationwide Series Bubba Burger 250 at Richmond on Speed TV @ 7:30 PM Eastern
Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 on Fox @ 7:30 PM Eastern
IZOD IndyCar Series Itaipave Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle on VERSUS @ 12:00 PM Eastern
Here is my fantasy racing pick of the week, go with Denny Hamlin in the Cup race. Denny will have a solid finish this week.
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