Before the preview, a brief review of last night's truck series race: Kevin Harvick made a nice comeback from an earlier mishap and powered to victory on fairly old tires, holding off Kyle BUsch in the process. This releives us of having to hear about Kyle trying for a 3-race weekend sweep. Maybe Harvick can do it - he's running all 3 races @ PIR this weekend.
Super congrats to Ron Hornaday Jr. on racking up another CWTS championship! Ron didn't have the truck to win last night, but he raced just as hard as he had to in order to hold off Matt Crafton and clinch the title with one race to go.
Nice dual postrace burnouts by Hornaday & Harvick - Harvick may have won the race, but the old man won the burnout contest for sure. :-)
As far as the Cup race, a neat stat note to begin with: Mike Forde of NASCAR noted that Sunday's race will be the first time in the entire history of the Cup series that car #1 will start on the pole and car #2 will start second. Until they unretire #3, that list cannot be extended.
Jimmie Johnson qualified very well, and his past record at this track is unbelieveable. But I do NOT pick him to win the race only because I don't think he will even be trying to win it. Johnson only needs a couple of top 10s, and maybe not even that, to clinch championship #4 in a row.
Whether you like or hate JJ, you can't claim that ANY driver would not do the exact same thing in his place (spare me the inevitable "Dale Earnhardt would never have stroked it", blah blah blah). It's all about winning championships and racing hard is one thing, racing stupid is another. Jj raced hard when he had to, which was something like 34 weeks. Anyone who thinks he only turns it on for the final 10 races of the year better go back and look at the stats with their eyes open this time.
The top Chasers in general are likely to do well this week -- don't they always? -- and Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart should be near the front at the end, along with Denny Hamlin. This is Denny's type of track.
Juan Montoya has improved greatly at most of the tracks we've visited lately and he'll need to do the same here in order to contend for the win.
Don't count out drivers such as Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick either. They aren't points racing whatsoever therefore they can go balls out for the win, and I expect them to do just that. Whether an RCR car can actually win here I don't know but Harvick will do his best at one of his "home" tracks.
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