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Tuesday's TV Schedule can be found here.
The official entry list is out for Sunday's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. 40 cars are entered as of now. Matt DiBenedetto returns to the No. 83, replacing part-timer Dylan Lupton while Alex Bowman is back in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88. Also, Joey Gase is back with Go FAS Racing as the revolving door of drivers running the No. 32 Ford continues. Read more
Well...I'm not so sure about that.
While the regular season has offered up a parade of exciting finishes, ones worthy of joining those included in our sport's history books, who has been involved in all the buzz has been pretty much more of the same.
Joe Gibbs Racing clearly stole the magic carpet out from under Hendrick Motorsports in the last six months of 2015, and have not handed it back. All four JGR drivers won their way into this year's Chase--no big surprise.
Between the parties, gifts and trumpets Jeff Gordon's departure last season was almost as loud as his replacement's arrival. High expectations were placed on Awesome Bill's son, Chase Elliott. He performed well--better than some predicted, but in the overall scheme, the No. 24 looked like a rookie piloting a well-funded team. He got in, but did you really expect that team to just roll over?
Meanwhile, Tony Stewart's retirement year has been a crazy mixed bag of pain, depression and good old-fashioned stock car racing. So, Smoke bumped his way into the big show by spinning out Denny Hamlin at Sonoma. Then, for the past two weeks he's been driving like the self-appointed Enforcer by cleaning off the track of drivers he thinks are getting in the way. We've spent the past seventeen years trying to decide whether we love him or hate him. I guess we're just not meant to ever figure that one out.
Then there's Kasey Kahne, a prodigal son of NASCAR. Or at least we always wanted him to be one. Once again, the No. 5 team over in the Hendrick garage has been running a little less...everything. For those of us who subscribe to the mystery R&D formula, 2016 has done little to squash the rumors. Is it the driver? Is it the equipment? Unfortunately, in a dozen years Kahne has never shown the consistency and aggression needed to linger inside the top 10 of the series. His exclusion from this year's Chase is simply not shocking.
The Penske boys, Keselowski and Logano, remain a pair of high-strung colts ready to rip up the track and take the big prize. Harvick, while struggling to get a pair of tires on his No. 4 in a timely fashion, is still a real threat. Even Truex Jr.'s rise through the ranks in his "single-car team" fails to raise eyebrows when we take into consideration that the No. 78 is now an extension of the Gibbs regatta.
Is there anybody who is going to shock the shorts off the fans during these last 10 weeks of the year?
The only outliers remain in the Ganassi camp. Personally, I don't see the Nos. 1 and 42 teams magically keeping it together for the final push. But if they did...
Well, Kyle Busch surprised us last year. Perhaps hope remains.
Some good news! Matt Tifft, after undergoing brain surgery early in the summer to remove a benign tumor, will be returning to competition in the Camping World Truck Series this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway for Red Horse Racing. What a happy boy!
by Phil Allaway
Q: In 2002, Brian Vickers was a 18-year-old racing for his family's team in the Busch Series. He was still very green. The 2002 Tropicana Twister 300 is a good example of his inexperience on superspeedways. Vickers qualified a decent 12th, but made an error that resulted in the end of his race. What happened?
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