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Virginia Gentleman
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So this week we have Sonoma coming up. Any predictions from people. Martin Truex Jr. has won 3 of the last seven there I believe. Chase Elliott? Kyle Busch? Someone else? We got some road coarse ringers attending I am sure as well.
I haven't checked what Vegas thinks, but the heavy favorites would be Chase Elliott, Truex Jr, Larson and Kyle Busch. Tyler Reddick could pull off a surprise win. He did qualify on the pole at COTA - much to everyone's surprise. Any of the other HMS drivers (Bowman, and Byrum ) could be there as well.

I doubt there will be many road course ringers. With the point structure as it is with an emphasis on winning no driver would want to give up a chance for a win or miss any points.

In other news, many tracks are allowing full attendance:

Track updates, protocols for grandstand seating, fan access | NASCAR
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Some dark horses for this upcoming race would be... ANYONE, but I also think we should keep an eye on Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and YES.... Ross Chastain. Just... just got with me here, lol!

Kyle Larson also finished 2nd at COTA and might have won if NASCAR didn't call the race early (dumb move). All the Hendrick young'ins should be watched. Byron, Bowman, etc.


There is an ARCA race today at Mid-Ohio which is a road track. Xfinity races there tomorrow.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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Kyle Larson also finished 2nd at COTA and might have won if NASCAR didn't call the race early (dumb move).
Given the weather conditions (moderate to heavy downpour and darkness coming) I don't see where NASCAR had much of a choice to call the race. Many of the drivers were hydroplaning on the backstretch and producing huge rooster tails of spray which made it impossible to see under race conditions. As they are the cars can race in wet/damp conditions with the rain tires, but not moderate to heavy downpours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
A great Xfinity race was the Mid-Ohio race course in Lexington. Some real heart breakers for some drivers, especially Austin Cindric at the end there.

But impressive runs for a lot of drivers who don't usually appear up top. I'm very happy for them. Also Ty Gibbs has another top five and congrats on Andy Lally for the top five.

With less then twenty laps, after a pit road penalty, AJ Allmendinger raced up from 26th place to first place to win the race for Kaulig Racing. His teammate Justin Haley raced into second.

Overall a very fun NASCAR road course race. I don't see how Sonoma can be as exciting honestly. :D
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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Big shout out for Brandon Brown in the #68 who got a top 10 finish (6th). He's a local driver from Stafford, VA that runs a single car, family owned team. They do get their engines from ECR (or is that Hendrick now?). Anyhew - great for Brandon. Points wise he is just out of the playoff picture in 13th.

Don't forget the Cup guys will be at Mid-Ohio later this season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Good start to a rather tame Sonoma race so far. At about lap 20. It's been the "Kyle Larson Show" so far. He just won the first stage.



After the first stage, we have some interesting names up in the top 20. Maybe they can get a good finish.

Kurt Busch needs a good run for his chances in the Playoffs and is sitting 8th.
Matt Dibenedetto is in 9th.
Erik Jones having a nice day in 10th.
Chase Briscoe, who won the ARCA West race yesterday in Sonoma is 11th.
Ryan Preece is rocking it in 12th.
Cole Custer and Corey LoJoie round out the top 20 in 19th and 20th respectably.
Also a shout out to Cody Ware in an underfunded team sitting 23rd. Good for them. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·


And it was all Kyle Larson all day at Sonoma. He races into victory after a late caution and wins at his home track. Chase Elliott second, Truex Jr third, Logano fourth, Kyle Busch 5th.

I said to keep an eye on Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain and they came home 6th and 7th respectfully.

Hendrick Motorsports beat a record today as well, beating a record held since 1956 by a Chrysler NASCAR Team. Chrysler and their Chrysler 300's had long held the NASCAR record for team with the most 1-2 finishes in a row. It has now been beat by Hendrick and their Chevy Camaro's.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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Great day for HMS with Larson and Elliott finishing 1-2. HMS is really hitting their stride.

Kurt Busch needs to score a win to qualify for a playoff spot. I doubt he will make it on points alone.

Truex had a faster car than Larson early, but starting 19th took a lot out of his tires. The 5 (Larson) was the class of the field while the 9 and 19 were just a tick slower. Thought Chase might get to him in the overtime restart, but Larson was too good.

All-Star race at Texas next week. No points, just $1,000.000 on the line.
 

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Sold my seats 8 years ago and though I'm within earshot of TMS, I've not gone anywhere near the track on a race day since. I do watch a few minutes of most races, but the record and fast-forward buttons gets a lot of use.

My passion has always been cars that began life on a production line, drivers that worked on their own cars and slept in cheap motels...or the tow vehicle...and were not multi-millionaires, many sponsors were local, and the sanctioning body didn't write their rules with pencil and eraser in hand.

For years I thought the sport would have to go back to a less complicated time before the big money ran things, but I now know it won't, and I'm too old to give a damn anymore.

That said, maybe the next generation race car will offer something to convince me to watch a few more minutes of every race. While I'm still around, I'd love to once more sit in the stands, eating a greasy hot dog, and smelling hot gear lube and burnt rubber while having my ears pummeled by a field of unsilenced V8s fighting to be the first to the checkered flag.

If not, I can still enjoy the wonderful memories of being alive when the most fun racing, the best cars and the best music were a way of life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
I think one of the happiest stories of the year is from AJ Allmendinger. I never thought of him much in Cup, but now that he is in Xfinity, he is like a whole new man/driver. Apparently I am not the only one who has seen his excitement in every interview. An opinion piece by the AP Sports Writer documents this as well.



"AJ Allmendinger was so over the grind and the losing and the lack of any enjoyment in his job that he walked away from NASCAR after the 2018 season rather than run for another mediocre team.

His friends pulled him back in.

It was a little at a time, five races the first year, 11 the next. But now he is running a full season and he is rejuvenated, refreshed and maybe just a little winded after celebrating his latest win.

Allmendinger, at 39, is in a full-fledged career renaissance.

His close friendships at Kaulig Racing got him to this point, celebrating with team owner Matt Kaulig and team president Chris Rice after he won his second race of the season Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Kaulig's home track..." Full Article


I'm excited for Kaulig Racing too and I look forward to seeing them in Cup next year. AJ is really bringing some great experience to the team and helping them grow. I think he enjoys the success he can bring for them and how he can see the visual changes and transformation of the whole team as he races. He gets to mentor two younger racers too. He seems so much more fulfilled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Will Kurt Bush be Hamlin and Jordan's choice for their second car? Lot of talk.
That is what a lot of people are thinking. It would be a shame for him to go to another mediocre team and start it up scratch, but who knows... it might work out for him.

There is also talk about Brad Keselowski starting his own team or going to Roush-Fenway. Two big names with uncertain futures at the moment. Ryan Newman's future at Roush is also unknown. Roush isn't the powerhouse they used to be with good to decent teams at the moment.

Penske dominates with the Ford teams. Xfinity driver Austin Cindric is expected to take Brad Keselowski's 2 car next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
A million dollars is on the line at a NEW location for the NASCAR All-Star Race. Texas Motor Speedway.


Article

The starting lineup and pole for Sunday's NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway were set by random draw among the drivers who automatically qualified for the event.

The starting grid for the race at Texas (5 p.m. PST; FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will be led by Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch.

So who are you picking to be among the top?
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
A good set of races today.

John Hunter Nemecheck in his Tundra pulled out a victory based on strategy to beat Chase Elliott in the 24 Silverado in the Camping World Truck race. Both of those trucks were the class of the field today though.



In the Xfinity Series, Kyle Busch mostly dominated but had some hard chargers in Allgier, Cindric, Hemric, and others to pull off his 99th victory in his 54 Twix Supra. Kyle Busch is one win away from 100. What an amazing feat and truly a stat that must be respected.

 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
Just a ten lap shootout remains of the All Star race. We've had many ups and downs from drivers whether Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Ross Chastain, or Tyler Reddick, it's been varied field of drivers so far.




Congrats to the pit crew of the 9 Chevy who won the 100,000 pit crew challenge!



I will update when the All-Star race is over and we have a $1 million dollar champ!

This is also FOX's last Cup Series broadcast for the year, as it will move over too NBC. FOX will still broadcast the truck series and their popular NASCAR Race Hub Show that is on FS1 everyday at 3PM Pacific.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
What a thrilling 10 lap dash to the finish. 3-Wide racing that ended with a very close battle between Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson. Brad K. gave it all he had as they came into the last lap and was right on Larson's back bumper, but it wasn't enough. Kyle Larson took the win and the $1 million dollars! His third win in a row (even if this race doesn't count for points or anything). Congrats!


 

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That is what a lot of people are thinking. It would be a shame for him to go to another mediocre team and start it up scratch, but who knows... it might work out for him.

There is also talk about Brad Keselowski starting his own team or going to Roush-Fenway. Two big names with uncertain futures at the moment. Ryan Newman's future at Roush is also unknown. Roush isn't the powerhouse they used to be with good to decent teams at the moment.

Penske dominates with the Ford teams. Xfinity driver Austin Cindric is expected to take Brad Keselowski's 2 car next year.
Not sure how you could call it a mediocre team. It's pretty much a 5/6th Gibbs car. Either way it will be better than whatever he's doing at Ganassi right now, just look at what Larson is doing not compared to when he was over there
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
Not sure how you could call it a mediocre team. It's pretty much a 5/6th Gibbs car. Either way it will be better than whatever he's doing at Ganassi right now, just look at what Larson is doing not compared to when he was over there
Kind of... 2311 has done nothing but mediocre runs all season, not yet even capturing a top 10 and barely capturing a top 15 here and there. Though their numbers are improving. The driver has well as been quite over-dramatic denying live interviews when things don't go his way.

The Ganassi teams on the other hand have several top tens and a handful of top fives and are running much better, even 'newbie' Chastain is doing better than the 2311's driver as well.

I remember when Ganassi was a powerhouse with their Dodge's. Sterling Marlin looked like he had a championship locked up before an injury. Even Richard Childress Racing or Roush, all once powerhouses. They've all taken a few steps back.

But back to Ganassi, they are doing decent with what they have. The last few weeks they've definately improved their finishes between Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain. Both had a good outing at Sonoma and in the All-Star Race.

I really think that if Kurt Busch was in top tier equipment, he'd still be up front more than he is.

I think if Brad Keselowski went to Roush or started a new team, he would drop from being a top tier driver, to mediocre due to equipment. I know this year hasn't been Brad's best season, but I think there is a lot going on behind the scenes too. I am a little shocked Roger Penske didn't make sure he kept Brad, because his team is for sure the top Ford team and one of the elite team right now in NASCAR with Logano and Blaney. I would argue Blaney is doing much better purely because he IS in Penske equipement (And I don't mean that as a disservice to Blaney).
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
New Race, New Track



The NASCAR Cup Series heads to a new track. Nashville Super Speedway. A track NASCAR Xfinity and the Truck series ran about a decade ago then suddenly stopped. But it will be the first time the Cup Series races there. Nashville might be an exciting venue for the series as the city has a fair amount to do.​

Any predictions heading into the week my fair Mopar-elite? :)
 
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