Thursday, March 26, 2009

Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Preview

Microsoft's XBox 360s are flawless. Darrell Waltrip is the most knowledgeable mind ever to walk the planet. Last week, I totally meant to pick Kyle Busch instead of Kurt.

What do these 3 statements have in common? None of them are true, but they sure do sound good. Well, okay, two of them don't.

For anyone wishing to follow up on the status of my beloved NASCAR '09 game, I do indeed have an update for you. The darn thing still won't cooperate. At least I had Bristol's excitement to cheer me up last Sunday though, right?

Well, the cars were in Bristol. They ran a race. But it all seemed so hollow. When, after 500 laps, the biggest skirmish of the day involved only Todd Bodine and Michael Waltrip, I felt as if I had just watched a Talladega race, only without a "Big One". It was like watching something as trivial as rain cancel the Great American Race, the Daytona 500. In other words, something was missing.

So, I've gone through the week trying to tell myself that Martinsville will be better. Haha, yeah right. Martinsville calls itself a short track, but very seldom do you see any big wrecks there(Okay NASCAR gods, cast your ugly wrath upon me by proving me wrong once again! This time, for the sake of the fans.).

Will Martinsville produce more than the 8 cautions we saw in northern Tennessee? Or is it southern Virginia? Who cares? My gut says no. My heart says yes. So, I'm gonna go against both and say that we will have exactly 8 caution flags.

Last week at Bristol brought be 2 top 5ers. Not bad, but it could be better. The top 5ers were Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin. Naturally, this means that both drivers have earned a spot in this week's top 5. Also, no Junior-Vickers retaliation last week, so I will carry on that prediction to Martinsville. Now, I had originally thought about picking Jimmie Johnson or Jeff Gordon to win this week. But that seemed too logical. I mean, what would my good buddy say if I actually made a logical pick(No offense Denny Hamlin)? He wouldn't know what to do. So, without further ado, here's my Martinsville top 5:

5.Jeff Gordon
4.Jamie McMurray
3.Jimmie Johnson
2.Kurt Busch
1.Denny Hamlin

Yes, going with Denny for the repeat, and Kurt Busch with a rebound this week. Before I sign off, I'd like to thank anyone who joined the Hopper Fan Club on Facebook. After one week, we already have over a dozen members. If you have a Facebook and you haven't joined, feel free to join the Club! That's all for this week. Have a Happy Sunday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Food City 500 Preview

Thank goodness that off-weekend is over! I didn't know what to do with myself this past weekend. I tried to get my NASCAR fix in any way I could, but no matter what I did, nothing seemed to work.

I began with sticking my NASCAR 09 XBox game into my 360, in hopes that perhaps I could quench my NASCAR thirst. Instead, all I got was a message across the screen that said, "Disk unreadable!". To this day, that's still all I've gotten. My NASCAR 09 game appears to be deceased. This makes me sad.

Still thirsty for something NASCAR, I channel surfed for awhile. Finally, I came across the Disney/Pixar movie Cars. Now, don't get me wrong, Cars is a good movie. But trying to quench your NASCAR thirst by watching that movie would be like quenching your real-life thirst by drinking a shot of highly caffeinated Pepsi. In other words, it just makes things worse.

I somehow made it through my Sunday, which quite frankly, seemed to last longer than these 4 days since. Anyway, the action at Bristol begins tomorrow with practice and qualifying for the Cup and Nationwide series. But, before we can move on to Bristol, let's briefly review Atlanta.

Let's see, Mark Martin lead from the Pole, and then Kurt Busch lead, and then Kurt Busch lead, and then Marcos Ambrose's gas man went to fetch a tire, which would have brought out a caution anyway, but the crew man is being blamed for the caution, and then Kurt Busch lead. Well, you get the picture.

In all honesty, it was good to see Kurt finally go out and show us what he, and Dodge, are still made of. Unfortunately for me, Dodge's success did nothing to help my picks record this year, although I was still able to keep my streak of picking one top 5 driver every week alive. Yes, Carl Edwards, with his third place finish, was my lone top 5er in the ATL.

Now, we can move on to Bristol. I predict 20 cautions. No, seriously. If Atlanta can have double-digit cautions then Bristol can have 20. Oh, and I'm seeing a little Brian Vickers/Dale Jr. revenge this week. I just don't know who will run into whom. And now, my top 5 picks for Bristol:

5.Denny Hamlin
4.Jeff Gordon
3.Jeff Burton
2.Carl Edwards
1.Kurt Busch

I can't tell you how much I hate picking Kurt to win this week, especially after the proverbial hex I put on a couple of Ford drivers last week. But you can't go on thinking you're a human jinx, even if your most loyal readers hint at the fact. That's all for this week. Have a Happy Sunday!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kobalt Tools 500 Preview

The Atlanta Motor Speedway, the site of this weekend's racing action, holds a special place in Hopper's heart for two reasons. Yes, Hopper does have a heart, believe it or not. For one, it is my home track. I absolutely adore going out to the track on Friday(I hate the Sunday crowds), rummaging around the souvenir trailers and tents, and seeing all the exciting new die cast cars.

The other reason is that, come Sunday, it is one of only a few races a year that makes Hopper cry. Yes, the Atlanta races bore Hopper to tears.

The long green-flag runs are sooooooo boring. Especially when your driver isn't running at the front. And especially when your driver(s) bring out every single caution flag, as was the case in a recent Atlanta race. Which is why I will not be picking a Dodge to win this weekend, or finish in the top 5 for that matter.

You will also not see me predict 10 caution flags again this week(we had 14 last week). Mother stayed away last week(I'm referring to Ms. Nature), as promised. My only top 5er from Vegas was Kyle Busch, who won. So now, onto Atlanta.

Mother Nature appears as if she will strike again. The forecast calls for rain on Sunday. This may actually be a good thing. History suggests that Monday races are more exciting in Atlanta. Also, I predict 7 yellows if the race is run on Sunday(5 for debris or rain), and 10 if run on Monday. And now, my top 5:

5. Bobby Labonte
4. Greg Biffle
3. Jimmie Johnson
2. Kyle Busch(in by default)
1. Carl Edwards

I hope I have not destroyed Mr. Labonte's weekend by calling him a top 5 pick. I seem to have that effect on people(I can hear a good buddy of mine. "Remember the playoffs. You put my kids through college."). Anyway, thanks for reading. Have a happy Sunday!