This week finds NASCAR making it's fourth trip west of the Mississippi in the two months since the season opened in Daytona. Oooohh! Look at us. We're a national sport. We're relevant.
We find ourselves in Phoenix with some unanswered questions. Like, will Jimmie Johnson win his 4th in a row at PIR?
Would NFL on FOX analyst, and Subway shill, Michael Strahan be the Grand Marshall of the Subway 500 if it were the Quiznos 500, on NBC?
Why does the green flag drop at 8:46 pm et Saturday night? I recommend Starbucks Mocha frap (for the caffeine) with Malibu coconut rum, on ice (for the smile).
A few fantasy Donts for this race. Ryan Newman won the pole here last year, then finished 43rd. DFL. The mailman has an average finish of 22.4 over the last five years at PIR.
You might also want to stay away from Robby Gordon, average finish of 28.7 over the last five years. Casey Mears, 26.4, and Elliott Sadler, 27.3.
Everyone's (but mine) favorite, Mark Martin has 9 top-5s, and 15 top-10s in his 24 PIR starts. He has an average finish of 9.4, and has finished 16th or better in his last 20 races here.
Carl Edwards' #99 will be slathered in Subway this week. Auto Value will be mired mid-pack (at best) with Reed Sorenson's #43 at PIR. The #11 Toyota of Denny Hamlin will be sporting a special March of Dimes logo on Sunday.
The #09 sits 46th in owner points, while the #78 is 42nd. Guess which one would make the race if qualifying were rained out? Right! The #09. The #09 has attempted to qualify 7 times, where as the #78 has only attempted 3 times. Somehow, NASCAR values attempts over actual points for cars outside the top 35. Makes perfect sense. For NASCAR.
Jim France stepped down as International Speedway Corp. CEO. He stays on as ISC Chairman of the Board. Lesa Kennedy ---Brian France's sister--- takes over as CEO. She still remains the Vice Chair of the ISC Board.
ISC, a great place to work.... if your last name happens to be France.