Week two of NASCAR's Chase for the Championship rolls into Dover and hits the highbanks of the Monster Mile Sunday. Mark Martin won the first race of the playoffs last week in Loudon and kept his grip on the top spot in the points.
That race in Loudon was somewhat exciting and entertaining. So, why were the TV ratings for it the lowest of any Chase race....ever! That's six years! Just as I predicted after the ratings bump at Richmond, the NFL steamrolls anything head-to-head on Sunday afternoons. ABC/Disney/ESPN/Pixar/Proctor and Gamble (?) air NCAA football on Saturday nights, so don't expect them to ask NASCAR to schedule more Chase races for those nights.
Martin Truex Jr is buying 100 tickets to the race at Dover this Sunday and giving them away to fans. The strange part is that he's giving them to ex-season ticket holders. What, Chad and Muffy went with the home sauna/dry cleaner addition instead of renewing their Dover suite seats? No worries, Truex comes through with a personal bailout.
In a surprise to no one, Danica Patrick signed a three year contract to remain with Andretti Green Racing and the IRL. Maybe she kept visiting SHR headquarters just to see Tony Stewart socially?
Brian Vickers becomes the youngest driver ever to make 200 starts in the Cup series when he gets the green this Sunday. Something called 'Vaseline MEN Lotion' will be Truex's primary sponsor on Sunday. Too bad I vowed not to make any jokes about Carl Edwards.
The #18 of Kyle Busch was found to be too low in post race inspection last week in Loudon. Busch was fined 25 points. A spokesman for JGR claimed that a spring broke during the race and caused the problem. Wouldn't NASCAR take that into consideration?
National Guard drivers, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr, visited Arlington National Cementary earlier this week and placed a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Both drivers and Rick Hendrick all said they were very moved by the ceremony. Our quote of the week comes from Gordon afterwards......
"The peace, the security that we feel in the safety of our country is because of the men and women here at Arlington."