The view from the flagstand was excellent this week in Atlanta. We thought that maybe the twelve driver field for the Chase would be sorted out a little in the A.T.L. But, the standings are closer now for the final transfers than they were last week.
As of now, Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch are on the outside looking in. They are the only two drivers with a chance of joining the party. They will have to go for the win, lead some laps, and hope for some bad luck for their rivals Saturday night in Richmond.
CHECKERED FLAGS........Kasey Kahne benefited from a late caution flag to overtake, leader, Kevin Harvick. Then it was time for some cold Buds in Hotlanta. Harvick wound up second, and also dominated the NNS race at Atlanta on Saturday night.
GREEN FLAGS........Juan Pablo Montoya finished third, and David Reutimann was fourth. Ride swappers, Bobby Labonte (18) and David Gilliland (19) both were better than expected. So were David Stremme (14), Paul Menard (15), and Robby Gordon (16). Probably the first, and last, time those three will get a green flag from me.
YELLOW FLAGS.......Kyle Busch led a lot of laps early, then couldn't close the deal. He was as high as sixth in points at one point during the race, but ended up losing a spot and falling to 14th. With just one regular season race to go, he won't be able to depend on his talent to make the Chase. Kurt Busch was also strong early, hanging aroung the top-5. He kissed the wall and finished 38th. Jimmie Johnson may have had the car to beat, but problems dropped him to 36th.
RED FLAG.......Bobby Labonte may have been jobbed by his race team. His team, HOFR is in bed with Yates Racing, who are, in turn a puppet for RFR. Bobby thought it strange that his car didn't have sponsorship for seven races.....at the end of the season. Also, strange that a driver can drive in seven races without losing his standings as a rookie driver....for future runs at the ROY award. Nothing against Labonte's replacement, (future ROY contender) Erik Darnell (who finished 30th).....it's not his fault he drives for Beezlebub in a hat.
BLACK FLAG......Tony Stewart, who not only isn't exactly peaking as the Chase looms, is reportedly this close to bringing Danica Patrick to NASCAR. Why? Money! There can be no other reason. A handfull of open wheel aces have tried to drive the taxi cabs in the last few years. Other than Scott Speed, in ARCA and the Truck Series, none have come close to a win. And, all are far more talented than Danica.
WHITE FLAG......I'm no big Carl Edwards fan (no, really) but the story that aired during the pre-race about the young girl with cancer was a real tear jerker. Carl's sponsor, AFLAC, had a contest for youth cancer patients to design the paint scheme for Carl's #99 that he would drive at Atlanta. The winner was Carl's guest and she even got to ride around the track with him as part of the pre-race introductions. So for getting me all choked up, Carl gets the white flag of truce. Which means no more jokes about him until season's end.