I am just another foreigner. Sure, I’ve been to Daytona. I spent Christmas a couple of years ago on a beach near Malibu. I have been in the Empire State Building, walked the boardwalk in Atlantic City, toured Gettysburg, been to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and drove the strip in Las Vegas. I have walked the Little Bighorn Battlefield more than once, seen Devil’s Tower and visited Mount Rushmore. I have watched the Red Sox play in Seattle, and I believe the scenery in Wyoming is second to none. I’ve been there, but I do not live there.
I am reminded of that fact as I write this. You see, the big dirt race at Eldora Speedway was slated for this week. Sadly, as a Canadian, that American-based program was not be broadcast on this side of the border, or any truck race for that matter. All was not lost. TSN, our version of ESPN, was slated to run a NASCAR event the same night. It was the Canadian Tire series, from Wetaskiwin, Alberta. A race run nearly two weeks ago and won by 43-year old Scott Steckly from Milverton, Ontario. It was his second win in the six races run to date and he leads the season standings. You might not care. You might not even be Canadian. You might have been stuck having to watch that dirt race broadcast on live television from Iowa. Oh, well, such are the trials and tribulations of being American, I guess.
This Sunday, NASCAR is back on my television, but not from Wetaskiwin, a place where I understand cars cost less than in, say, Edmonton. No, this Sunday the event is something called the Brickyard 400, from a place called Indianapolis. You might have heard of it.
In the meantime, as a Canadian, please allow me to politely submit this week’s Hot 20…
1. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 4 WINS (646 Points)
He and Chad are free agents at the end of the season. Could anyone tempt them?
2. KEVIN HARVICK – 2 WINS (734 Points)
Disaster struck in the pits…so the best he could do was third. Third. Oh, the humanity!
3. DALE EARNHARDT JR. – 2 WINS (655 Points)
Junior was hot last week. Okay, more like p.o.’d, to use the vernacular.
4. KURT BUSCH – 2 WINS (576 Points)
The forgotten Busch? Little brothers can be so attention getting.
5. JOEY LOGANO – 1 WIN (665 Points)
It is so good to be a Penske guy right now.
6. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 1 WIN (628 Points)
Some guys got the breaks in New Hampshire, other guys were named Truex.
7. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 1 WIN (603 Points)
Best damn driver in recent weeks not named Kyle Busch.
8. MATT KENSETH – 1 WIN (578 Points)
It is a good thing they do not hand out demerits for speeding…on pit road.
9. DENNY HAMLIN – 1 WIN (552 Points)
Hamlin wins Saturday, upsets Austin, but why in hell were either racing in the minor league?
10. CARL EDWARDS – 1 WIN (487 Points)
The big difference between Clint and Carl is a single checkered flag.
11. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 574 POINTS
Jamie had a lousy day. Still, Bowyer’s was even worse.
12. JEFF GORDON – 573 POINTS
Five Indianapolis wins, including just one year ago. Why not six?
13. KASEY KAHNE – 538 POINTS
Presently a Chase contender, but best title comes in October…a new dad.
14. RYAN NEWMAN – 530 POINTS
Eleventh at New Hampshire means some breathing room heading to Indianapolis.
15. PAUL MENARD – 528 POINTS
Fail inspection once, you get a letter. If it happens again this week, they get penalized.
16. ARIC ALMIROLA – 502 POINTS
17. CLINT BOWYER – 500 POINTS
Failed inspection, runs into Gordon outside the garage, then car fades to irrelevance in the race.
18. GREG BIFFLE – 437 POINTS
If NASCAR had the same rules as MLB, Biffle should demand to be traded by the deadline.
19. AUSTIN DILLON – 434 POINTS
Has an idea as to where he would love to shove the XFINITY checkered flag after last Saturday.
20. CASEY MEARS – 427 POINTS
#13 proves to be a good number as Casey signs up for another season with Germain Racing.