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Monday, June 2, 2008

Does anyone have any Kryptonite?

I predicted Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle would battle for the win and one of them would take the checkered flag at Dover. Three-quarters of the way into Sunday’s race, my prediction was holding up.

Then something happened. That something was … no surprise … Kyle Busch. A combination of fast pit stops and his crew fixing whatever was ailing his car vaulted him to the lead. Not only did he win, he smoked the competition by more than six seconds. He was also putting on dominating performances in the Truck and Nationwide races this weekend until problems ended his hopes for victory. Without that trouble, he could have easily won all three races this weekend.

It’s getting to the point where the other drivers just have to hope Kyle has mechanical problems or an accident, because otherwise they probably won’t beat him. He’s on pace for a season for the ages, like Jeff Gordon had in 1998 during his dominating championship run. If Kyle Busch was racing under the old points system Gordon had in 1998 (meaning no Chase to worry about), I’m guessing he’d win the Cup title by about 500 points this year. The only reason I won’t hand him the Cup just yet is that someone else might get hot by September and be ready to go toe-to-toe with for the final 10 races. The key word in that sentence is MIGHT.

The most bizarre point of the Dover race came during the multi-car wreck that happened early in the race when Elliot Sadler cut in front of David Gilliland and tore up almost a dozen racecars in the process. While everyone else slowed down and tried to minimize damage, Hamlin came in full blast, smashing into the pile hard. You would think Hamlin -- a.k.a. Mr. get out of my way Nationwide drivers, a Cup guy is coming through -- would know better.

While I probably won’t spring for the Pay-Per-View Wednesday night, I’m looking forward to the future cable broadcast of the Prelude to a Dream race at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway. Many of your favorite Cup drivers will compete in a dirt-track race at the track, with proceeds benefiting Kyle Petty’s Victory Junction Gang Camp, which was created in honor of his late son Adam Petty. Dirt-track racing is always fun to watch, with the cars so sideways you think they are going to wreck every turn, but it should be extra fun with all the big-time Cup stars competing.

Dover was the last race on Fox until next February’s Daytona 500, and TNT will take over for six weeks, starting next week at Pocono. While the Fox team has its good and bad points, I think we can all agree on one thing: If I never hear “boogity, boogity, boogity” again, it will be too soon. And let’s pray they drop the silly “let’s go racin’ boys” song playing at every commercial break, as it’s becoming unbearable. Every fan who‘s annoyed by Darrell Waltrip’s stupid little sayings should send the network an e-mail saying so, and maybe they’ll get the hint.

Joey Logano lived up the hype and finished sixth at Dover in his debut Nationwide race. Can’t say I’m surprised. I figured he’d get a top-ten finish, but he almost was able to pull off a top-five. Sky’s the limit with this kid.

There have been three straight first-time winners in the Truck series -- veteran Matt Crafton, rookie Donny Lia and rookie Scott Speed. Speed won in only his sixth career Truck series start, and don’t be surprised if you see the Red Bull team fast-track him to the Cup series. He is a former Formula 1 driver, so it makes sense he wouldn’t slum around in the Truck series for long. If Almendinger doesn’t start producing in his Cup ride, Speed would be the logical replacement.


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