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Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Hampshire lineup is deceiving

For those of you who looked at the lineup for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and thought we might get a surprise winner this week … think again.

A rain delay changed track conditions in the middle of qualifying, and that’s about the only scenario that would give Patrick Carpentier a pole position. Bobby Labonte, Kevin Harvick and Scott Riggs are in spots 2 through 4, but out of that group only Harvick has an outside shot.

If he can get his mind off what he’s doing next year (after fanning the flames further with a reference that he may be interested in the 5 car vacated by Casey Mears), Tony Stewart has the ability to contend at New Hampshire. But I have a feeling this is kind of a throwaway season for Tony. He has yet to win, and I don’t see him doing much better than a win or two before the season ends.

The most likely victor will be either Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon or Denny Hamlin, who all have great track records here. Put me down for a Johnson victory, as he’s bound to go on a hot streak at some point this season. Now is as good a time as any to start it.

My dark horse pick is Juan Pablo Montoya, who led both Saturday practices and was third fastest on Friday. If he can pull out a victory Sunday, he might lose that tag of “road-course specialist” only, and be viewed as more of a complete driver. Fun fact of the day: Robby Gordon’s only non-road course victory came at New Hampshire, so there is a precedent for this.

PIT STOP:
If I were Joe Gibbs, I’d tell Tony I was tired of his games, and that he should just make a decision already. First, it’s rumored that the Haas ownership deal is almost finalized. Then Tony say the 5 ride opening makes him think about things more. I think everyone will be happier once he just announces his decision.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony races for cheeseburgers.

June 29, 2008 at 9:08 AM 

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