It's hard to bet against Busch at Chicagoland
One possible spoiler could be Greg Biffle, who’s had a great car many weeks this season, but has been snakebitten by the worst luck. He’s been at or near the top of the charts during all practices, and is due for a strong finish.
Keep an eye on Tony Stewart, who can focus on finishing the year strong now that all the speculation about what he's doing next year is done. He should run well, but I won't go so far as to say he'll contend for the checkered flag. He'll get a couple wins before the year ends, but I don't see it happening this week.
-- Among the NASCAR news making the rounds Friday was that presidential candidate Barack Obama was considering a sponsorship of the BAM Racing car driven by Ken Schrader when the Cup series goes to Pocono later this summer. Though the Obama campaign said late Friday that it likely won’t happen, I think it would be wise for Obama to go through with this sponsorship, at least for a race or two.
NASCAR’s fan base is stereotyped as GOP-backing Southerners, but the reality is the sport has grown so much in the past decade, there are fans in every state of all political persuasions, and it could serve Obama (and McCain) well to get their face and name on the hood of a car before November (though backmarker BAM might not be the best choice). Showing up at a race would be an even better PR move for both candidates. There’s millions of potential voters watching the race every week, and it’s a great chance to try to sway some voters.
-- Something needs to be done about the Nationwide Series, where the races are becoming ridiculously predictable most weeks. Joe Gibbs’ teams are stinking up the show, and the races aren’t remotely competitive most of the time. I’m not knocking Gibbs for having superior equipment and drivers.
But I long for the days when the junior series was a true training ground for young, hungry drivers fighting to earn a Cup ride, and battling for the championship in the process. It’s become a place Cup drivers go to collect wins and championships while boring fans to tears.