Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rusty Reckons: Dover

Man, oh man, the first Chase race sure brought us some excitement, huh? First, as Rusty predicted, the wheels came off the 18 team, almost literally.

And a little sidebar for those who still whine about watching cars turn left for 3 hours. Kyle's car broke a bolt that helps racecars get through the corner, essentially making the 18 perform much more similar to our street cars at high speeds. Look at how his car turns over going through the corner in the video.

Compare that to what normal racecars look like going through the turns, and that gives you an idea about the intense G-forces at work, and the engineering behind making these cars go fast.

And then counter to what Rusty predicted, the Biff sure came out of nowhere to steal the win from Jimmie Johnson, huh? I don't reckon anyone saw that coming. So, the standings got a little mixed up going into Dover this Sunday, and it's pretty much still anyone's chase.

Dover is called the monster mile, and for several reasons. It's narrow, and the concrete surface tends to eat up tires, kinda like Rusty on a plate of barbeque. It's a monster to drive, it's even called "Bristol on steroids". Just this past June, an early race incident took out a whole slew of competitors. With Kenseth and Busch coming off horrible finishes at Loudon, and others wanting to establish themselves, look for this to be quite heated battle on those high banks.

Now, my sources are telling me that Dover's never been to friendly to the also-ran's, which might make it especially hard to put together a winning fantasy line-up this weekend. Nine of the 12 drivers in the Chase are in the A Grouping, so . . . . that means the A list pick could be a real crap shot, and the C list pick is nothing more than groping around in the dark.

Well, let's mix it up and start with the C List pick, since it's gonna really just be like throwing darts at the wall. Rusty's going back to Reutimann this week. Short tracks seem to treat him a little better than most, having got a 1/3 of his top 10 finishes from tracks a mile or shorter. Seems like as good a dart as any.

Of the three choices, our B list might be the simplest cause there's only 3 Chase drivers in the group (Shrub, June-bug, & the Biff). It's made simpler by the fact that Biffle is coming off a win, and hasn't finished outside of the top 10 at Dover since Fall 2005, racking up 3 top 5's in the process. He's also a previous winner at Dover, winning the Spring race in 2005, and with a 12.6 average finish in 12 starts, he's a solid solid choice . . . (Rusty still maintains he won't finish higher than 10th in the final standings, though).

And now the crap shoot. Carl and Jimmie are both still pretty daggum hot. To be honest, Jimmie should have won at New Hampshire, but whatever. Carl might be the better choice at Dover this coming weekend, though. Both have won there, but Carl more recently, having won the Spring race last year. Similar to his teammate Biffle, Mr. Ed's been tearing it up on the concrete lately. He's amassed 4 consecutive top 3 finishes. Barring an act of God (or Kyle), I imagine he'll be right up there in the thick of things again this weekend. So, roll those dice and take Cousin Carl!

A List
- C Edwards (99)
B List
- G Biffle (16)
C List
- D Reutimann (44)

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