NASCAR 2009: A Guide to a Successful Season

al asifyouknowSenior Analyst IJanuary 8, 2009

 successful 2009 NASCAR season will need to unfold like a blockbuster movie or the type of suspense and intrigue of the "Who Shot J.R." saga.

Act One: Daytona.

After a long and accident free race, it all comes down to the last 10 laps. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards are all running up front in the same line with good tires and plenty of gas.

There is also the slower lane where Matt Kenseth, Juan Pablo Montoya, Mark Martin, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, and Greg Biffle all trying to get a good push to the front. Gordon and Busch break out to another line, Edwards moves up to Earnhardt Jr. and bumps him too hard, Junior loses control and collects Biffle, Kahne, Bowyer, and about 10 others from the field. Edwards escapes the mess. "The big one" just happened!

As this is all unfolding, a rookie was lucky enough to avoid all that mess.

The race restarts with five laps to go,Gordon, Busch, Edwards, Bowyer, a rookie, and Montoya are front and center. After a few laps the rookie and Montoya break out and Montoya does what he does best in restrictor plate racing, push someone to the front.

Last lap—the rookie and Montoya are up front, Montoya tries desperately to make a move but doesn't have enough car for one Joey Logano, the 2009 Daytona winner. Now that is incredible!

Act Two: Auto Club 500 to Southern 500.

During this period a few wins by Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be very helpful. Maybe even a win by Montoya followed by a few top 10s would be huge to get the non-traditional fans interested.

Joey Logano needs to run top 15 or better every week to keep it interesting. Maybe he can get some of those Hannah Montana-type fans into the mix.

Juan Pablo Montoya will finally win an oval and it will be in a place he runs very well, Talladega.

Act Three: Coca-Cola 600 to Lifelock.Com.

Act Three gives a us a half-season going into the Brickyard. The fans now have a chance to sit back and reflect on how the season is going.

The middle of the season finds the standings as follows:

1. Kyle Busch (Oops! I just saw a large object pass over my head.)

2. Jeff Gordon

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

4. Jimmie Johnson

5. Carl Edwards

6. Mark Martin

7. Juan Pablo Montoya

8. Matt Kenseth

9. Denny Hamlin

10. Martin Truex Jr.

11. Joey Logano

12. Kevin Harvick

Then David Ragan, Bobby Labonte, David Reutimann, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, Michael Waltrip, Robby Gordon, and Jeff Burton are very close to the chase.

The biggest surprised during this period is a win by Marcos Ambrose.

Act Four:

The Indy race has to bring something spectacular to the season, like ahh, how about a tire that can go two or three laps. Now, is that asking too much?

Tony Stewart's season has been a struggle. Top 20s are few and not one top 10. This race will get his fans off their seats. Stewart will win Indy with Juan Pablo Montoya once again right behind him. Tony winning in a Chevy will get those fans up off their seats to buy that all-important NASCAR merchandise.

Great runs by Joey Logano and David Ragan. Indy would bring the biggest fight in years. Kevin Harvick did not appreciate Carl Edwards' little punt and run. Kevin hit Carl then Carl hit Kevin, but no damage was done because they never took off their helmets. I guess they don't want those cute faces damaged. It was mostly a slapping fight. You know what I'm talking about.

Act Five: Pennsylvania 500 to Ford 400

Bristol, Richmond, Dover, Martinsville, Talladega, and Homestead most step up to the plate and become races that everyone talks about next day around the water cooler.

The top six or seven places have been determined by now but there are five or six places with about 15 drivers with a chance to take them. The standings have been very close due to the fact the cars are starting to deliver their intended consequence, more parity.

Few teams have mid-teens numbers in top 10s, only Kyle Busch (why is it every time I mention his name something gets thrown over my head!) has 20-plus top 10 finishes.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch (ouch), and Jeff Gordon totally dominate this last act, winning or running top five week in and week out. The Junior nation is in full alert and his sponsors are just loving it. They buy anything painted green. There is a rumor Chevy is going to paint every car they make Junior green.

The real story of this act is not about the leaders but about the rest of the 20 drivers that still have a real chance to make the Chase.

I'm only going to give you the top six. There are about another 20 drivers with a chance to make the Chase:

1. Kyle Busch (&^%$&^$^&)

2. Jeff Gordon

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

4. Mark Martin

5. Joey Logano

6. Juan Pablo Montoya

Who are the rest? Up to 20 other drivers will be racing for the rest of the spots. Yes! Jimmie Johnson will not four-peat. He will fall apart the second half of the season and is outside looking in at the Chase.

In Summary: On and After The Season

Logano wins Daytona and two more races with many top 10s. Young girls go crazy and he is the centerfold in a teen magazine.

Montoya wins four races.

Ambrose wins one race.

Martin wins 2 two races and has a great season. Viagra comes back to sponsor.

Junior is declared a national treasure by Congress.

Jeff Gordon is rumored to go to F1 to form an American team.

Kyle Busch was seen taking the last train to the coast and wants to become a surfer. I'll miss him.

JJ was hired by Robby Gordon to run desert buggys. JJ said he need a break from NASCAR. To much pressure on him to win number four.

The Chase:

This is the ending but I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe later. I do think Kyle Busch won (Ouch, now that hurts! Stop it!).













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