This weekend is the first road race of the ‘08 season in Infineon. I love road racing, but NASCAR does not know how to run a road race. The road course ringers and NASCAR’s superstars battle it out and normally ends up in chaos. The biggest problem that I see is that all drivers run over whoever they want all race long and NASCAR never does anything about it. If you cannot get around someone, knock him off the track! It is ridiculous.
I love that road racing requires creative strategy, but last year was a little crazy as some drivers “mysteriously” went a little further on fuel then everybody else. Crew chiefs can make or break a win as an untimely caution can screw up any strategy.
The Hendrick Motorsports team has two super road racers with Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, and are expected to run upfront this weekend. Dale Earnhardt Jr. tried to earn extra road racing experience in other forms of motor sports, but after a fire in a Corvette, DEI did not allow him to partake in non NASCAR races. Casey Mears needs a great run to salvage any kind of season this year.
Joe Gibbs Racing has been extremely fast all year with Kyle Busch. Busch has not been race winning material for road racing, but has managed top 15 finishes the last couple of season. Tony Stewart can certainly wheel a car around any track.
Roush Racing has had show good races with Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray, unfortunately doesn’t drive for them any longer, but McMurray will be pretty quick. The rest of their drivers will just hope to get out of the race with all the fenders on.
The road ringers this year, I think, will be lead by Scott Pruitt. He has had a phenomenal season in the Rolex series and looks to carry his momentum into Infineon. Juan Pablo Montoya looks to back up his race from last year, and will be a threat no doubt. Boris Said is allows quick but seems to find controversy with other cars. Robby Gordon is another controversy seeker, but has seemed to calm down lately. Marcos Ambrose will attempt to make his first Spirit Cup race, so I see him being quick, but not overly aggressive like we saw in Mexico. Ron Fellows and Max Papis are stepping into great cars so neither one of them will settle for less then a top ten. My favorite, AJ Allmendinger did not make the race last year, but has built up momentum over the last couple of weeks and if he can keep it up, he can make the top 35 in points.
My top 5 looks like this: 1. Jimmie Johnson 2. Jeff Gordon 3. Tony Stewart 4. Robby Gordon 5. Ron Fellows