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Monday, September 11, 2006

The Big Mo' and it's Uselessness

Everyone loves to talk about momentum entering the Chase. Announcers and writers love intangibles for storylines. Kevin Harvick has momentum because he won at Richmond, so the easy inference is that Harvick has a great chance to win the Chase. Keep this in mind: The last two winners of the fall Richmond race(Jeremy Mayfield, Kurt Busch) both had problems at Loudon and finished the season in tenth place. It’s nice to think momentum is really important, but it is not as important as running well each week. Harvick has run well the majority of the season, his win was far from a fluke or guessing right. Is it because of momentum or having good cars and a good driver? The teams that bring the best cars and stay out of trouble will succeed. This is why Harvick has a great chance to win a title, not because he happened to win last week’s race.

Other Thoughts
-Of the four or five drivers on the bubble at Richmond, would anyone have said Tony Stewart would be the one to miss the top ten? He could win up to three races during the Chase, starting as soon as Sunday at New Hampshire. Watch out for him to contend at Loudon, Talladega, Martinsville and Phoenix.

-Lots of attention was paid to Stewart’s backup car being an older generation Gibbs car. Since Richmond was an impound race, they were unable to work on it after qualifying. Why didn’t the 20 team try to work on it after qualifying? Starting at the back of the field isn’t very costly when you qualify 40th, especially considering the need to make the Chase. I certainly won’t pretend to know better than one of the top teams in NASCAR, but it is still interesting.

-On a Bill Davis team with no manufacturer support, Dave Blaney’s top five at Richmond was like a victory. It was also one more cut at Michael Waltrip’s disaster called the 2006 season. The 22 team has consistently improved throughout the season.

-NBC's coverage was pretty terrible, especially Bill Weber. He adds no new information when he comments, and occasionally is plain wrong. How many fans need the Lucky Dog or the Chase system explained during every segment? After Harvick took the checkered flag Weber yells, "Kevin Harvick sweeps at Bristol!". I can give a free pass to a fan sitting at home and getting confused. Weber presumably was in the city of Richmond, Virginia all weekend and should know where he is.