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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Jr is an Old Gun and other thoughts

Apparently Dale Earnhardt Jr will not be a part of the Gillette Young Guns next year. Probably the best news is that dreadful "Newman!" commercial won't air past this November. The Young Guns commercials were fine when there were three or four in rotation. This year they made one spot and beat it into the ground. Maybe the second one was supposed to air when Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray or Carl Edwards scored a win and they're still waiting.

What does this mean in the scheme of things? Can the Young Guns replace him with David Reutimann? Will he start a rival faction at Schick, teaming up with Paul Menard and Reed Sorenson? Is he finally free to grow a killer beard? Did he or Gillette realize that he is 32?

Personally, I think Gillette denied Jr's Mach Ocho idea. Rumors then surfaced about him wanting to bring back the Mach 3, which didn't fit their marketing plan.

Other Thoughts:
-The top four in points average finishes during the Chase:
Johnson (12.1), Kenseth (11.1), Earnhardt JR (12.7), Hamlin (12.5).

That's pretty close for only eight races. Now look at the bonus points:
Johnson (40), Kenseth (30), Earnhardt Jr (30), Hamlin (15).

The two numbers combined give a quick and dirty picture why Johnson is leading Kenseth by 17 points. And also how important the bonus points actually are. Kenseth has been very keen to time his pit stops in order to lead laps in races like Kansas, Charlotte and Texas where he is not a frontrunner. Those 15 points may be crucial in the end. That also means Benny Parsons is right, when he's always babbling about "He wants to get those five bonus points for leading a lap" (he says it verbatim at every chance).

-Today is election day. I live in Oregon where you have to mail in your ballot before today. I forgot, which is probably best anyway. I'm not proud admitting I have very little idea of what’s going on. I have tried in the past but end up burned out on all the commercials, posturing and mudslinging. I attempt to listen to the issues, but typically the arguments degenerate into petty arguments. I'd rather argue about Pettys I guess.

I approach elections in the same way that most people regard the NCAA basketball tournament. The majority of the country is caught up in this event, so I’d better cast my lot too. I smirk or have mild irritation at the people that fill out their brackets based on 30 minutes of research. And that is what my ballot would have amounted to today. It's not that I don't care what happens in my country or even my state, but man it's hard work cutting through the BS. It's still not an excuse and I'm going to start researching my ballot for '08 immediately.

Trivia Question:
The top three leaders in total laps in '06 are Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick. Who is fourth?