Oh dear merciful Lord, it’s back! Just when you thought it was safe to be a NASCAR driver and do something vaguely stupid “All Killer, No Filler” returns after one it’s brief getaways.
This means that instead of being stuck with the seven dwarfs of the race before I get to pick and choose who I want from a bunch of races, so sit back (not that far back, you’ll probably need to scroll down) and enjoy the shambling, shuffling (and rather late) return of AFNK as it slips in the back door like you do when you come home three hours late after a night at the pub.
Let’s just hope they’re not up still.....
Dave Blaney – Yes, I get to pick and choose who gets to ride the bus this week, but it just wouldn’t be an edition of AKNK without Dave Blaney, he’s the field filler comfort blanket that keeps us all warm at night. Sunday night at Fontana he didn’t disappoint (although he was still recovering from a dizzying 37th place in Dover) as he fumbled to finish 40th, completing just 22 laps before “overheating” parked the car............10/10
Michael McDowell – People of California. I ask you “was it absurdly hot on Sunday afternoon?” Could you fry eggs on the pavement? Were people breaking hydrants simply to get some fresh, cooling water that evaporated before it even touched the ground where it would have instantly boiled on contact? I only ask as there seems to have been an outbreak of overheating at Fontana, with Blaney, Mcdowell and David Gilliland all had their races ended by over-heating (although between you and me the only “heat” involved in Gilliland and the #71’s retirement was Kyle Busch’s fever and the Gibbs money burning a whole in the team’s pocket...................10/10
Michael Waltrip – MWR have gone insane! First you have Michael’s Evil Kneivel impression through the big accident on Sunday. Everyone else is crashing, spinning and wrecking around you, what do you do? a) back off until you the smoke clears or your spotter tells you the spinning, crashing and wrecking has stopped or b) floor it right through the middle, doing a combination of fervent prayer and the song your mother used to sing to you? If you picked a) you’re sensible, if you picked b) you’re Michael Waltrip (hello Michael) or you’re just being silly. Then comes the news they’re chatting up Danica Patrick about a move to NASCAR. They can’t be that desperate for publicity.....4/10
Sam Hornish – Honey, I’m worried about Sam. I think he might actually be a NASCAR driver. The artist formally known as Sideways turned in another creditable performance by finishing 12th, a result that once would have only been because of the top contenders crashing, flukish fuel economy or divine intervention. Sam may have outlived his days as a NASCAR joke, which mean we need someone to fill his shoes..........3/10
Casey Mears – And who better to move onto that Casey Mears, a man who has had every opportunity thrust upon him and has failed to do anything, other than with the help of the same divine intervention mentioned above. The TV people are obviously fearful for Casey’s future, going to great lengths to point out how he was running sixth for a few laps, which was his highest finish of the season (I wonder how many fully funded multi-car teams would be proud of that?). Casey soon slumped to eleventh, which isn’t his best finish of the season.........4/10
Ryan Newman – Perhaps it’s because I’m not American, or because I like watching racing, rather that listening to infomercials, that NASCAR constant product placement makes me squirm in my seat like I’ve just had an accident in my trousers (sorry, pants). But at Lowe’s on Saturday Ryan and Jeff Gordon will promote the Transformers sequel, but “becoming” Transformers themselves (I’m not sure but I don’t think they’re going to fit the templates somehow). The only way it could be any better is if Jimmie Johnson were the evil Megatron – actually there is no way we know he isn’t......5/10
Brian Vickers – My guess is Brian is probably hoping he didn’t make the Chase right now. That was he’d be getting all his appalling luck and bad weekends out of the way while no-one was looking, concentrating on the efforts of Kyle Busch after he made the Chase at Richmond. This weeks misfortune was a broken shock absorber, which the team overcame with the same sort of technical expertise you use when you lick a battery to see if it’s working, by shoving four spring rubbers in. Then they managed to get involved in the big crash – more on that later.......7/10
And the Brikkie Goes To............
Let us address the Brikkie by tapping into movie and/or book quotes. What, everyone are the rules of Fight Club? 1. You don’t talk about Fight Club. 2. You don’t talk about Fight Club. Now let’s compare that to the rules of NASCAR (or at least what we imagine the rules to be, the book itself being as elusive as Unicorn crap) 1. You don’t talk about debris cautions. 2. You don’t talk debris cautions. I think Kasey Kahne’s in trouble.
A right mixed bag. David Ragan and Paul Menard, Michael “crazyman” Watrip and Denny Hamlin, alongside the field filler trio of Dave Blaney, Mike Bliss and David Gilliland.