The SuperSpeedway Power Rankings – September

It’s a playoff edition of the rankings!

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1 Martin Truex Jr. (LM 1)

There’s been one driver and one driver alone who deserves this spot for the majority of the season. That’s the highest praise you can give Martin Truex Jr. His team is the best out there week in and week out.

2 Kyle Busch (LM 2)

Three drivers have separated themselves this season. Kyle’s number two…

3 Kyle Larson (LM 3)

…and number 3! Larson is still my pick to win the title. He’s not given me a reason to waiver.

4 Brad Keselowski (LM 9)

This is where the rankings get difficult. Brad spent most of the season hanging around my 10th spot. But he’s really coming on strong when it matters. That’s enough for me to give him the big jump to 4th.

5 Denny Hamlin (LM 5)

Hanging around, hanging around, hanging around. I feel like Denny isn’t that far off but he’s not known for hot streaks.

6 Chase Elliott (LM 7)

Chase is still in the show me something point of his career. Being the best performing car at Hendrick used to mean something but man, what a struggle it’s been.

7 Matt Kenseth (LM NR)

Introducing, for the first time this season, the driver of the number 20 (but not for much longer), Matty Ice!

8 Kevin Harvick (LM 4)

If one guy is going to sneak into the final four at Homestead, I think it’s this dude right here. The New Hampshire accident hurt but he’s got enough cushion to push through.

9 Jimmie Johnson (LM 6)

What a strange season. I’ve never seen Jimmie struggle like this and yet he’s still a top 10 driver in the series. We have 8 races to go and he only has 3 top-fives and 9 top-tens! Can we count him out yet? I’ll answer that… NO!

10 Ryan Blaney (LM NR)

He gets this spot by default only because he’s 8th in points. Honestly, I have no idea what to do here.

Also considered

Jamie McMurray and… I don’t know… pick a number.

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The SuperSpeedway Podcast #32 — Playoff Contenders Struggle

Show notes:

  • Recap of the ISM Connect 300
    • KB recovers
    • Playoff drivers find trouble
    • Playoff bubble
      • 8 Blaney + 26
      • 9 Elliott + 26
      • 10 Harvick + 25
      • 11 McMurray + 9
      • 12 Stenhouse 2044 (Tie Breaker – Best finish in the Round of 16)
      • 13 Dillion – 0
      • 14 Newman – 1
      • 15 Busch – 17
      • 16 Kahne – 21
    • Who’s in/Who’s Out?
    • Loganogate
      • Why was this a big deal?
  • Winners/Losers
  • Other not that silly news
  • Preview the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover
    • Eric’s Pick: Chase Elliott
    • Eric’s Dark Horse: Daniel Suarez
    • James’ Pick: Kyle Larson
    • James’ Dark Horse: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Close show

SuperSpeedway Fantasy League Week 3

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Fantasy League Standings after New Hampshire

After week two of the Playoffs, Eric’s team has taken a commanding 532-430 lead. This week can be summed up pretty easily. Eric’s team featured all three stage winners, Kyle Busch (race winner) and Martin Truex Jr. His team also featured a three headed Toyota monster of Busch, Truex and Matt Kenseth.

While Eric had three drivers over 47 points, James had three drivers score two points or less. Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne.

Eric came into this week three points behind and is now leading by 102 points as we head to Dover.

Rules

  • Eric and James each picked 8 playoff drivers, draft style.
  • The total points earned by a driver throughout the playoffs will contribute to the team’s total.
  • Most points earned wins.

Eric’s Team (532 Total Points/283 for the Race)

47 Martin Truex Jr.
58 Kyle Busch
30 Denny Hamlin
36 Ryan Blaney
24 Ryan Newman
18 Austin Dillon
48 Matt Kenseth
22 Jamie McMurray

James’ Team (430 Total Points/178 Race Total)

50 Kyle Larson
45 Brad Keselowski
30 Jimmie Johnson
2 Kevin Harvick
22 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
26 Chase Elliott
1 Kurt Busch
2 Kasey Kahne

Bracket Challenge

Eric and James each filled out a bracket for all 10 races. We are also joined by our follower/friend of the podcast, Todd Henry.

Rules

  • Each correct pick is worth 10 points per round for the first three rounds.
  • Each correct Homestead Pick is worth 15 points.
  • Pick the Champion and you get 20 points.
  • Most points win.

Eric’s Championship Four

Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Jimmie Johnson

James’ Championship Four

Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick

Todd’s Championship Four

Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick

Points will begin to accumulate at the end of round one.

The SuperSpeedway Podcast Episode 31 — If You Like it Put Some Tape on it

Show notes:

  • Recap of the Tales of the Turtles 400
    • Truex dominates the second half of the race. Advances to the round of 12
    • Was it a good race?
    • Kyle Busch finds another way to lose a race
    • Chase Elliott gets hit with P1 penalty
    • Kenseth penalized for lug nuts – Crew chief fined $10K
    • Aero advantages
      • Tape on the spoiler
      • Side skirts being bent
  • Winners/Losers
  • Playoffs
    • Truex is locked into Round 12
    • On the Bubble
      • 9 Kenseth +13
      • 10 Blaney +8
      • 11 McMurray +5
      • 12 Dillon
      • 13 Busch -0
      • 14 Stenhouse -4
      • 15 Kahne -5
      • 16 Newman -7
  • Silly Season News
    • Kasey Kahne going to the 95
    • Stewart says team wants Kurt back, pending sponsorship
    • 10 car still up in the air.
  • The tweet heard round the world:
    • Keselowski: We are all in for a rude awakening. Haven’t seen NASCAR let a manufacturer get this far ahead since the 70s
    • Kyle Busch: **crying face** STFU
    • Do they Toyotas have an advantage?
    • What do we make of this “feud?”
  • Preview the ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire
    • Eric’s Pick: Matt Kenseth
    • Eric’s Dark Horse: Daniel Suarez
    • James’ Pick: Kevin Harvick
    • James’ Dark Horse: Jamie McMurray

Close show

The SuperSpeedway Fantasy League Week 2

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UPDATE: Chase Elliott’s penalty has been added. The 24 team received a 15 point penalty following Chicagoland.

Fantasy League Standings after Chicagoland

After week one of the Playoffs, James leads Eric 267-249. Stage points played a huge role in the driver’s totals at Chicagoland. Eric had race winner Martin Truex Jr. but early struggles cost him total points. Also, Kyle Busch’s issues plagued him the whole race after a dominating first stage.

James was able to take advantage of two 50+ point drivers Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick. Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski also had strong days helping his cause.

Rules

  • Eric and James each picked 8 playoff drivers, draft style.
  • The total points earned by a driver throughout the playoffs will contribute to the team’s total.
  • Most points earned wins.

Eric’s Team (249 Total Points)

49 Martin Truex Jr.
32 Kyle Busch
45 Denny Hamlin
26 Ryan Blaney
14 Ryan Newman
21 Austin Dillon
34 Matt Kenseth
28 Jamie McMurray

James’ Team (252 Total Points)

42 Kyle Larson
42 Brad Keselowski
29 Jimmie Johnson
52 Kevin Harvick
12 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
53 Chase Elliott (-15 points for penalty. New Total 38 Points)
21 Kurt Busch
16 Kasey Kahne

Bracket Challenge

Eric and James each filled out a bracket for all 10 races. We are also joined by our follower/friend of the podcast, Todd Henry.

Rules

  • Each correct pick is worth 10 points per round for the first three rounds.
  • Each correct Homestead Pick is worth 15 points.
  • Pick the Champion and you get 20 points.
  • Most points win.

Eric’s Championship Four

Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Jimmie Johnson

James’ Championship Four

Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick

Todd’s Championship Four

Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick

Points will begin to accumulate at the end of round one.

SuperSpeedway Fantasy League Week 1

Here we go! It’s Eric vs James in the SuperSpeadway Fantasy League. We have two games setup for this year’s Playoffs. The fist our Fantasy League, the second is our Bracket Challenge. Remember that you can join the fun! Just submit your picks on our Facebook page and compete alongside us “experts.”

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Fantasy League

Eric and James each picked 8 playoff drivers, draft style.

The total points earned by a driver throughout the playoffs will contribute to the team’s total.

Most points earned wins.

Eric’s Team

Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Busch
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Ryan Newman
Austin Dillon
Matt Kenseth
Jamie McMurray

James’ Team

Kyle Larson
Brad Keselowski
Jimmie Johnson
Kevin Harvick
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Chase Elliott
Kurt Busch
Kasey Kahne

Bracket Challenge

Eric and James each filled out a bracket for all 10 races.

Each correct pick is worth 10 points per round for the first three rounds.

Each correct Homestead Pick is worth 15 points.

Pick the Champion and you get 20 points.

Most points win.

Bracket Challenge Standings

Eric’s Championship Four

Truex
Larson
Kyle Busch
Jimmie Johnson

James’ Championship Four

Truex
Larson
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick

Points will begin to accumulate at the end of round one.

The SuperSpeedway Podcast #30 — It’s Time for the Playoffs

  • Recap of the Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond Raceway
    • Kyle Larson can win on a track that’s not two miles
    • Martin Truex gets hosed — can’t finish again
    • NASCAR officiating leaves a lot to be desired
      • Caution for Kenseth locking the tires
      • Ambulance issue
      • Caution for Derrick Cope with four laps to go
  • Playoffs
    • Come out of Richmond exactly the same way they went in.
    • Dale Jr., Joey Logano, Erik Jones all OUT
      • Is Logano missing the playoffs the biggest story of the year?
  • Silly Season News
    • Smithfield is leaving RPM
    • Aric Almirola also is out
      • Spat between Smithfield and Richard Petty
    • Smithfield is going to Stewart Haas
    • Danica Patrick is out at SHR
    • Kenseth says 10 is not an option
    • Kahne is up in the air
      • Doesn’t want a non-competitive ride
      • Willing to do sprint cars, NASCAR and Indycar
    • 77 team likely to shut down next season
  • Post-Season Draft
  • Bracket Talk and compare
  • Preview the Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway
    • Eric’s Pick: Brad Keselowski
    • Eric’s Dark Horse: Jamie McMurray
    • James’ Pick: Martin Truex Jr.
    • James’ Dark Horse: Clint Bowyer

Close show

Podcast Episode 29 — Take the Win Away

Recap of the Southern 500 at Darlington

  • Hamlin Wins – Almost gives it away!
    • We now know the win was encumbered
      • What does this mean?
      • Loss of 25 Driver/Owner Points
      • Mike Wheeler is gone for 2 races, including the start of the Playoffs
  • Truex another strong showing without a win
    • James theory about not closing races keeps him from wanting to take Truex for Homestead
  • An abrasive track surface makes for tire wear and more passing. Who would have thought?
  • Richard Petty gets the black flag

Random discussion:

  • Suarez loses Subway after NBC segment with Dunkin Donuts
    • Our thoughts
  • Austin Cindric vs Kaz Grala finish at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
    • Was Austin in the right or the wrong?

Silly Season Discussion

Playoff Picture heading into Richmond

  • It’s cut and dry. Guys just have to win.
  • Will the race be crazy? What do we think
  • Who has the best chance to win?
    • Bowyer – 91
    • Jones – 123
    • Logano – 129
    • Dale Jr. -303

Preview the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond

  • Perhaps our preview will go with the Playoff discussion???
  • Picks:
    • James: Kevin Harvick. Dark Horse: Trevor Bayne
    • Eric: Denny Hamlin. Dark Horse: Jamie McMurray

Fun announcements for the Playoffs

  • We will be doing a fantasy draft!
    • Eric and James will each pick 8 playoff drivers.
    • The total points earned by a driver will contribute to the team’s total.
    • Most points earned wins.

Bracket Challenge

  • Eric and James will fill out a bracket for all 10 races.
  • Each correct pick is worth 10 points per round for the first three rounds.
  • Each correct Homestead Pick is worth 15 points.
  • Pick the Champion and you get 20 points.
  • Most points win.

Our listeners can join the fun!

– Make your picks and play along with us.

– Share your picks on our Facebook page

It’s time to start taking wins away

 

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 3, 2017 in Darlington, South Carolina. — Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

The time has come for NASCAR to begin taking wins away when the winning team breaks the rules to get that win.

This issue has again come to light this week after NASCAR determined that Denny Hamlin’s wins in both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity series were encumbered after the team broke a rule.

In both instances, NASCAR assessed an L1 penalty, which basically means the crew chief is suspended for two races and receives a fine, and the driver and team loses 25 points.

But Hamlin keeps the win. His name is still in the record books. He keeps the trophy. And that simply should not be the case.

NASCAR is a descendant of local racing. I work at a local race track, Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, MI. When a driver wins a race and does not pass post-race inspection, they are disqualified. Period. They don’t receive points, and they don’t receive the win.

Everything about NASCAR’s penalty is essentially taking the win away. The driver/team loses money, they lose points, and the win doesn’t count toward the playoffs. So why should they get credit for the win at all?

NASCAR’s argument has long been that they don’t want the fans to see a driver win only to find out after they left the track that another driver won the race.

That argument may have worked in the 60s and 70s, when races weren’t always televised and there was no internet. But now, as soon as the race is over there’s a post-race show. There is a television show on every single night during the week recapping the news of the day in NASCAR racing. There are countless websites, including this one and NASCAR’s own, which constantly churn out content and make people aware of things that are going on. There is even a 24/7 radio channel on satellite radio devoted to NASCAR.

It used to be if NASCAR took a win away, you might not find out until the following week. But that just isn’t the case anymore. Allowing the driver to keep the win as NASCAR does now only cheapens the sport, makes it seem like cheating is acceptable, because in the end, it’s the win that really matters. $50,000 isn’t a big deal for the team. With the current system the points don’t mean as much either, unless you’re Joey Logano, who depending on the outcome at Richmond Saturday night could have suffered the biggest penalty of all this season.

And this isn’t just a Cup issue. It’s even worse in the Xfinity series. Jeff Gluck said today in his post on this topic that not only are the Cup drivers going down to the lower series and whooping on the series regulars, but they’re doing it in cheated up cars. That makes this even worse, because the penalty really means nothing to the Cup drivers in the lower series. They get the win, they do the burnouts, they get the photo in victory lane, and taking some team points away and a crew chief they won’t be working with next week anyway is not a punishment.

I’m a big supporter of Cup drivers being allowed to run in the lower series, but they need to be held to an even higher standard when they run there. And if NASCAR isn’t going to take the win away in Cup when they cheat, they certainly should do it when a Cup driver does it in a lower series.

This issue continues to be discussed every time it happens, and I think the more it happens the more NASCAR will look at it. I think NASCAR will eventually do the right thing, as they did with the overtime line, and start taking wins away. But until they do, we need to tell them that that’s what we expect.

Hamlin gets late-race pass on Truex to sweep Darlington weekend

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota, poses with the winner?s decal on his car in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 3, 2017 in Darlington, South Carolina. — Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Another weekend, another Joe Gibbs racing sweep.

It wasn’t a three-way sweep like two weeks ago at Bristol, but JGR’s Denny Hamlin got the late-race pass on Martin Truex Jr. to score his second win of the season and his second Southern 500 victory.

Hamlin overcame a pitroad miscue earlier in the race when he missed the entrance to pit road, costing him significant time. But he was able to catch Truex after being down 20 seconds to pass him on Lap 365 when Truex got into the wall and cut down a tire. Hamlin cruised the last two laps to the win.

“To win in the Flying 11 and to win the Xfinity race, to win the Cup race, both in very exciting fashion was a great feeling, and tonight through the adversity of missing the pit road and coming back,” Hamlin said after the race. “We had great strategy, a fast car, and it all just worked out in the end. I was hoping it would. Otherwise I would have looked pretty silly after the race trying to explain why we lost.”

Truex told the media after the race that without the blown tire, he was doing everything he could to stay ahead of Hamlin.

“Well, the plan was to try, you know?” Truex said. “I didn’t know how far back they were. I didn’t know how fast they were going. I didn’t know how many laps fresher their tires were. They told me that they thought I could hold him off and they gave me the intervals and how fast he was catching me. With two to go, I seen him coming, but catching somebody and passing him is a whole different deal here, and I was really holding my own pretty well if I could get some clean air, and every time I’d catch a lap car they’d just drive off in the corner, slide up in front of me and then I was just so loose on those old tires around other cars that there wasn’t much I could do to keep my pace, my momentum.”

“That was really the only reason he even caught us, besides the flat tire,” Truex continued. “I don’t know, we may have blew a tire either way, obviously, you never know. But it’s interesting, Cole said he wanted to wait two more laps to pit, and with two to go we blew a tire. It’s crazy how those things work out sometimes.”

The series now heads to Richmond Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Saturday night. The playoff future of several drivers hinges on that one race, as without a win, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones and Joey Logano will miss out on the playoffs this season.

The biggest story would be if Logano missed out, as he actually has a win at the first Richmond race this season, but the win was deemed encumbered after Logano failed post-race inspection, making the race ineligible for qualification into the playoffs.

Most thought Logano would get another win, but the team has struggled this season since the penalty, and that win hasn’t come, leaving him currently on the outside looking in. Logano has eight top-fives this season, 11 top-10s and one pole. He’s led 257 laps this season, with an average finish of 16.5.