Gorches: Wrong name at wrong time for NRA race
April 18, 2013 9:13PM
Top 10 Readers
Jim DeReamer 201
Ruth Anne Slamka 199
Shelley Ganzeveld 195
Chad Poole 194
Kyle Cicillian 193
John Daras Sr. 191
Rose Ford 191
Tom Nemeth 186
Andy Govert 186
Jeff & Susan Smith 183
Steve T. Gorches picks
TEXAS — Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson. Total points: 167; KANSAS — Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch
The annual Post-Tribune Fantasy NASCAR contest has returned for a sixth season. Each week readers pick five drivers and points are based on the same system NASCAR uses in its standings. Lineup entries can be submitted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (219-314-3797). Entries can also be texted to that cell number. No faxes, please. With your entries, please include your name, hometown and a contact number. First and second place each week will be entered into a drawing in July for tickets to the Brickyard 400.
Updated: April 19, 2013 4:58PM
So many thoughts after Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. So where do I start?
First things first, it was a second straight week I got the winning driver right. Of course, that means many readers got the winner right since it was Kyle Busch crossing the finish line first for the second time in three races.
He’s chosen by lots of readers, but there were plenty of duds in top 5s to prevent high scores. After numerous scores above 200 last week, we reverted back to grinding out points with no readers above that mark.
The top reader barely missed with 199 points as Ruth Anne Slamka had Busch, Jimmie Johnson (sixth), Greg Biffle (fourth), Carl Edwards (third) and Matt Kenseth (12th). Finishing second barely was Jim DeReamer with 198 points. Both earn a spot in our drawing for Brickyard 400 tickets.
Why weren’t there any readers above 200? Most had Jeff Gordon (38th), Kurt Busch (37th) or Dale Earnhardt Jr. (29th) in their five drivers, eliminating the lineup from contention.
No, no, no: Speaking of being eliminated from contention — or at least being dealt a huge blow to championship chances — three teams were penalized heavily after Saturday’s race. Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano had their crew chiefs suspended for six races, as well as being docked 25 points. Keselowski was adamant and vocal about the way the teams were treated in the week leading up to Texas, which is likely why they were fined $100,000 each, too. He only falls from second to fourth in the points, and he should still be in decent shape to make the Chase and defend his title, but Logano falls from ninth to 14th in the midst of his best season.
The third team to get penalized was Texas runner-up Martin Truex Jr. for failing post-race inspection. He was docked six driver points and six owner points.
Plethora of Daves: Last week at Martinsville there were three drivers named Dave or David who finished next to each other in the standings — David Gilliland (28th), Dave Blaney (29th) and David Ragan (30th). I thought that was interesting, until this week when it was four straight Daves at Texas — David Reutimann started the string in 24th, followed by Blaney, Ragan and David Stremme in 27th. And just to keep the ‘D’ theme going, in 28th and 29th were Danica Patrick and Dale Jr.
Naming rights: OK, I have to get this off my chest. I understand NASCAR fans, for the most part, are right wing politically and are mostly gun advocates. Hence, the Texas race sponsor was the National Rifle Association (NRA 500). But that doesn’t mean I have to like it with events like Newtown, Conn., fresh in our minds and Congress not getting anything done on stricter background checks.
But hey, money is money, right? And what could possibly go wrong?
Well, how about a drunken fan killing himself with a gun? Having supposedly gotten into an argument with other fans camping in the infield, an inebriated fan by the name of Kirk Franklin committed suicide by shooting himself in the head near the end of the race. It took place in the back seat of his truck parked near the backstretch just before 10 p.m.
Yeah, that NRA sponsorship worked out well.