Earnhardt, Jr., will win at Talladega; there, we said it | People
CONCORD - He's been saying it for weeks, but now Adrian Parker is going out on a limb. Parker says it will happen this week at Talladega...a win for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Maybe.
In this week's "Parker's Points" the former South Rowan Raider football star and current PR guru and communications director at Charlotte Motor Speedway talks Earnhardt to win, Petty to pick it up, and Edwards bobble at Richmond:
DW: Let's talk about Richmond. Obviously it was a big win for Kyle Busch, but there were a couple other things I'd like to get your take on; Dale Earnhardt, Jr., with another convincing run, and Carl Edwards and the mysterious restart. So did Tony Stewart fool Edwards into taking off?
From everything I’ve read and heard on the matter, it wasn’t Tony Stewart that fooled Carl Edwards, but a series of unfortunate events that led Edwards to believe he was the leader just seconds before he reached the restart zone, when in fact he was always in second.
Edwards says his spotter informed him that he was the leader and now NASCAR says they have audio that supports this claim, but NASCAR has gone as far to say the audio clip has Edwards’ spotter telling the driver on more than one occasion he was the second place car. Then, for whatever reason, right before the restart the spotter tells Edwards that he is the leader.
Why? Perhaps because the scoring pylon that displays the running order, which is situated in the middle of the infield, was showing the No. 99 car in first place. Why is that? As drivers are coming to the “one-to-go” lap, they will often weave the car back-and-forth in an attempt to clean off their tires before the restart. The two columns of cars accordion back-and-forth as this happens and evidently when the leaders passed the start/finish line, the No. 99 was ahead of the No. 14. This would have caused the timing and scoring system to show the No. 99 as the leader and that would have been displayed on the scoring pylon in the center of the track.
There are some that argue regardless of whether Edwards was the leader or not, he jumped the restart by a full car length and would have been penalized either way.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for Edwards and the No. 99 team because they had the car to beat for most of the night and they’re hungry for a win. They’ll always feel like this is one that got away from them, but they should take heart that for the first time this season, they were the class of the field.
Junior Nation is rising. The driver of the No. 88 is currently second in points, just five out of first place and what’s more encouraging is that his stat line is starting to read like someone who is about to break into victory lane. By finishing second in Richmond, he’s now scored five straight top-10 finishes and has four top-three finishes in nine races this season. He’s heading to “Dale-a-dega” this weekend where he’s scored five of his 18 career Cup victories. I’m sticking to my guns that Junior will win before Memorial Day.
It was a big weekend for Kyle Busch. Not only did he win his fourth straight spring Cup race at Richmond, his brother Kurt drove Kyle Busch Motorsports to their first career Nationwide Series victory on Friday night. Kurt’s win was big and his battle with Denny Hamlin for the final three laps was epic, but Kyle’s win was bigger, considering the No. 18 team’s struggles during the early part of the season. The win was only his second top-five finish of the season and it jumped him up to 11th in the standings.
DW: One for the Petty fans out there...what do you think about RPM hiring Mike Ford to chief the #43?
Mike Ford’s arrival is a huge coup for Richard Petty Motorsports. Funny the difference a year makes. Last year at this time, this hire would’ve been unthinkable considering Ford had led Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 team to a series high eight victories and nearly prevented Jimmie Johnson from winning his fifth-straight crown.
Will the turnaround be immediate? No. But, Ford’s arrival immediately adds credibility to RPM’s efforts to take the next step and it could persuade some other highly-sought after engineers and crew members in the Cup garage to make RPM their home in the near future. This is a great hire for The King and hopefully is a sign of better days to come for RPM.
DW: Okay, we are now in the month of May...the month of speed, horsepower, spectacle, and all that stuff. What's happening right now at Charlotte Motor Speedway?
May has arrived and that means NASCAR’s homecoming for two huge back-to-back weekends at Charlotte Motor Speedway is just a couple weeks away.
Tuesday night we hosted fans for a free screening of the 1992 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, dubbed One Hot Night, on the world’s largest HDTV. Sorry to tell you David, but Kyle Petty still finished second.
We’ve got some big announcements coming up over the course of the next two weeks leading into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend, so hang on.
One thing you should definitely check out in May at CMS is the inaugural Global RallyCross Championship event on HISTORY 300 day, May 26. It’s a Nationwide Series/Global RallyCross doubleheader and tickets start at only $25. Kids 13 and under are free.
Stars of GRC include Travis Pastrana, Ken Block, Brian Deegan and Tanner Faust, some of which describe rally cross as “motocross with a roll cage.”
Rally cross features small production-based cars, souped up with trick suspension systems and more than 600 horsepower. The course will be setup on the CMS fronstretch and will feature a 70-foot gap jump, near the start-finish line, a car wash that soaks the cars and the track and a long jump, where cars will carry more speed than the aforementioned gap jump. To see more of these cars, check out www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/media/news/604177.html
Before I sign off this week, I want to try something. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Talladega this weekend and drivers generally call this restrictor-plate race at NASCAR’s longest track a crap shoot. I want to test their theory, so my picks for this week will be completely random. I’m using the website random.org to generate four numbers that will be my picks this week. They are: 16-15-5-14. Not bad for completely random numbers.
If you want more than random numbers, then I think this is the weekend Hendrick Motorsports wins number 200, and maybe, just maybe, the stars will align and NASCAR’s most popular driver will return to victory lane.