What's Become of Daytona? 
I'm looking forward with anticipation to the Duel's on Thursday and the Daytona 500 next Sunday. I'm hoping it's not the last time I look forward to Daytona for a long time.

I'm not sure what to make of it. The Bud Shootout yesterday was different than anything we've ever seen before.

We've seen pairs of cars hook up before and break away from the pack. But that was when there was a pack and the tandems would stick together for a sprint.

If yesterday's race was any indication, now there's no more pack. There's these tandem pairs of cars all around the track, acting as one. If you don't have a partner, you're probably going to fall behind and I'm really not entirely sure why that is. I don't know why a single car can't stick to the back of a pair and keep up. It just doesn't seem to be possible.

With that in mind, the racing is entirely different now. Is it better? Worse? The Shootout just wasn't long enough to get a good impression. I'm looking forward to Sunday to find out.

The biggest question on my mind was what was going to happen on the last lap. Denny Hamlin answered that by bailing on his partner and trying to make a pass. It didn't work... but it might have if he'd picked another line. That means there's still going to be lots of drama at the end. Hopefully.

If the ARCA race was any indication, I suspect the Truck race is going to be a boring affair. They had so much grip, and couldn't bump draft (similar to the trucks) that all they could do was run around the bottom of the track in single file. Anyone who tried to move up to make a pass, just fell to the back. There was one boring line, and that was that.

I won't make any judgement calls just yet on whether they've ruined Daytona. I don't think they've made it better. It's novel... but I loved what it used to be. We'll see whether the novelty wears off or whether it's something entirely new and interesting that people will look forward to for years to come.

One thing's for sure... it sure is fast!


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New Points System in NASCAR 
They've really shaken things up in the world of NASCAR with an entirely new points system this year.

Basically, you get 1 point per position, so last place gets 1 point and 1st place gets 43 points.

Then there's 1 point for leading a lap, 1 point for leading the most laps, and 3 points for winning.

It's certainly easier to understand, but is it better? I honestly haven't a clue. I've got some thoughts on it, but really can't wrap my head around how it might play out enough to consider my opinions valid. I guess I'll comment about it again halfway through the season or so.

I'm actually more curious to see the effect this has on the cars around the top 35 bubble, since missing a race won't be nearly as big a points hit.

Some other interesting changes are that the qualifying order will be based on the practice speeds, which is cool.

The chase field will be the top 10 cars in points, and the next two will be those from 20th to 11th with the most race wins. Basically, that'll ensure entry for anyone who gets multiple wins but doesn't make the top 10. I suspect they'll fall back on points if you only have a handful of cars with 2 wins there, or some such thing. I like this rule.

So that's that. Only a few weeks now until Daytona! Woot!

Edit: I just read a blurb about this on Autoblog and they got it VERY wrong. They're not NASCAR fans there... but it's pretty amusing. According to them, you get a point for every "entire lap" led and that in order to prevent too many points, there's a 48 point limit. Funny stuff.

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NASCAR Streak to the Finish: The Mopps Final Standings 
Here's the final standings for The Mopps.



Rank Overall Name Longest Streak Bonus Total
1 690 Wild Weasel 6 460 4299
2 1860 Sunraven 3 260 3759
3 2299 ToyotaChick 6 380 3611
4 2676 brew-san 5 270 3487
5 3331 IloveSPEED 6 320 3284
6 3980 EvilAlf 8 370 3074
7 4100 toyotaguy72 6 330 3035
8 6631 drvnkd 3 70 1909
9 10848 MrsDRVNKD 2 20 511


Now it's worth noting that the Tilfords missed a number of picks througout the season... Chuck started late and missed the first 7 races... and Kelly pretty much gave up early on... so I'm really looking forward to seeing how everyone does next year, if you're still interested! :)



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Congratulations, Jimmie Johnson! 
Yesterday saw history being made by Jimmie Johnson... AGAIN.

There's just no telling what this guy is gonna accomplish! I think 7 championships for him is gonna end up looking easy. The only real question is whether he'll get them all in a row!

Some will argue that it's bad for the sport, but I think the way he won it this year, coming from behind in the last race, is actually great for the sport.

It would be bad if he was just walking away from the rest of the field, but as it stands, his defeat looks very attainable. Denny almost pulled it off, and you can bet he's just itching for another chance next year.

The drama made this the best chase yet, and I'm pretty sure this has been the best race at Homestead in years!

Congrats again, Jimmie! You just may be the greatest champion ever!


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Jeff vs. Jeff!!! 
Yesterday was by far the most entertaining race I've ever watched at Texas!

There was already drama in the battle for the lead in the Chase, which swapped hands a few times throughout the race and ended up with Denny Hamlin, but that was the least of the drama in the race!

There was Kyle Busch giving the finger to the officials, and then getting penalized for it and berated by his crew chief.

There was Jeff Burton wrecking Jeff Gordon under caution, and then Gordon storming after him, tossing him around a bit, getting him in a headlock, and finally being torn away by the officials.

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!

You then had Chad Knaus pulling the entire pit crew like an underperforming goalie, replacing them wholesale with Jeff Gordon's crew, who then went on to give Jimmie phenomenal stops for the rest of the race.

This race had a bit of everything and is certainly one for the ages!!

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