Denny Hamlin

(WOMR file photo)

Tonight (Thursday) the racing begins at Richmond International Raceway.  The first of the weekend’s racing begins with the K&N East Series race on SPEED beginning at 7:30pm EDT/ 4:30 PDT, for those of us on the West Coast.  Immediately following that race is the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown!

The K&N East Series race features several of the Sprint Cup race team’s “developmental” drivers.  A few names to be on the lookout for is Darrell Wallace, Jr., a Joe Gibbs Racing driver that is really showing potential.  Dave Blaney’s son, Ryan, who won the K&N Series East vs West last November at Phoenix, is another exciting up-and-coming- talented race car driver.  I was there at Phoenix, and this young kid can really wheel a race car, kind of like his Daddy did in the sprint cars!  This year Ryan will get a few starts in the Nationwide Series for his Dad’s boss, Tommy Baldwin.

Hamlin’s Short Track Shootout is a great fund raising event the proceeds goes to various charities.  There will be many of the Sprint Cup drivers showing off their skills, including “Mr. Four-Time”, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and many more.  Tune in and watch some of the youngsters taking on some of the salty, seasoned veterans, which should provide for some great entertainment!

How will we fare this week at RIR?

Looking over the choices for this Saturday night’s race there is a group of four who have chosen Denny Hamlin to win the race.  Those four players are Karen, Jeremy, Edie, and Carolyn.  I got to tell you that Hamlin at RIR will always result in a good day for you.  The next biggest group choosing the same driver is the group with Kevin “Happy” Harvick.  There are three players with that selection, Jason, Carole, and yours truly.  Harvick is off to a rather slow start so far this season.  There are two players that decided to “Stick With The Biff” at Richmond, that being Marc and Richard.  Likewise, there are two players, Dawn and David, that have “Mr Five-Time”, Jimmie Johnson.

Richmond will be a pivotal race for the drivers, as well as the players.  Currently, there are only nine (9) points that separate the leader, Jerry, from second place, yours truly.  Jerry has ol Kylie Busch, “The Las Vegas Weasel”, as his choice at RIR.  If ol Kylie falters, so far his has ZERO wins, and my man “Happy” Harvick has a good day, Jerry could fall out the lead!  However, if my man Harvick does not perform well, I could slip out of contention because Edie is only three (3) points behind me in third place!  Rounding out the top five is Jim and Marc, with Marc just one (1) point behind Jim.

In summary, it is my opinion that the Richmond race will be cornerstone in many ways for the the Sprint Cup drivers, as well as for the players of The Redneck Fantasy League.  For the drivers, it is race number nine (9) and it is time to let it all out.  There are only 17 races left in “the regular season”.  If you have something for the Chase you gotta “let the big dog eat”!  Likewise for the first segment players, if you are anywhere near striking distance for the top three money paying, “podium” positions, your drivers need to really perform for you this weekend!

One more reminder, like Bristol and Martinsville, the drivers will need to check the egos, their feelings, and their weapons at the pit gate!  We all know that late Saturday night there are going to be some more drivers with bruised egos, hurt feelings, and crumpled sheet metal in their haulers!!!!

Good luck to all!


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