What a race in The Valley of The Sun! It had strategy, it had excitement, it had the thrill of victory, and ultimately it had the agony of defeat!
The middle-aged man without a ride for 2018 drove a dagger through the heart of the youngster expected to shine in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for years to come.
With nine laps left in Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway, 45-year-old Matt Kenseth passed 21-year-old Chase Elliott for the lead and pulled away to win for the first time since the July 2016 New Hampshire race, breaking a 51-event winless string.
Kenseth’s victory, the 39th of his career, deprived Elliott of a chance to run for the series championship next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and kept Chevrolet out of the title race. The win also was a gift to Brad Keselowski, who survived a lackluster afternoon with enough points to advance to the Championship 4 event.
The Fraternal Order of The Go Fast
There was only one player, Linda The Cookie Mom, who was riding shotgun for 312 laps with the race winner, Matt Kenseth. In what most likely be Matt Kenseth’s penultimate race of his NASCAR career, The Cookie Mom will bathe in the exuberance of this victory, as well as lap up those nifty 56 points.
The Movers and Shakers
An unlikely and slightly mismatched trio of players, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, Carole, aka Rudy and David The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey, racked up 45 points at Phoenix from two different drivers. The Las Vegas Super Star and The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey were riding high wide and handsome with the crowd favorite, Chase Elliott, while Rudy was riding with another young gun, Erik Jones.
Nearly one third of our fantasy league, six players in total, were united in their support for “Freaky Fast” Kevin Harvick last weekend. Those six players include Doug The Gandy Candy Man, Cole The Redneck Understudy, Jim, aka Chiefy, Kathy The Church Forecloser, Karen The Highly Opinionated Southern Belle, and Leon Your Most Humble Sheriff. This group were handily rewarded with 43 points.
Meanwhile, being a very independent dude, Dan The Numbers Cruncher isolated himself from the rest with a very strategical selection of Jamie McMurray that rewarded him with 35 points at Phoenix.
Rounding out the top five scorers this week is a trio of players that consists of Lonna The Quilt Angel, Bobby Blue Crush and A&M Aggie Sue. This group was all supporting the PIR Spring race winner, Ryan Newman, and for their efforts received 22 points.
This late in the segment usually does not see movement in huge chunks, but will show slight adjustments on the sliding scale. This week fit into that observation, that is with one small deviation. Both Carole, aka Rudy and Snoopy Dawn made a rather large change, five (5) places, to their previous position. Rudy is ending the segment with a charge to the top landing in 5th place this week. While Snoopy is slip sliding away, now resting in 9th!
Likewise, Ol Skid-Marc seems to be getting loose, having some sort of handling issues, and is sliding down the totem pole this week, sitting now in 15th spot.
There are five players, Kathy The Church Forecloser, David The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey, Zee, aka Sissy, Jim, aka Chiefy and Jerry The Buschwacker all moved two positions after the checkered flag waved at PIR. The Church Forecloser, The Throttle Jockey and ol Chiefy all stepped up two (2) places this week finishing up the week in 13th, 14th, and 17th places respectively. However, Sissy and The Buschwacker stumbled down two places to sit in 16th and 19th, respectively.
Lastly, we have another large group, six players, who just side stepped one place this week. This group of six includes Cole The Redneck Understudy, Karen The Highly Opinionated Southern Belle, Jeremy The Coach, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, Linda The Cookie Mom and Bernie The Bay Area Bandit. The Redneck Understudy, The Opinionated One, The Las Vegas Super Star and The Cookie Mom moved up one position, holding in 10th, 12th and 20th spots, respectively. The Coach and The Bay Area Bandit slipped and fell one place to 11th and 21st, respectively.
Straight From The Crapper
With just 11 points scored this week, Snoopy Dawn quietly will accept this week’s “Crappiest Pick of The Week” award! Speaking about crappy performances, this week we need to go no farther than to congratulate Bernie The Bay Area Bandit for her ability to navigate her way back to a familiar place for her “The Outhouse”!
Next week the season culminates with the crowning of the 2017 champion at Homestead and the other 39 drivers could be soothing their championship wounds. I just, in fact, wonder if the non championship drivers are thinking to themselves, as they leave the track, that they did all that they could have done and that they “haven’t got time for the pain” for their inability to pull off the championship at Homestead?
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR GLOVES UP, FLIP YOUR VISOR DOWN, AND LET’S GO RACIN’!