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NASCAR Panel: Brickyard week

aKasey Kahne barely avoided tragedy last week in a bad Sprint Car wreck. Do you think Cup owners should or will ever require that their drivers refrain from racing anything other than Cup cars?

Ken Mays: I don’t think so as long. If they want to control what they do on their time then they cam pay them more. I believe they do it just not for the money but for their charity too. So no, I am not a fan of them being held so much control the team owners.

Jason Cannon: To a certain extent I think the drivers benefit from racing different cars, but you have to wonder if the risk is worth the reward. In Kahne’s case, he was racing a car for his own team, so I think that’s understandable.

Mark Trest:  I’m guessing that the owners probably wish that their drivers would drive only Cup cars; however, there’s probably no l way to  prevent them from actually driving anything else. I mean, yes, they could draw up a contract prohibiting such activities, but then, that driver probably wouldnt drive for them either.

Carl Edwards doesn’t sound like a guy who is in any hurry to renew his contract with Roush-Fenway Racing after the season. Is there a team that’s a better fit for him? Who is it?

Ken Mays: I think its with Stewart Haas. He fits there a lot better than Ryan Newman. He is a more fit for that team more than any other team I can think of.

Jason Cannon: He’s probably the most marketable driver on the track. He can pick from just about any team he wants and with no room on the best team in the sport (Hendrick) I would look hard at the second best team (Gibbs) which has an open spot. Gibb’s Toyotas are more consistent than Fords and that’s got to be appealing to someone who seems to fall just short of the championship ever year.

Mark Trest: I get the feeling  Carl isnt sold on the fact that he can win a Championship with Roush Racing. He knows Hendrick and Gibbs know how to win it, so he’d be a fool not to at least listen to other offers if he indeed feels that way.

Juan Montoya is on his third crew chief since 2008. Is the team’s lack of consistent success atop the pit box, in the driver’s seat or in the owner’s box?

Ken Mays: No doubt its in the drivers seat. I always say that if he is a NASCAR driver then there is one behind every tree. I guess you can tell its not much to explain here.

Jason Cannon: I think it’s in the driver’s seat and the owner’s box. The team has undergone some financial troubles and changes, so you have to question the decision making. Too, JPM hasn’t shown he’s much better than the average Cup driver.

Mark Trest: I think the whole team is lacking inside out. At some tracks they are awesome, other tracks, they have no clue. Just goes to show how much of a team sport this actually is. Realistically, this team has potential, but some teams never realize that potential. Time will tell.

Both Busch brothers look poise to make the Chase and both have a real chance at the title. If you had to pick one to take the 2011 Title, which one would it be?

Ken Mays: At this point and time I am going to have to go with Kurt. Kurt is a smarter driver than Kyle is meaning, he doesn’t take the chances to win a race as much as his littlw brother does.

Jason Cannon: I would take Kyle simply because Toyotas are better than Dodges. I think Kurt has the better chance but ultimately, I think his car will let him down.

Mark Trest: Kyle all the way. When he’s hot, he’s unstoppable. If he ever clicks during the Chase, Johnson can kiss his streak of Championships goodbye.

Who is your pick to win this weekend?

Ken Mays: I am picking Jimmie Johnson this race. He is now on a mission to win it all again this year.

Jason Cannon: After a week off, I’ll take Tony Stewart to pull even with his teammate in the win column at Indy.

Mark Trest: Speaking of Johnson, hasnt he been the man to beat at Indy in recent memory? Well, that memory is still intact, and so is the 48 team. Johnson begins heating up for the Chase countdown, and firmly entrenches himself, as once again, the man to beat.