NASCAR Panel: Richmond week

Published 12:41 am Saturday, September 10, 2011

Who is the biggest “bully” in the garage?

Ken Mays: I have always said that most NASCAR drivers are very Napoleonated. When they don’t get what they want they in the only way they know how is to fight and fuss about things that don’t go their way. It has always been like this and will continue to be so as long as the short people are driving the cars on the track. Now I am going to go ahead and say I am sorry to all the short people out there. Not all are as gifted as us taller people are. But in ways you guys make up for being in that class. You race cars.

Jason Cannon: I’ve often looked at Kurt Busch as a bully. At times he berates his own team and has a bunch of on-track rivals. That usually comes from pushing people around.

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Mark Trest: I don’t know that they are bullies, but Juan Montoya and Elliott Sadler always seem to end up on everyone’s crap list. Funny thing is, they aren’t even serious contenders. I understand when the frontrunners clash with each other, i.e. Kyle Busch, because competition is seriously close up front, and Busch is a very agressive driver.

Bigger title threat: Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson?

Ken Mays: You would have to give it to the guy that has a five time champion

belt around his waist. He has a lot of good people on his side and the chief that knows what it take to win in the points.

Jason Cannon: You can’t count out Jimmie Johnson. He’s only got one win but he is still the points leader. He always does what he needs to and he’s always a threat to get number six.

Mark Trest: JJ is still the man to beat. Think about it. Admittedly so, even by his own standards, Team 48 is having a down year. Ummmmmm…down year? And still the points leader?? You figure out who’s the biggest threat!!

How does Gordon stack up against the drivers above him on the all-time wins list?

Ken Mays: I think he is right up at the top. In the all equal class of racing these days it take someone that is real talented way above all the others who have come before him.Next to him would be King Petty who set the standards of what we call NASCAR.

Jason Cannon: He’s among the best there’s ever been. NASCAR has reached a point that they now field some of the best drivers on the planet. In the old days they only drew the best drivers in the south. The talent level in Gordon’s generation is a lot deeper and he’s shown he’s among the best.

Mark Trest: Like him or hate him, he is one of the best to ever grace this sport. I can honestly say he isn’t one of my favorite drivers, but I admire his accomplishments and talent. I’m not sure how to compare him to the Champions before him, because he came into the sport fully financed with the best race team in the business, Hendrick Motorsports, whereas Petty built his empire, and David Pearson’s team didn’t even always run full time. Nonetheless, he earned every victory, and will go down as one of the best!

Bigger surprise: AJ Almendinger could make the Chase or Tony Stewart has little to no chance?

Ken Mays: It has to be that Smoke has no chance of making the Chase. But

don’t count him out. I think he has to come in 18th or better to secure a place in the Chase.

Jason Cannon: That one’s neck and neck but anytime a two-time past champion is on the brink of missing the cut, that’s a surprise.

Mark Trest: Definitely AJ’s push to make the Chase. Stewart was supposed to make it. Allmendingers team was lucky to even field a team due to financial problems. Great story, never saw it coming.

Who is your pick to win this week?

Ken Mays: I look for special K to win this weekend or make a big showing if he doesn’t.

Jason Cannon: Short track Saturday night sounds like prime time for Kyle Busch.

Mark Trest: Hamlin will go for it. Barring trouble, he will win it going away and secure his place in the Chase.