OK, so now that he's reviewed the tape Dario has decided he's got some issues with Dan. Dan of course has a perpetual conflict with Danica, who also has had a tiff or two with Ed. Ed's teammate Tomas had a problem with Marco earlier, and Marco's buddy Tony almost came to blows with Sam. Sam's teammate Helio didn't let laryngitis keep him from jawing with Vitor, who's teammate Kosuke had lots of collisions with Jeff, who is mad because he got dumped altogether.
And to think we've got four more races of "As the Wheel Turns".
OK, enough of the soap opera. Let's get down to determining favorites for this 1.5-mile extravaganza.
Hornish – Uncle Sam has 2 wins and 4 total podiums in 7 races here. He owns this track, and if his car does not mysteriously deconstruct he should find himself near the front all day. Sadly, all this expertise may go to waste as there may never be a NAPCAR Cup race at Kentucky Speedway.
Dixon - Two 2nd places (both behind Hornish), but remember that Iceman is only concerned with where that #27 is.
Wheldon - He was the favorite on this page last week and was leading right up until he sent Mr Judd towards the heavens. You broke the streak of picking winners at four, Daniel! Well, he's was 3rd or 4th each of the last three years and last time I checked he's pretty good on these 1.5-mile deals.
Franchitti - Incredibly he's had no Top 5s in Kentucky. And to think his wife is a UK graduate - he should be ashamed of himself. Anyhow, if he can stay upright he should have at least a personal best here.
Kanaan – This year's pole winner has finished 5th or 6th on three separate occasions. Sounds about right, although if he can manage to win he might creep back into the championship hunt. Time to break out the pies.
Patrick – She won the pole in ’05 (finished 16th), and was 8th last year. What does this mean? I dunno, but her good runs at Indy, Texas and Michigan show she's a contender on the super speedways. As you can see, I'm still holding but haven't consumed the Kool-Aid yet.
Castroneves - Top 5 last two years, but incredibly he qualified 13th for this race. Maybe the laryngitis and the bum leg from his accident in Michigan are taking a toll on Mr Personality. Bummer for us all.
Sharp - Sure he won in '05, but it’s his only top 10 in his last four attempts here. He had a very nice qualifying run to start fourth, but he's going to need more carnage from his competitors to sniff the podium.
Scheckter - Tomas finished 7th last year in a career best. What? I thought this guy was an oval specialist. Man, does this track kick his tail. Comparatively speaking, of course.
Andretti – His was the last car running in his Kentucky debut last year. He hasn't had Evil Car Syndrome since Kansas, so despite qualifying 15th (15th!) he should get things sorted out as the race progresses.
Meira – The Mirror Man has 7th or better in last three races here, so the Panther team must be pretty stoked to see what kind of high-quality bad luck bites them this week. Someone on that team must be running a dog-fight ring to have karma this bad this year.
Carpenter – An 8th and 11th in two of the last three year and for Ed it doesn’t get much better than that. Warning to those attempting to pass him tomorrow: he may in fact be racing for position and as such MAY NOT get out of your way.
Hunter-Reay – I’ll guess with you, but during a few in-car camera shots on Friday he appeared to be struggling with his car. Then again he qualified 8th, so I guess it's so far so good for the new guy.
Foyt – Last week’s 8th place finish was his career best – and he only completed 167 laps. Quattro was a legitimate 9th here two years ago, so it’s unfathomable that he could be mid-pack on Saturday. (Wait – my bad. Considering his grandfather nearly drowned recently I should probably avoid words with nautical terms like “fathom” in them.)
Matsuura – He has two top 5s in his career: last week at Michigan and on this track in 2005. Of course, last year here he crashed and finished dead last, so that could all go out the window.
Fisher – Third in her first race here SEVEN YEARS AGO, and a 12th in her return last year. Her wreck last week was her first accident in 28 races! That’s all the way back to Motegi in ’03 – amazing.
Rice – His 2nd in ’04 is only top 10 finish here in 5 tries. Yuck. What else can be said? Just Yuck.
Manning – Finished 10th his only time here (2004). Let’s hope he’s been using that crazy steering contraption the team gave him to build up arm strength because after this left-turn extravaganza he’s got two twisties in a row.
Money Says - MoneyCJ is currently on sabbatical. I think he's still recovering from the ultra-long race day last Sunday. Either that or he's looking into getting his own pet monkey.
Look for Ashely Judd is something blue to celebrate her UK Wildcats, although I doubt she'll be replacing her trademark "look at me I'm Ashley Judd" hat. That hat is almost as big is the HUGE logo on the infield, but not quite.
And above all, enjoy the show!
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