Hood: The Future Of NASCAR Is Crystal Clear
By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
OK, I realize the Daytona 500 is still more than two months away. The first Christmas gift has yet to be opened and we’re still three weeks away from a Dick Clark sighting.
But let’s shake the ol’ crystal ball extra hard and see what outlandish predictions we can deliver well in advance of the 2010 NASCAR season:
* Jimmie Johnson will coast to his fifth consecutive Sprint Cup title after bringing on a new associate sponsor: Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.
* Dale Earnhardt Jr. will once again go winless and fail to qualify for the Chase. But the third generation driver will collect his eighth consecutive most popular driver award in a landslide. (OK, so perhaps this prediction isn’t so outlandish.)
* Chad Knaus will violate a major NASCAR rule and receive a warning for nearly exceeding a tolerance. Carl Long will violate a major NASCAR rule and be lined up in front of a firing squad.
* Carl Edwards will show up in Daytona wearing an arm brace after suffering a bizarre off-season injury while playing water polo.
* Brad Keselowski will try to wreck Denny Hamlin, but miss and slide up into Kevin Harvick. The rookie driver will then proceed to get his butt kicked afterwards by a not so “Happy Harvick.”
* Kyle Busch will win a total of 28 NASCAR races, 15 Super Late Model events, 5 Legends features and a foot race. But he won’t win a championship in any series.
* Danica Patrick will come unglued prior to the ARCA race in Daytona after being asked the same question 20 times: “so when do you plan on making your Sprint Cup debut?”
* Juan Pablo Montoya will accidentally bump into the pace car under caution. His excuse? He was busy sending a Facebook message to his legions of online friends.
* Good news: 55 cars show up for the Nationwide Series season opener in Daytona. Bad news: 22 of the entries intend to start-and-park.
* For the umpteenth time NASCAR radio and television announcers will clear their throats and declare: “Folks, we’re going green-flag racing!” Yeah, as if there is any other type.
* Those same announcers will inform us that the beneficiary of the free pass (that’s the lucky dog for you readers in Alabama) must go to the tail end of the longest line. Unless the rules have been modified to incorporate three-wide starts, that’s longer line! you non-English majors.
* Tiger Woods will be spotted partying in the infield at Talladega and holding up a sign which requests, in a not-so-polite manner, that all females partially disrobe.
* NASCAR will implement a time restriction on both races at Pocono: 500 miles or seven hours, whichever comes first. The August race will miss the time limit by 34 minutes.
* Television ratings and attendance will continue to sag. But NASCAR’s PR machine will still mange to provide a silver lining while reporting the data.
* And finally…the crowd erupts with cheers at the Daytona 500 as the field roars off into Turn 1 and transforms FOX’s gopher mascot Digger into road kill.
– Jeff Hood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments