Hi Everyone! Come check out my Bolt Notes for week 7. I admit to being a loser from last week's picks! I talk about the Broncos beating the Chargers down on Monday night! I also share my real concern with this weeks game agaist the Chiefs! All that, plus this week's NFL picks! See you there! Just click the title.
Washington +10 vs. Oregon - This game opened up Oregon -6 and was quickly bet up to -10 by the sharpest player in Las Vegas. It’s usually not wise to go against that type of play, but I liked Washington from the start on the basis of their home wins alone against ranked opponents like USC and Arizona, along with a near upset opening week vs. LSU.
Oregon has their high-octane QB Jeremiah Masoli back this week and they’re coming off a bye, but the combination of Washington’s fired up crowd, Jake Locker making big plays, and Oregon looking ahead to their big game in Eugene next week against USC makes this a great spot for Washington.
In an attempt to get back into victory lane after going winless since October 11 of last season with Jeff Burton picking up the victory at Charlotte, Richard Childress Racing will continue their rebuilding process by reorganizing their current crew chief situation in time for the 2010 season.
It's been 15 long years since RCR has tasted the fruits of winning a championship, with the last one coming back in 1994, when Dale Earnhardt, Sr. won his seventh overall and sixth with the organization.
RCR is once again not being represented in the chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, making this the third year that the organization has missed the postseason party.
Childress, who is no stranger to winning races with 180 victories, is also the first organization to win championships in the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and Camping World Truck Series.
Following this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, Todd Berrier will take over the crew chief duties of the No. 31 Caterpillar team with driver Jeff Burton, while Doug Randolph assumes Berrier’s duties on the No. 07 Jack Daniel’s team with driver Casey Mears.
Scott Miller, who has led the No. 31 team since 2005, will move fulltime to the director of competition position he was named to in September.
Berrier was also the crew chief who led Kevin Harvick, who drives the No. 29 Shell sponsored car for RCR, to his Daytona 500 victory in 2007, as well as his Brickyard victory in 2003.
Berrier is one of the few crew chiefs that has won races in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and the Camping World Trucks with 19.
Berrier also led Harvick to his Busch series championship in 2001, the same year that Harvick took over the driving duties in the No. 3 after the untimely death of Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
Berrier began his career at RCR in 1994, where he was a fabricator.
“I said previously that RCR would continue to adjust our team lineups in order to have the right personnel in place and this is the next step in that process,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing.
“Todd and Doug are all proven winners so the goal of these moves is to put them in the best situations to continue that success. I’m confident that making these changes now will be a benefit to the teams for the rest of this season as well as in preparing for 2010.”
Can Rick Hendrick, along with his engine and chassis package sweep all ten chase races?
Or will Roush Fenway Racing, Penske Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, or Joe Gibbs Racing decide enough is enough and dethrone an owner who has taken great pride in taming a sport, that at one time was untameable?
As far as manufacturers go, Chevy is holding strong to the top four spots with all three of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers who made the chase, also in that same top four.
Never in the six year history of the chase has any team ever shown such dominance this early on, and if this keeps up NASCAR just might have to rename the chase the Rick Hendrick Invitational because the only other driver who is even remotely close is Kurt Busch in a Dodge.
And not to be mistaken, I did say Kurt and not brother Kyle who for some unforeseen reason decided not take part in this years chase.
And yes this is the same Kurt who won the chase in its inaugural season back in 2004, but missed out on last years party as all Dodges failed to make the post season chase festivities.
Busch won his championship while driving for Jack Roush, and at the same time giving the man in the hat his second consecutive championship with the help of Matt Kenseth who won it in 2003.
So much has changed since then, especially when you think about what has happened to Roush Fenway so far this season, with Greg Biffle as their only hope sitting in seventh 268 points away from Jimmie Johnson.
Last year at this time Biffle and his teammate Carl Edwards, were looking like they were about to gang tackle Johnson and take his lead away.
But that was not so as Johnson got his crew chief Chad Knaus involved, and the both of them worked their magical touch to keep the championship trophy in Johnsons grasp.
And once again it’s hard not to notice that the Hendrick boys, along with Montoya in tow are being selfish holding onto five out of the top six spots, and not allowing another manufacturer to come close to the territory that they are rightfully claiming.
Joe Gibbs Racing is only represented by one driver in the chase (Denny Hamlin), unlike last season when all three of his drivers, quickly bunched up the bottom half of the 12 when the season finally came to an end.
Denny Hamlin, who led the charge finishing eighth in the standings, was followed by Tony Stewart who finished ninth, and last but not least was Kyle Busch who ended up 10th after dominating the first 26 races.
JGR is once again having their share of problems with Hamlin dropping two spots in the chase to 11,th 372 points away from chase leader Jimmie Johnson after his second disappointing DNF in as many weeks.
Hamlin is also the only JGR driver who made the chase this season, making this his fourth appearance and second with Toyota.
For reasons beyond any fans way of thinking, Toyota has yet to find their rightful place within the wonder world known as the chase for the Sprint cup championship.
And with that we can’t forget about Team Red Bull driver Brian Vickers, who has been very silent since the chase began five weeks ago.
Vickers, who beat fellow Toyota driver Kyle Busch for the honor and the chance to represent Toyota along with Hamlin, has yet to lead a lap or finish within the top 10.
So don’t go blaming Hendrick or his group of drivers for winning races and making it look easy, especially when every team who made the chase was given the same opportunity to excel during the last 10 races.
But instead maybe its time for the other teams to step up their games and try to catch them, since all Hendrick did was open the floodgates and his drivers responded by mastering it and taking it to the next level.
Now putting all the conspiracy theories and the controversy to the side for just a brief moment, take a minute and ask yourself, “Would I be putting the same blame on my favorite driver if he was dominating a season in this same way?”
Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team were found in violation of rule 4-8-48 which states,
“Any driver who exceeds the expectations of his nay-sayers, by winning three out of the first four chase races.
And along the way having his share of problems on pit road, but because of a crew chief who knows how to keep his driver calm along with a driver, who never gives up while overcoming the odds to put them in the points lead.
These nay-sayers also made it known that the No. 48 team had no momentum going into the chase, and because of such reasoning believed that they had no legitimate chance at winning championship number four.
Any team that goes beyond the call of duty, and is deemed unprofessional by such fans will be crucified by them, and not by NASCAR.”
Johnson, who won his third chase race of the season and 17th overall to go along with his second pole of the Chase, and once again receiving maximum points for the race was found in violation of not living up to his nay-sayers expectations.
Those expectations were completely opposite of his fans who have stood next to their driver, even when his season showed many signs of weakness.
Unlike those who chose to say that No. 48 team was out of sync, along with having no momentum, along with all the other excuses that they could think of just to satisfy their own desires, when in all actuality they were probably plain and simple in denial.
How can anyone count out a three time champion who has never finished below the top five since coming into the sport, especially when his crew chief has made it clear on many occasions that he uses the previous 26 races to prepare for the chase?
And what makes it even more ironic is that these same nay-sayers who try as they must, are always trying to relive the past and give it another breath when technically it is old news that needs to be kept that way.
You can’t bring a dead horse back to life, but some have chosen to base their arguments off of a series of events that have no significance especially when NASCAR is not going to change something that is already done.
I have read everything from IF the chase wasn’t here that he would only have one championship, to they are still cheating but NASCAR chooses to let it go, all the way to the No. 48 team is making a mockery of the series.
And the real kicker is that Chad Knaus has found a way to win, but chooses not to share that information with anyone else.
Well when you look at the above list of so-called things that are supposedly so wrong, how many of them are violations that are found in NASCAR’s rule book?
Is it fair to penalize a team who has found a way to win, and at the same time is doing what many other teams are also striving for?
And if you could penalize them, where would you start? Especially when everything they are doing is within the rules that NASCAR has set forth.
Every team was given the same chance by NASCAR to excel, and to reach for the stars in a way which they feel would most benefit the team as long as they don’t break any rules.
So to say that Johnson and company are at fault is absolutely ludicrous, especially when all they are doing is winning races and championships.
Isn’t that what NASCAR racing is all about? In this sport along with any sport, there can only be one winning team, and as is life it can’t always be our favorite.
Unless of course Johnson happens to be your driver of choice, than you have every right to relish in his success.
Just like we can’t change what has happened in the past, the same holds true for the future and that lies in the hands of how the team chooses to approach the season.
So far to date, Johnson has not done anything that is beyond what NASCAR has expected from any of the teams that choose to race in the series.
Johnson’s car will once again make its way to the tech center in N.C. for the fifth time during the chase, and once it gets back it will be ready to race once again.
And again the nay-sayers will voice their opinions that there is something wrong, when in all actuality maybe the fault lies within themselves?
So, Katie Scarlett O'Beagle (Speedbeagle) you thought that you could pass yourself as a Stewart fan and no one would be the wiser, that you are truly a Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus fan. You had us all fooled for awhile, but there is no denying it now. For the past couple years, this Maltese Lugnut has supposedly bounced back and forth. From this one to that one.