The boys of NASCAR were in Bristol this weekend for the legendary track’s 100th race. Who got to celebrate and whose party was crashed? We’ve got you covered!
Hot: Kyle Busch. Love him or hate him, you have to admit one thing about Kyle Busch: The guy is good at driving race cars. With his win Saturday night, Rowdy became the first driver ever to sweep the Truck, Nationwide and Cup races all in the same weekend. Congrats, Kyle!
Not: Mark Martin. Mark needs a prayer and then some if he’s going to have any shot at making the Chase. After another poor run this weekend, Martin now sits 14th in the standings, 101 points behind 12th-place Clint Bowyer.
Hot: David Reutimann. Unfortunately, 2010 is going to be another one of those ”what coulda’ been” seasons for car #00. But Reuti took no prisoners at Bristol and came home with a runner-up finish. If he keeps running like this, David could crash the Chase party and get some serious momentum going into 2011.
Not: Tony Stewart. Smoke’s hot summer run of 2010 took a hit at Bristol, courtesy of Tony Raines. I’d say this isn’t a big deal, but Stewart’s hot summer run of 2009 took a similar hit at the same venue, and he was never the same.
Hot: Jamie McMurray. J-Mac and the Orange Dart put together another solid run this weekend, finishing third. Now get this: After all the talk after Indy about how McMurray can only win the big ones and isn’t a Chase contender, guess who now sits 13th in the standings, 100 points out of 12th? Yep, Jamie McMurray.
Not: Jamie McMurray’s pit crew. If not for a few poor stops, J-Mac could have won his third race of the season Saturday night. But early mistakes(one by Jamie; one by the crew) put him deep in the field. He got back up to the lead, only to have his crew lose it to Kyle Busch on the final stop. I see lots of pit stop practice in this team’s future.
Hot: Clint Bowyer. After a second-straight top 10 run, Bowyer now has quite a bit of breathing room over the Chase cutoff. Clint is now one solid race away from making Richmond completely irrelevant.
Not: The Brad Keselowski/Kyle Busch rivalry. Carl v. Brad had its heyday, and we’re still waiting on Kurt v. Jimmie to develop. But let’s face it, if you’re looking for the next great rivalry, Brad v. Kyle isn’t it. Keselowski is on probation, while Busch isn’t exactly a one-rival man(and even if he was, I don’t think Brad is that special someone). Let’s just say that Kevin Conway’s Chase hopes have a better chance of materializing than this “rivalry”.
Hot: Kasey Kahne. Like Reutimann, Kahne’s 2010 season is full of “what-ifs”. But that doesn’t mean the #9 team can’t finish strong in Kasey’s last year at RPM. Kahne finished fifth at Bristol, and though his Chase hopes aren’t completely gone yet, we’ll probably get to see if he can join Reutimann in crashing the 2010 Chase party.
Not: Jimmie Johnson. These days, unfortunately, it seems that Hot or Not just isn’t complete without J.J. making his weekly appearance in the “Not” section. At Bristol, Jimmie was just an innocent victim of circumstances, also known as Juan Pablo Montoya. 4-time must feel like he has a target on his back…or quarter-panel.