The country's premier sport, that would be NASCAR, really takes off this week. The "chase" begins on Sunday in nearby Loudon, New Hampshire, and I'll be there! Now that's what I'm talking about!
For those who don't know about NASCAR's playoff format, it is an intelligently designed system that works this way: after the first 26 races, the top ten drivers enter the "chase." The point spread from the regular season is (almost completely) set aside, and these ten drivers, and only these ten, compete for the championship, which will be decided over the last ten races. However, all the other drivers still compete in each race--but with no further moderating influence from the need to be cautious so that they can make the chase. Nope, they're on the outside looking in with nothing to lose. Brilliant!
Here's one of my cartoons from my NASCAR blog:
Dave Despain says "Don't Despair..." (click to enlarge)
It's really funnier that it looks (honest.) The announcer, a man by the name of Dave Despain, hosts a racing news show on the most informative television organization: the SPEED network. You see, earlier in the season the 5 car, driven by Kyle Busch, had a run-in with the 20 car driven by last year's champion Tony Stewart, who is sponsored by Home Depot.
At one point Kyle radioed his team to "tell NASCAR that Stewart is trying to kill me!" Such unforgivable whining did not endear Kyle to NASCAR's rowdy-though-intellectual fans. Stewart, whose nickname is "Smoke," is known for his recklessness and his pugnacious demeanor--while Kyle looks like he got picked on a lot in school, although now he could buy his own state--Canada perhaps. (I'll let you guess which photo is of which of these two drivers.)
Kyle is in the chase, Stewart (to everyone's surprise) is not, hence the comic strip--and yes I know that if you have to explain the joke it can't be funny--but NASCAR fans would not need an explanation. I hope.
If God didn't want NASCAR, he wouldn't have made so many California blondes to marry all the drivers!
As for me, I'll be rooting for Kevin Harvick in the 29 car.
I have petitioned NASCAR to be the official physicist of NASCAR (baseball has one) but so far they have ignored my offer.
UPDATE: Good news for my friend Amanda, a big Jeff Gordon fan--he qualified 2nd for Sunday's race. The bad news is that he's still behind Kevin Harvick, who captured the pole position. Air-borne!
UPDATE 2: Harvick wins!! (Jeff Gordon came in third.) Then intrigue: a reporter states on the SPEED Network that NASCAR discovered Harvick's team bent the rules (it's been known to happen.) Just when the victory tasted a bit tainted, NASCAR issues a statement that the reporter was wrong, and that Harvick's car passed post-race inspection without incident. What's not to love about this sport?