NASCAR NATION

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Stewart-Haas Racing is the Hollywood team with an all-star cast and the most compelling NASCAR story lines

First is Kevin Harvick, starring as the Winner. He consistently has the fastest car. He leads practices, qualifies for poles and wins races. Everyone expected him to cruise to victory in the Phoenix race and he did. The some-time bad luck that plagued the Four car last year is seemingly gone. The Golden Horseshoe that Kevin once attributed to Jimmie Johnson now rests safely in Kevin's, um, well..........

Then we have Kurt Busch as the misunderstood Bad Boy, arguably, the most controversial driver in Cup. He came back after three lost weeks thanks to his legal problems, with a vengeance, garnering a fifth place finish at Phoenix. The Outlaw, as he proudly calls himself, is a man out for redemption. (A part he's played before).

I always have to laugh at those comments about Danica only being in Cup because her sponsor loves her. Well, why is that any different than Kurt? Two major owners have kicked him to the curb for his lack of self-control. Fortunately for Kurt, Gene Haas, who is something of an outlaw himself, admires those qualities in his driver and is willing to support him in spite of all the headline-garnering baggage that might cause another owner to think twice.

And speaking of Danica, she's the Groundbreaking Pioneer, the only woman in NASCAR's top series, beloved of female fans and little girls with race car dreams but held in contempt by the hater crowd. They give all kinds of excuses for their antipathy - her willingness to trade on her sex appeal (though that never shows on the track), the feisty way she sticks up for herself and the best one, she taking a slot from some deserving young driver who can actually drive. Yeah, as if a third of NASCAR drivers don't have their seats because they inherited them or Daddy could afford to buy them or, like, Danica, they have a sponsor who is willing to front them the money to finance a team. Personally, I think most of the anti-Danica sentiment boils down to pure, plain sexism....and yes, women can be sexists too, in fact, they are some of the worst. The Danica-deniers all swear, dontcha know, that they would love some other worthy female like, well, name any of them, but let's see how they do if they ever have to prove it.

And lastly, Tony Stewart, playing the role of the beloved but struggling Old Man. Our hearts hurt for him as we root for him to succeed. Yes, he had a couple of bad years but during none of that did the three-time champion forget how to drive a racecar. He has all the resources that money can buy, the same ones that Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch have, so it is a conundrum why is Tony having the worst start to a season of his entire career.

In the Phoenix race, Kevin won, Kurt finished 5th, Danica finished 26th and Tony finished 39th and that's about the way its been going for him so far this year. His cars aren't fast and he always seems to be stuck back in the back. It is a mystery and I'm sure it is one that has him, well, scratching his head if probably far too mild, more like tearing out his hair.....or someone else's hair.

So, there they are - the Winner, the Outlaw, the Female and the Old Man. No wonder they are so often the focus of NASCAR attention.

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theres a big difference between danica and kurt,27 wins and a championship.that is why team after team want him.

im not disappointed in danicas results in nascar,I never expected her to do well in the first place.its not because shes a girl,its because she never,in any form of racing she raced in, showed talent.she had one win in her entire career of racing and that was a no pit call to stay out.

as far as tony,hes had the worst couple years in his life,severe broken leg and a vehicular death.i believe he is still dealing with both of them.he is frustrated.his cars are good its him that isn't mentally all in it.people are still calling him a murderer and that has to get to him.he will be ok,like Gordon hes already proven everything so he don't need to .

and kevin,well hes just finally in good cars.outside of them years with rcr he dominated in everything he drove and now hes showing his abilities.

Well, of course, there's a difference between Danica and Kurt. Yes, he's by far the better stock car driver. I'm only saying that he also comes with a personality problem that cause some owners to think he's more trouble than he's worth. I disagree with you about Danica. I think she has shown talent, often running up front in the Indy 500, for one thing. But I don't think you realize that she's a symbol to many women and girls and she's valuable to the sport for that. Tony? Yes, he may still be suffering from the aftermath of recent events in his life. We'll have to see if he is able to over come them. But, you're right, no matter what happens, he's a Hall of Famer with nothing to prove. Perhaps Kevin has better cars but I think it is more than just that. Stewart-Haas gave him a new lease on life and paired him with his perfect crew chief.

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