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A couple of Bouquets and Brickbats to NASCAR this week -

Bouquet - Notice how no one talks about clean air much this year? It appears that the faster car can now make gains on the leader and yes, pass them when they get up to them. Sometimes, as in the case this week, passing requires a little bump and run. Yeah, Baby! Was it fair? Heck, yes! Do what you have to do when its the last lap and you're going for the win. I assume Kyle would have done the same if his and Carl's positions had been reversed. I think I heard someone say that this was the first last lap pass for the win ever at Richmond.

So, NASCAR deserves credit for the changes they've made that have resulted in better racing this year. Kudos to them.

Brickbat - Last year, NASCAR made the decision to allow teams to decide how many lug nuts to tighten. Of course, in the constant effort to shave seconds off their pit stops, desperate teams went down to four and sometimes only three, with exactly the results you'd expect - complaints of vibrations, loose wheels, blown tires.

Tony Stewart complained publicly that NASCAR had screwed up and was putting the driver's at risk. Teams will not police themselves when competition is on the line.

"You criticized the Sanctioning Body," humphed NASCAR, "and you must pay" Thirty five thousand dollars, to be precise. The Driver's Council sided with Tony and agreed to pay his fine. He was grateful but instead, he wrote his own check and donated the additional $35,000 to charity.

This week NASCAR came back and said, as if it was their very own idea, that they were once again mandating that all five lugnuts must be tightened. So far as I've heard, they're keeping Tony's $35,000. Can you say hypocrisy?

Not Quite Bouquet, Not Quite Brickbat - NASCAR made the decision to allow Tony to compete in the Chase if, like Kyle last year, he can get to 30th in the points and snag a win. Well, sure. How could they not have arrived at this conclusion after they've set so many precedents regarding this rule? Everyone who has missed races has been given a waiver so far. Just abandon the whole damn rule and let them run if they can meet the conditions, whatever the reason they were absent for some races.

I'd personally love to see Tony make the Chase in his last season of racing although honestly, I don't really expect this kind of lightning to strike twice in back to back years. Whatever, it is great to see him back at the track. I hope he maintains a visible presence after he retires. Like Jeff Gordon has as an announcer and analyst.

Brickbat to Curt Bowyer - My friend, Mojo, already said everything there to say about this in his blog and I concur - Clint was supposed to spend this off-year until he goes to SHR next year trying to build up a new young team, using his experience and confidence to be a positive force. Instead, he's a whiny brat baby complaining because new team isn't up to his standards. Boo to Curt.

Non-Brickbat to Samantha Busch - oh, for Pete's sake, People, haven't you never heard anyone say "Shit" before? Haven't you ever said it yourself? I certainly have - probably about a gazillion times. She didn't realize she was on television. She didn't say it to make a statement. It was an unself-conscious expression of dismay. NASCAR fans often like to think of themselves as rednecks - rough and rowdy beer-swilling good old boys. Aren't they the ones who have so much contempt for political correctness? How much more P.C. can you get than getting your little feelings hurt because a woman says shit on television.

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Okay, beyond all that, I was rooting for Carl. Not because I like Carl better than Kyle. They are both about equal in my scale of fandom. They aren't at the bottom but they aren't at the top either. We've heard a lot about strategic voting in this presidential campaign. Well, I engage in strategic cheerleading. I was rooting for Carl for one simple reason - Kyle has two wins; Jimmie has two wins. I didn't want Kyle to go ahead of Jimmie. End of story.

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5 lug nuts is a no duh thing.shouldnt even been an issue wasted time and money over.

nascar isn't going to change the cars for tony's liking like they did for kyle.kyle prefers xfinity series type cars and tony likes the good old high horsepower cup cars.

nascar has made too many changes to accommodate kyle to change them back.

I haven't heard nothing in regards to sams bad word,i know there was a few pics of her reaction.most of the talk has been about Edwards wanting to "bump" drivers on the last lap.that is the second time this year.is he making a habit of it?will other drivers get sick of it?is it ok to do every week?will kyle do it back?ect...lots of questions still surrounding this topic.

Agree on the lug nuts. Once NASCAR rescinded the rule - basically admitting it was wrong - they should have rescinded Tony's fine too.

On the bump and run, I don't know. We bitch because driver's have gotten too gentlemanly and courteous and we bitch when they go Intimidator, whom you guys loved when he did the same. I wasn't around then so I wasn't a Senior fan. 

And oh, yeah, there were a lot of nasty comments about Sam saying shit on the various sites.

I like it myself as long as it isn't like logano/kenseth "bump and runs..

I agree. Rubbing might be racing, but wrecking is wrecking. Joey tried to move Matt and ended up spinning him. My opinion is that if Joey would have reached out to Matt and apologized, Matt might have not did what he did to Joey at Martinsville. Not defending Matt at all, what he did affected the Championship, and it was bad. I've moved past it and I still like Kenseth.

First off, Mojo said to tell you thanks for the props Vicki. Y'all know how modest that boy is. Second, I agree with you 100% If a driver cracks the top 30 and gets a win... let'em in, I do think that the rule was designed for all intentions and purposes to keep Drivers that make those two requirements in play, and though I can tell you how many times NASCAR has allowed the waiver (Kurt Busch once, Tony Stewart twice, Denny Hamlin twice, Kyle Busch once, and Brian Vickers once), but I can't tell you one single time NASCAR has not. Because they haven't denied a team from advancing that missed at least one race and made both requirements. I also think that the top rule keeps teams from not running a full schedule, winning one race and getting in. On the lug nuts? NASCAR has always had a rule regarding how many lug nuts were on each wheel, they just said that they were no longer going to enforce it. Again, I side with Tony on the issue, but without putting upwards of 50 more officials BACK on pit road, I wonder how they intend to enforce it. As far as Samantha Busch saying "shit" when she didn't know she was on camera? Who gives a shit? I think people that watch this sport and call themselves "fans" but piss and moan about everything from their interpretations of the rules, to 'NASCAR being fixed" are what's really ruining this great sport. But that's my friend Mojo's next discussion, so I'll let him pait that picture in his own words. Thanks again (from Mo), and thanks for being such a fan.

so even if Danica won a race she should be qualified for a championship?

I don't think so.danica shows its not very hard to be in the top 30 and for a driver to have season like her and get a luck win at Talladega or Daytona and be in the fight for a championship is a joke.

only the top 5-10 in points,win or no win,should be in the battle for a championship.

tell "mojo" i said hello....

Yep - even Danica. We've done it before. Did we really think Aric Almirola had a prayer of winning the championship? Or A. J. Almendinger? Nope, to both but they won a race so they were in. Remember when we said it was all about wins. So, I don't think she should be kept out if she wins anymore than the others were.

Well, she normally hangs out in the top 25 or so, so if she gets a win she would likely be in.

that in itself shows how big a joke this chase thing is.

Mojo is a winner but he needs to get better consistency...lol! 

Well, that have those pit road cameras now so maybe they can target the lugs. 

Tell Mojo I said, "love ya, Man!"

Mojo needs to race every weekend for sure!

Yes, that's what the top 30 rule plus 1 win is all about! ha!

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