First, I'd like to tell you a curious little factoid about this blog that might surprise you. I write four blogs - politics, NASCAR, writing and cancer. My blog host has been since I first began blogging. They provide interesting information like how many hits each blog got yesterday, last month, as well as the total since it first started. For instance, this blog had 661 hits in October. That certainly doesn't make me one of the most popular bloggers, some of whom gets 100's or 1000's per day.

Blogspot also tells you where your readers are and this is where the surprise comes in. The majority of my readers come from the U.S., which is what you'd expect, but after that, in the second position, is Russia, followed by Ukraine, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, France and the U.K. I think I could have been given 50 guesses for Number Two and never come up with Russia. Who knew?.

Okay, now to the race. It was very touching to see Junior come down pit lane to the accolades of all the crews and then to take his final lap. And it was kind-hearted and generous for Dale to invite Matt to drop to the back with him, although that gesture is what I would have expected from Junior.

I thought the race would be stress-free for me since I didn't really have a favored dog in the hunt but toward the end, I was rooting hard for Martin. It is fun to see so much joy expressed by driver, crew, family and friends. Martin cried as he accepted congratulations from everyone. It was sad that Barney Visser couldn't be there for his first championship due to a heart attack but I wouldn't doubt if he wasn't crying too. Every team member is thrilled and triumphant when they win a championship but I have to think your first one is extra-special.

And Martin hasn't always had a smooth ride through his career although he did win two Xfinity titles (although it wasn't Xfinity then). He's always been on decent Cup teams but not an elite one until now. And I don't think we'd have called Furniture Row an elite team until this season, although we began to see the potential when Kurt Busch took over that spot. I really think Kurt was instrumental in showing the 78 how to be a winning team.

But after various trials and tribulations, including his girlfriend's battle with cancer, the 78 put together a perfect season and all the hopes and dreams of so many came to fruition. So many congratulations to Martin, Cole Pearn, Barney Visser and all the crew. You definitely earned the this championship.

So, it's onward and upward to 2018. I've heard that Danica will run in both the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500. I'm glad to see she's still keeping her hand in even if it is only two races. Of course, I always watch Daytona but I usually don't tune in to the Indy 500. Next year, I will.

Congratulations also to William Byron and Dale Junior. Winning the Xfinity championship bodes well for his future in Cup. Congratulations also to Christopher Bell on the Camping World Truck series championship. And to Erik Jones for being named Rookie of the Year. I think we'll be hearing a lot from these three young men in the future.

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thank u vicki,,not only for this blog but for all the other ones u so graciously shared with us.  

on the various countries represented in your readership, it is interesting,, and on last sundays race chat on NN, we had chatters from Canada, 2 from brazil, one from Philippines, one from u k, quite an international group.

I had no idea. I guess I figured NASCAR was pretty much confined to this hemisphere. Glad to know it's not!

I thought it was cool,,,and if gaby had been there as he is many times,,then argentina would have been represented too



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