KERCHNER: Friday Morning Heat Race


We hope you will join us here every Friday, where we will reveal our thoughts about the week’s events in motorsports while previewing the coming weekend’s major events.

For the purpose of this blog, our heat race will be 10 laps in length.

1. Someone in our office remarked that the picture of Jimmie Johnson on the cover of this week’s NSSN makes the five-time champion look like a robot. Well, that’s fitting because Johnson is a robot in so many ways, but mainly in the fact that he just flat out does what he is paid to do. His efficiency in winning five straight championships is aw-aspiring. He even sounds like a robot at times.

2. Were we right on or what? In last week’s Friday Morning Heat Race we predicted that Johnson was getting inside Denny Hamlin’s head. It was interesting to hear both drivers talk about Johnson’s role as an instigator leading into Sunday’s Ford 400.

3. Carl Edwards ended the season on a two-race winning streak, but few will remember his successful end to the season, which lifted him to fourth in the standings, thanks to all the emphasis placed on the Chase.

4. It was interesting to see World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series regulars Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz become the 99th and 100th different winners in American Sprint Car Series national competition.

5. With most of the races over the Thanksgiving weekend named for Turkey, we wondered why some enterprising promoter does offer an alternative. Perhaps the Ham Hock 50?

6. Based by his appearance on Monday night SportsCenter on ESPN, Jimmie Johnson’s participation in the Gillette Young Guns program must have come to a conclusion.

7. More than 60,000 folks are expected to visit Charlotte Motor Speedway’s holiday lights program. The struggling NASCAR Hall of Fame should have seen that each of those folks received a discount coupon for Hall of Fame admission.

8. We were stunned to read about the retirement of longtime John Force right-hand man Austin Coil. Coil returned in the week following Force earning his 15th NHRA Funny Car championship.

9. It looks like Richard Petty Motorsports will survive thanks to new investors. RPM cars finished the season at Homestead with fourth and fifth-place finishes thanks to Aric Almirola and A.J. Allmendiner. The team will be reduced from four to two cars next season with Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose driving.

10. It’s Trade Show season. Visit the NSSN booth at IMIS Dec. 1-3 and PRI Dec. 9-11.

11. Bonus Lap. Please leave your comments or opinions at the end of this blog by clicking the comment link.

The views expressed by NSSN columnists and readers in the opinion or community sections of this website do not necessarily reflect those of the management and staff of National Speed Sport News, Kay Publishing or Media1934 LLC.

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Mike Kerchner
Mike Kerchner is a veteran racing journalist and has been a member of the SPEED SPORT family since joining Chris Economaki at National Speed Sport News in 1991. He is now the Editor-in-Chief of SPEED SPORT Magazine.