Relaxed, Regrouped And A Tip Of The Cap To Jeremy Clements

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Are you ready for some racing? If you’re like this observer, it’s nice to catch a break in mid-season to re-group and recoup. Got caught up on some projects around the house, finally had a church service finish without me rushing out the door, and it also provided ample opportunity to take stock of the season so far.

First- our hats off to Jeremy Clements. Who? Jeremy Clements is the journeyman driver who pulled off the unlikely with a victory in the Xfinity Series at Road America. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: if you win on a road course, you’re a wheel man. A win like this reminds us the little guy can still get it done in NASCAR. At 32, and owning his own team, Clements- at least for a moment- takes the reins as NASCAR’s everyman. Enjoy the sunshine Jeremy. You earned it.

There’s nothing better after a week off than a holiday race at a classic track. The return of the Southern 500 to Darlington on Labor Day Weekend has been a winner in my book. It’s a rite of the season, just like the World Series in October and the Kentucky Derby in May. The timing and location couldn’t be better as far as providing a momentary escape from all the troubles of life. It also reminds us of NASCAR’s roots in the southland and all the governing body owes to the fans in place like South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee- just to name a few.

Are you like me, a bit confused by all the changes we’ve had in playoff qualifications and points? I admit it’s been a bit much to break down, but overall, I like what it’s done to motivate racers to actually race.

Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson. These look like the top contenders to win the big prize as of now. Johnson has been nowhere as consistent as the aforementioned trio, but you know to never count him out.

Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Austin Dillon are among those getting their first Cup victories. When and where will it happen for Chase Elliott? It’s just a matter of time, but who would have thought Blaney and Dillon would have beat Awesome Bill’s son to it?

Hope you all had a good weekend, and for those of you near Harvey, know that we’re praying and pulling for you. In spite of the smoke, this is when I’m thankful to live in the great Northwest.