Saturday, January 31, 2015

Spade Racing’s 2015 Nascar Sprint Cup Series Preview: Searching Low and Haiku

As we approach a season full of promise (of Jeff Gordon retrospectives and series sponsor questions) it’s time to make predictions.  Pointless, uneducated predictions.  Here they are, haiku-style, from the bottom to the top of the points (full-time drivers/teams only)
*--number to be determined as of this writing

30 Ron Hornaday Jr. (TMG)—who cares?
Conseco returns!
Sing! “Horn-a-daaaaay!  Cel-e-braaaate!”
It’s start-and-park time!

83* JJ Yeley (BKR)Burger King, Dr. Pepper
BKR Roulette:
Who will get to race this week?
And who will get screwed?

35 Cole Whitt (FRM)—Speed Stick, blank hoods?
Cole finds sponsorship
Cole finds mid-level Cup rides
…but stability?

98 Josh Wise (PPR)—unknown
A meme has become
A legitimate sponsor
Much sponsorship.  Wow.

40 Landon Cassill (Circle Sport)—tba
Tries pit strategy
Goes for it at plate races
Brought ME Burger King

38 David Gilliland (FRM)—Love’s Travel Stops, Long John Silver’s
Wait—Gill-y’s still here?
When was his Busch Series win?
Two sponsors ago!

46 Michael Annett (HScott)—Pilot/Flying J, Cypress Assoc., Allstate-Peterbilt
Number TBD
A very-late decision
Does anyone care?

13 Casey Mears (Germain)—Geico, every damn oil change place for some reason
It’s not the driver
Or the owner or sponsor
Its Geico’s OWNER

78 Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row)—Furniture Row
Owner is sponsor
Poor results: Driver, or team?
That is the question

17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (RFR)—Fastenal, Zest, Cargill, Fifth Third Bank, NOS
So many sponsors
So much promise; expectations
Wins?  Um, not so much

9 Sam Hornish Jr. (RPM)—Twisted Tea, ???
Will there be sponsors?
Will they be competitive?
Will Hornish spin?  Yes.

55 Brian Vickers (MWR)—Aaron’s
Two subs, then Brian
Wins would be great for them, but
I just hope he’s healed

10 Danica Patrick (SHR)—GoDaddy, Aspen Dental, TaxACT
Its a contract year
Time to deliver or its
“Time for a family”

41 Kurt Busch (SHR)—Haas, State Water Heaters
Dover determines
if State: Water Heaters, or

51 Justin Allgaier (HScott)—Brandt, Auto-Owners Insurance
Harry’s on his own
Full speed ahead, but wait—is
James Finch coming back?

6 Trevor Bayne (RFR)—Advocare
A one-hit wonder?
He’s full-time now and sponsored
It’s showtime, Rockwell

34 David Ragan (FRM)—CSX, Farm Fresh, a bunch of restaurants
Long John Silver’s, Taco Bell
The Chase?  Railroaded

3 Austin Dillon (RCR)—Dow, Cheerios, Bass Pro Shops, American Ethanol
3 controversy
And most laps run—they’re the same
Now—nobody cares

1 Jamie McMurray (Ganassi)—McDonald’s, Cessna, Bass Pro Shops
Big-race McMurray
Winner in the 24
McGriddle-like start

27 Paul Menard (RCR)—Menards
Full-season sponsor?
Just like Jimmie Johnson, but…
He don’t really win

15 Clint Bowyer (MWR)—5-Hour Energy, Peak, AAA
Call up AAA
“I need some help with my car,
My arm’s too itchy!”

18 Kyle Busch (JGR)—M&M’s, Interstate Batteries
Here’s what I expect
“I’m here so I won’t get fined,
Go talk to my wife”

…the Chasers:

47 AJ Allmendinger (JTG-D)—Kingsford, Clorox, Bush’s Baked Beans, Scott Paper, Charter, Hungry Jack, House-Autry
So many sponsors
Its the little team that could
‘cept Brad’s not little

11 Denny Hamlin (JGR)—FedEx, Sport Clips
Don’t say, “Hey Denny,
You’ve got something in your eye!”
Or he’ll Freight your Ground

16 Greg Biffle (RFR)—Ortho, Cheez-It
The new Roush leader
But with last year’s performance?
Biff should’ve Cheez’d-It

43 Aric Almirola (RPM)—Smithfield, Fresh From Florida, Air Force, STP, Go Bowling
Finally a win!
Still no personality
Damn you Brian Scott!

4 Kevin Harvick (SHR)—Budweiser, Jimmy Johns, Outback, Ditech
Not just race wins now
2014’s Champion!
Too many nicknames

31 Ryan Newman (RCR)—Caterpillar, Quicken Loans, Kwikset, Wix, Grainger
Almost champion
Newman: one word comes to mind

5 Kasey Kahne (HMS)—Farmers, Great Clips, TW Cable, LiftMaster, Pepsi
Competing sponsors?
Farmers AND Nationwide too?
Whew—Jeff retired

42 Kyle Larson (Ganassi)—Target
Kyle’s breakout year?
How about the equipment?
Help us out, Felix

14 Tony Stewart (SHR)—Bass Pro Shops, Mobil 1, Rush Truck Centers, Code 3
It’s back to racing
Nobody is happier
For that then Tony

22 Joey Logano (Penske)—Shell/Pennzoil, AAA, Auto Trader
Sliced Bread is red hot
But he’s no longer Burnt Toast
This doesn’t make sense

24 Jeff Gordon (HMS)—DTEF, 3M, Axalta, Pepsi, Panasonic
Final full season
IndyCar—you had your chance
A NASCAR legend

88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (HMS)—Nationwide, Diet Dew, Kelley Blue Book
No more Guard for Dale
Nationwide is on his side
But is luck?  We’ll see…

2 Brad Keselowski (Penske)—Miller Lite, Alliance, Wurth, Detroit Genuine
Always in a fight
Always contending for wins
Always bending rules

48 Jimmie Johnson (HMS)—Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools
Sometimes we find that
Champions don’t win because
Fate doesn’t play by the rules

19 Carl Edwards (JGR)—Arris, Stanley, Subway, Sport Clips
Carl.  JGR.
Pretty weird to hear, ain’t it?
Well, it worked for Matt!

…and the 2015 champion:

20 Matt Kenseth (JGR)—Dollar General, DeWalt
What do you prefer
To hear butchered on tv:
“Kenseths” or “Kenzett”?