Nascar Pick Challenge: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Pocono

Well I’m glad that my Cup pick came through on Sunday night (and that Mystery Picker wound up in DFL 40th place!) but Memorial Day weekend wound up being kind of a downer overall for me.
First, we had rain.  Lots of rain.  More than enough to ruin the BBQ I was supposed to go to.  Then My one day of work—Sunday—we had our roof leaking.  And guess who had to mop it up every half hour when the buckets overflowed?  Monday was a waste as well, as my plans to get together with some old coworkers for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals fell apart because apparently one of them got food poisoning over the weekend.  This is as good a time as any to remind you that the less you know the person running the cookout, the more well-done you should have them cook your burgers.

Xfinity Series Pocono Green 250 (1 win)—Kyle Busch: CHALK!

Cup Series Pocono 400—MYSTERY PICKER (4 wins) PICKS Aric Almirola.  Favorite (2 wins): Denny Hamlin—just too tough to pick against the Pocono master.  Next Favorite: Martin Truex Jr. (1 win)—yep, its still the Toyotas (and SHR Fords) dominating.  Dark Horse: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.—for the record I’d have picked AA if Mystery Picker hadn’t.

Say it Loudy and Say it Proudy: The Accomplishments of Rowdy

On Sunday night Kyle Busch managed to score a points-paying win at the last remaining track that he hadn’t—Charlotte—allowing him to claim that he has now won at every track currently on the circuit.  As well as with his personal goals of accumulating a voluminous number of wins in all three touring series, here’s a look at some other accomplishments Kyle Busch has achieved in his career:
"Sorry about taking your job, Kyle"
"Its fine--things worked out pretty
good for me"

—Most all-time wins in the Xfinity Series

—Least amount of races needed to win a Cup championship

—Good end of the worst transaction in Nascar history (being released in favor of retaining Casey Mears)

—Fastest time from race finish to leaving the track facility

—Successfully ripping off Rasheed “Both Teams Played Hard” Wallace with “Everything’s Great"

—Making more money in a single year than all the people who criticize him online will make in their lifetimes combined.

1,000,000th Article Written About the Decline of Nascar

An important milestone was reached in motorsports media today, as the 1,000,000th article, column, or think-piece about the decline of Nascar was penned, edited, and uploaded onto a major website.
“Wow, I knew there were a few other articles about the subject, but I had no idea mine was the one millionth”, said Katie Kelley, a lead motorsports columnist for The Motorsports Review, a longtime home for online racing coverage.  “I’m just glad that the readers of our fine website will be informed that Nascar is, in fact, in trouble, having lost numerous fans over the past ten or so years.”
The article, titled “Why Nascar is Losing its Luster”, reviews numerous issues Nascar has at the moment, such as an aging fanbase, falling TV ratings, and half-full race tracks, all of which have been discussed previously hundreds of thousands of times.
“Nascar really needs to take a hard look at itself in the mirror if they want to survive into the next generation”, Kelley’s column finishes.  “If not, nobody will be crying about the loss, because nobody will care”.
The column, which claims to “not just bash current leadership”, lays most of the blame at the feet of current chairman Brian France, as have roughly 930,000+ of the million articles written on the subject.  Following in tradition, Kelley’s article also mentions the retirement of recent popular drivers, the prevalence of “cookie-cutter” 1.5 mile ovals, and uses the phrase “the dreaded aero-push”.
Kelley appears to have reached the milestone mere minutes before general sports columnist R. Edward Morriss’s article “The Future of Nascar—Why There Might Not Be One” was uploaded to the website of newspaper The Whig-Herald.
Neither article, nor any of the now-1,000,000+ articles on the subject, offered any ideas on how to reverse the decline.

Nascar Pick Challenge: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Charlotte

Well, I’m back at full strength for picking time!!!  I finally got some loose ends tied up—the work schedule is finally settled on, I got my vacation all picked out for the summer, and just renewed on my town house lease for another 11 months.  But best of all, no more car troubles for me—I got a new car!
That’s right, good old Uncle Max just got the deal of a lifetime from a local dealer.  Unlike gambling, I’m not one to give away secrets on how to get a great deal on a car—the more people you tell, the less impact they’ll have when YOU need them.  But lets just say that sometimes it comes in handy to know how to act both pathetic and needy at the same time!

Xfinity Series Alsco 300 (1 win)—Christopher Bell: right about that time for a breakthrough win.

Cup Series World 600—MYSTERY PICKER (4 wins) PICKS Kevin Harvick.  Favorite (1 win): Kyle Busch—Seriously—is Mystery Picker ACTUALLY Kevin Harvick?!?  Next Favorite: Brad Keslowski (1 win)—complete with a post-race interview that’ll put us to sleep.  Dark Horse: Chase Elliott—kinda weird to have him listed as a “Dark Horse”, but hey—he’s still winless and he’s driving a Chevy.

The Rain Pain—Possible Impossible Solutions

What will we have more of this year:
Rain delays or Harvick wins?
2018 in Nascar Cup has had two overarching themes—Chevrolets sucking and plenty of rain disrupting races.  While people often complain about how rain will shorten, delay, or completely postpone a race, little is offered in the way of solutions.

That’s where I come in!

Pros: Tarps stored under the SAFER barriers could be deployed within minutes of the first raindrops (especially at smaller tracks) either by track personnel or an automatic system.  And once the rain stops, you have a dry track ready for action.  
Cons: How many races would it be until someone wrecks and the tarp accidentally deploys?  And you just KNOW Kenny Wallace would do a “rain delay slide routine” and act like he’s never heard of Rick Dempsey.

Pros: Theory goes that if cars keep going around it will dispel the moisture in the air, essentially “splitting” the storm around the track.
Cons: Besides the whole matter of science proving that it doesn’t work, would anyone want to hear Darrell Waltrip even MORE emboldened to share his “wisdom” with us?

Pros: By putting a roof over the track, racing would be able to occur no matter the weather—rain, snow, or otherwise.  Fans would be protected from the elements, and the infield could be used for multiple other non-racing events.
Cons: Running a car in an enclosed space is usually how people kill themselves.

Pros: Grooved tires would allow the rain water to be wicked away from I can’t even pretend that this is a viable option.  
Cons: Tires need to be ungrooved (“slick”) in order to stick to banked tracks.  Banking would cause the water to pool on the apron and in the pits.  Any other moisture would be splashed onto fans.  And who the heck wants to watch a race in the rain anyways?  Well, besides weirdo sports car fans?

Pros: The most-sensible solution is the one we have now—waiting out the rain, drying the track, and in a worst-case scenario, waiting until the next day.
Cons: But I have work tomorrow!!!

“Off-Week” Update & A Truck Series Pick by Uncle Max

"Buy my book!"
Due to that pesky little thing called “real life” this will likely be the only article this week—hey, its an non-points event so its not like its a heartbreaker.  This is as good a time as any to remind you all that I have my first-ever book available for purchase on Amazon (paperback or Kindle) via

And now here’s Uncle Max with his pick for Friday’s Truck Series race:

Truck Series NC Education Lottery 200 (2 wins)—Kyle Busch: And I’ll make some bonus non-points picks for the All-Star race too: Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Ty Dillon advance from the Open, Bubba Wallace gets the fan vote, and Brad Keselowski wins the All-Star race.

Brian France Puts Nascar For Sale on Ebay

Responding definitively to rumors that Nascar would was being shopped for sale, CEO and Chairman Brian France confirmed that he has placed the sanctioning body for purchase on popular online auction website Ebay.
“We’re always looking at possible business opportunities at Nascar, be they sponsors, supplier, or even purchasers”, France said from his offices in Daytona Beach.  “Ever since the rumor was floated that Nascar could be sold, we’ve seen a lot of interest from people wondering if Nascar would be sold.
“I felt that the best way to properly gauge interest, not to mention to get a proper valuation, was to let the open market decide on Ebay.”, France said.
France appears to have placed the multimillion-dollar property—which would entail Nascar’s brand, intellectual property, various sanctioning agreements, and lucrative broadcasting contracts—for sale as a traditional auction sometime late Tuesday Night.  France, using the user name of “BFRacer”, has a feedback rating in of 89, with most of his positive comments coming from various diecast collectable sales over the past few years.
“We believe heavily in the free-market enterprise here at Nascar”, France said.  “So what better way to see what we’re worth than to let the free-market decide?  That’s what makes this country great—that, and any buyer would be able to take advantage of local municipalities offering tax breaks for race dates.”
Currently no one seems to have reached France’s minimum asking price, although there was briefly a bid placed from “F1DaddyBern” which turned out to be a hoax.
When asked if Nascar chose to use Ebay due to Ebay Motors’ heavy presence during Nascar on Fox broadcasts, a surprised-looking France responded “They do that?  All the better then!”

Nascar Pick Challenge: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Kansas

EDITOR’S NOTE: Uncle Max informed me privately that he was unable to provide his usual write-up due to ongoing car troubles.  He texted me his picks late Wednesday night.

Truck Series 37 Kind Days 250 (2 wins)—Johnny Sauter: GMS keeps rolling…well, in racing at least.

Xfinity Series OneMain Financial 200 (1 win)—John Hunter Nemechek: Just call him Concrete ‘Chek.

Cup Series KC Masterpiece 400—MYSTERY PICKER (4 wins) PICKS Kyle Larson.  Favorite (1 win): Kyle Busch—The Chevys just don’t have it this year, M.P.  Next Favorite: Kevin Harvick—The drive for five is a remarkably short one.  Dark Horse: Aric Almirola—first win in years comes at the track that broke his back.

Stupid Opinions on Popular Sports Through the Years

"Baseball in the major leagues, its really not that different from the sandlot game.  To be honest, anyone with the right attitude could make a big-league club and succeed, were the chances right.” —Glenn “No-Hit” Mills, 1928, career minor leaguer who earned his nickname as a batter.

“Golf is the same no matter what the level of play.  Its always going to be eighteen holes, be it Pebble Beach or your local municipal course.  The difference isn’t that big.” —Chester Aston, 1959, club pro who failed to qualify for a single PGA event.

“I’ve played the college game, and I’ve played the pro game, and let me tell you—the NFL is not all its cracked up to be.” —Marcus Hook, 1980, first player cut from NFL team rosters five years in a row.

“They make the Olympics out to be this big deal, but really?  Its about as easy as it gets, no matter the event.” —Ben Salem, 2004, “winner” of the rarely awarded tin medal for lack of athletic success.

“All the IndyCar fans out there might find this warm and fuzzy, but everyone would always ask me if I had a hard time driving those big old stock cars and if they were really physical, and I’m like, ‘No, they are way easier than an Indy car to drive.’” —Danica Patrick, Nascar driver who failed to score a single win in over 250 national touring series starts.

Mother Nature Admits She Doesn’t Like Nascar

Spade Racing was able to obtain an exclusive interview with one of Nascar’s biggest enemies this year, reaching Mother Nature at her home palace in the sky above the earth.  In her brief on-the-record statements, she affirmed that she simply doesn’t really like stock car racing.
Mother Nature (file photo)
“I’ve never been a big Nascar fan”, Mother Nature told us this afternoon.  “As the sole controller of weather on planet Earth, I let my disdain be known from time-to-time, but I’m really showing it this year.”
When asked why Mother Nature had expressed her anger towards Nascar so far this spring, she offered to elaborate:
“Well, its not one thing, but its a bunch of things.  As you might guess, I’m a bit of an environmentalist, and Nascar’s never been the greenest sport.  But at least before they didn’t try to hide their disregard for me, but now they’re shoving those Nascar Green commercials down our throats—come on, Nascar, we know you don’t really care.
“And another thing—Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. was my favorite driver”, Mother Nature explained, “he seemed like a pretty nice guy, so when I would catch a race every once in a while—my husband Father Time is a big racing buff—I usually cheered for him.  But with Junior gone, what’s the point?”
Mother Nature also appeared to have little respect for Nascar’s recent attempts at trying to outsmart her.
“Moving up races’ start times, huh?”, Mother Nature said, glaring at us as her voice rose.  “Well, I’ll just move up the precipitation numbers on you.  I can make it snow in the springtime in Virginia, and that was on a day when I was in a GOOD mood.  And by the way, feel free to let Darrell Waltrip know that that stupid Vortex (theory) thing doesn’t work at all.”
We were then shown the door and told not to return, as Mother Nature was preparing to put water in every race fan’s fuel lines on Monday morning.

Nascar Pick Challenge: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Dover

The tough season continues, but at least we’re sharing in the pain here.  Both Mystery Picker and I failed to choose a winner at last weekend’s roulette wheel of a race track, but its time to get back to basics with Dover.  I’m a firm believer in the concept of luck, and sometimes you need something familiar—like picking Jimmie Johnson at Dover—to change things for the better.  So its time to turn this season around!

Truck Series Jegs 200 (1 win)—Johnny Sauter: Nothing like winning a race nobody can watch to distract people from the goings-on of your team.

Xfinity Series OneMain Financial 200 (1 win)—John Hunter Nemechek: Just call him Concrete ‘Chek.

Cup Series AAA 400—MYSTERY PICKER (3 wins) PICKS Kevin Harvick.  Favorite (1 win): Jimmie Johnson—ENOUGH with Harvick already, OK Mystery Picker?!?  Next Favorite: Kyle Busch—4 out of 5 ain’t bad—in fact, its pretty remarkable.  Dark Horse: Erik Jones—first Cup win comes on weird pit strategy?

The Real Reasons Why Jimmie Johnson Wrecked a Third of the Field

—He knew the race was boring till then—he was just trying to help us out, people.

—He could’ve won, but better to have a storyline going into Dover.

—Couldn’t wait to hear how Jeff Gordon would defend him in the booth.


—Wanted to show William Byron that if you take someone’s parking space, there’s a price to pay.

—His mind was occupied trying to come up with a nickname for Chase Elliott*.

—He was so good so quick, he wanted to see what a rookie mistake felt like.

—Chad said something in a mean tone.

—Was off his game since his 5 o’clock shadow was more like 5:15 all weekend.

*—he’s decided on “Chase Naughton Jr.”