Predicting winners and polesitters tough this year



Different fans have different names for it. Parity, mediocrity, and some less polite. But this season if not noted for outstanding on track battles during the race, has spread the glory around.

There have been 13 different race winners in this season's 19 races, including nine different winners in the last nine races....

Pocono pole parity is even more extreme. There have been 11 different Bud Pole winners in the 11 Pennsylvania 500s since 1991....

The top four drivers in the current NASCAR Winston Cup points - Marlin (2,604), Martin (2,549), Jimmie Johnson (2,512) and Rusty Wallace (2,477) - have mathematical chances of leaving Pocono as the points leader....

The Winston Cup Leader Bonus has mushroomed to $150,000 for this week's race.
I think that this year we might have as many as 18 diffrent drivers win a race this year !! What is the record??
Ya know, NASCAR experiences this phenomenon every 12 years or so. Some call it the changing of the guard, and sometimes it seems the new blood emerges just as the current crop of standbyes are reaching twilight. You have a season, season and a half like this one, where nobody can predict what is gonna happen, who will be strong, etc. I think this time the younger drivers showed up a bit earlier than in the past. Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and the others are already battling with veterans like Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace. The big difference these guys ain't ready to take up shuffleboard just yet. Plus we got the tweeners like Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton and Tony Stewart still making their marks. Some shaking down will likely happen over the next 2 seasons or so, and sadly a few of these guys won't realize the potential they could have under other circumstances, for instance like when Davey Allison came in. He had less competition in his age bracket on a weekly basis than these guys will face. Makes for interesting racing though. No more can we fans state smugly that these 6 drivers will be the class of the field at a given track. The guy running 14th today is running comparatively speaking strong enough to have dominated a race five years ago.

Sorry, that was a bit longer than I intended. (Wow, never had THAT problem before...)
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