#GimmeFive // NASCAR



As the world turns, by now you may have (or may not have) seen Jeff Gordon at the White House on “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” – and more importantly, asked one Dale Earnhardt Jr. to #GimmeFive.

In case you are still really confused, the #IceBucketChallenge #GimmeFive program is brought to you in part by FLOTUS and goes hand in hand with the “Let’s Move” program. If you are even more confused, read this.

So celebrities, non celebrities and everyone in between are challenging friends and loved ones to #GimmeFive.

While most of you know that the NASCAR community isn’t one to back down from a promotional campaign, you must know that once it hit the garages, it spread like wild fire.

That’s where I come in to catch you up to speed.. You’re Welcome.


Dale Jr. challenges Jimmie Johnson to #GimmeFive more race cars.


Jimmie Johnson challens Chad Knaus to #GimmeFive more Championships.

Chad Knaus challenegs NASCAR to #GimmeFive more horses.. of power.


NASCAR challeneges Hendrick Motorsports to #GimmeFive more races with Chase Elliott.

Hendrick Motorsports challenges Chase’s pit crew to #GimmeFive more pieces of tape on the right front.


Chase’s pit crew challenges Fox Sports One to #GimmeFive minutes of TV time.. On Fox.

Fox Sports One challenges Richard Petty to just #GimmeFive laps against Danica Patrick.


Richard Petty challenges Danica Patrick to #GimmeFive – oh wait, I’m the King.

Danica Patrick challenges Tony Stewart to #GimmeFive more years at Stewart Haas Racing. Please.


Tony Stewart challenges Kevin Harvick to #GimmeFive – oh wait I already got five.. make that ten.

Kevin Harvick challenges to Michael Waltrip to #GimmeFive times the effort you normally give next time you’re walking down pit road.

And Michael Waltrip just flat out asks Darrell Waltrip to #GimmeFive dollars.


Power Rankings Thus Far // With Help From The Fast and The Furious


It can’t be a coincidence that he weekend the 7th installment and the last(?) installment of The Fast and The Furious comes out that NASCAR takes a break right?

Oh wait yeah it’s Easter. (Happy Birthday Jesus). Well these guys may be taking the weekend off – but we sure aren’t! It’s been an exciting six races to start off this 2015 Sprint Cup Season, and now seems like a better time than ever rank these guys and gals up.

We’ve seen some guys dominate, and we’ve also seen some guys sit on the sidelines.

We’ve seen the first, second and bits and pieces of the fourth and fist Fast and Furious movies, and we’ve decided to act like Tokyo Drift never happened.

We’ve seen some historic Top 5 – nay, Top 2 finishes, and we’ve seen some historic..

You get the picture.

So this week I bring you, the best NASCAR drivers this 2015 Sprint Cup season thus far – with a little help from our the greatest movie franchise ever.. The Fast and The Furious.



2nd // 2nd // 1st // 1st // 2nd // 8th
-The Fast and The Furious (no. first)

Dom: “Let’s go for a little ride.”

Oh that little 8th place ride? Don’t worry about that little 8th place ride. You know you are having a good year with a damn fast car when an 8th place finish is a huge letdown.

1st // 4th // 10th // 8th // 7th // 3rd
-Fast and Furious 6 (no. sixth)

Roman: “Who’s got a plan B?”

Tej Parker: “Plan B? We need a plan C, D, E. We need more alphabets!”

Brian O’Conner: “Hey, we do what we do best. We improvise, all right?”

Joey had what could have been a disastrous spin which could have made for a disastrous day but he ended up showing us why if it wasn’t for Mr. Harvick this guy is all we would be talking about week after week.


41st // 9th // 7th // 6th // 1st // 2nd
-2 Fast 2 Furious (no. second)

Roman: “You’re not gonna do what I think you’re gonna do.”

Brian O’Conner: “Yeah, I think so.”

BAD BRAD! Isn’t so bad after all is he? Bad Brad didn’t do quite what we thought he was gonna do at the end of Martinsville. Maybe he’s tired of getting round housed after every race.

4th // 38th // 5th // 23rd // 28th // 1st
-The Fast and The Furious (no. first)

Dom: “You almost had me? You never had me – you never had your car… Granny shiftin’ not double clutchin’ like you should. … You almost had me? …  Ask any racer. Any real racer. It don’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.”

There’s no doubt in my mind that Denny repeated this exact line to himself looking into the grandfather clock on his way to an advance screening of “Furious 7” after his win at Martinsville.


8th // 6th // 2nd // 7th // 8th // 6th
-2 Fast 2 Furious (no. second)

Brian O’Conner: “All right, let’s see what this thing can do.”

And there’s no doubt in my mind that Martin Truex Jr. says this line to himself before every race he starts right after a big shrug, sigh (not of relief) and a few Hail Mary’s.

5th // 1st // 41st // 11th // 9th // 35th
-Fast and Furious 6 (no. sixth)

Tej Parker: “You’re a millionaire and still asking for money?”

Roman: “That’s how you stay a millionaire.”

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this of how and why Jimmie will win again, the whole she-bang, and hopefully(?) will win again soon(?). Shouldn’t he just be happy with the 6 Championships he has and be smiling from ear to ear? Why would he be freaking out to his crew chief about a bum car? Because the dude has the eye of the tiger. He wants to win. He has to win. That’s how you stay a millionaire. Or the possible greatest driver of all-time.


3rd // 3rd // 4th // 43rd // 6th // 36th
-Fast Five (no. fifth)

Zizi: “God Himself couldn’t get at your money if he wanted to.”

Reyes: “God isn’t my worry.”

Jr. has everything he could every want. Just look at him. He’s got a rundown beat up Rainbow Warrior car in his backyard! What more could you ask for? Cough. A Championship.

17th // 18th // 22nd // 21st // 18th // 5th
-2 Fast 2 Furious (no. second)

Roman: “Enjoyin’ the ride? Man, it’s a fast car, huh? Man, it’s a classic. Old school. American muscle. Man, this car can do all kinda things, man. Wanna see?”

I know one guy who isn’t looking forward to having Kyle Busch back in the 18 car. This guy. David has had a hell of a time subbing in for Kyle and with a top 5 finish under his belt, this dude has got to be as giddy as all get out.

— // — // — // 5th // 3rd // 14th
-The Fast and The Furious (no. first)

Dom: “I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullshit. For those ten seconds or less, I’m free.”

Too soon?


35th // 5th // 9th // 16th // 31st // 4th
-The Fast and The Furious (no. first)

Brian O’Conner: “I just need more time.”

FBI Officer: “If you want time, buy the magazine.”

There’s no way this is an actual conversation between Matt Kenseth and Mr. Joe Gibbs right?

38th // 10th // 3rd // 3rd // 5th // 27th
-Fast and Furious (no. fourth)

Agent Sophie Trinh: “So which car do you want?”

Brian O’Conner: “All of them.”

Newman has quietly been having a tremendous six races this year. Hell if he had any other car for that first one at Daytona and the last one at Martinsville – he’s mixing it up there with the big dogs.


33rd // 41st // 18th // 9th // 10th // 9th
-Fast and Furious 6 (no. sixth)

Dom: “You’ve got the best crew in the world standing right in front of you, give them a reason to stay.”

The swan song isn’t going quite according to plan. Jeff isn’t giving anyone a reason to stay, for multiple reasons. The funny part is that if it wasn’t for a rookie mistake speeding penalty – we’d be singing another tune because the Rainbow Warriors would still be partying in Martinsville.

9th // 14th // 17th // 4th // 17th // 11th
-The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift (no. third)

Drift King: “Do you know who I am, boy?”

Shawn Boswell: “You’re like the Justin Timberlake of Japan.”

Oh no Kasey you’re more than that. And you’ve actually been driving really good lately too!

Fast 5

25th // 13th // 12th // 14th // 4th // 23rd
-Fast Five (no. fifth)

Tego Leo: “When I win here, I’ll buy you a lifetime supply of antidepressants.”

Some of these quotes don’t really mean anything. They just made me laugh at 3:00am after a couple of Budweisers. Paul is not depressed. But someone should tell his face that.

23rd // 12th // 42nd // 13th // 13th // 17th
-The Fast and The Furious (no. first)

Brian O’Conner: “Man, you know this is bullshit!”

Dom: “You work for Harry, right?”

Brian O’Conner: “Yeah, I just started.”

Dom: “You were just fired.”

Speaking of quotes that don’t mean anything! P.S. Harry is Joe Gibbs.


21st // 16th // 27th // 26th // 19th // 7th
-Fast Five (no. fifth)

Gisele: “You don’t need to send a man to do a woman’s job.”


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Power Rankings After Phoenix // With Help From The Ruthless


harvick_shreds_phoenixWe could save you some time and stop the power rankings after #1 am I right? I mean is anyone even close to Harvick right now? This is just straight up ridiculous. Luckily I have the formula to Happy’s dominance and the reasons why he continues to dominant. 

Again. Straight up out of control!

But because I have nothing better to do and love digging through numerous upon numerous quotes from great classic movies – I figured what the hell. What’s 15 more!?

Due to the fact that Harvick is on such an unbelievable run of pure dominance. I looked to films with strong role models male characters who will stop at nothing to get their job done. Unfortunately these characters in these movies, like Mr. Javier Bardem in “No Country For Old Men” are murderers and just straight up bad people kids.

Bad people or not, I once again found movies with top dogs, dominators, ruthless, professional professionals that like T.I himself – all they do is win.

So this week I bring you, the best NASCAR drivers this 2015 Sprint Cup season thus far – with a little help from our friends, those ruthless bastards.. in movies.


1st at Las Vegas / 1st at Phoenix

Little Bill Daggett: “Well, sir, you are a cowardly son of a bitch! You just shot an unarmed man!”
Will Munny: “Well, he should have armed himself.”

It sure does seem like Kevin Harvick has gone to a gun fight, but he’s the only one armed lately doesn’t it?

10th at Las Vegas / 8th at Phoenix
-No Country For Old Men

Managerial Victim: “Mind riding bitch?”

Joey is having one heck of a year. Just so happens Mr. Happy is having one historic year.

2nd at Las Vegas / 7th at Phoenix
-No Country For Old Men

Man who hires Wells: “Just how dangerous is he?”
Carson Wells: “Compared to what? The bubonic plague?”

We don’t really know how dangerous Martin is!? But he has proven that he shouldn’t be taken lightly anymore.


41st at Las Vegas / 11th at Phoenix
-True Blood

Rambo: “I could have killed ’em all, I could’ve killed you. In town you’re the law, out here it’s me. Don’t push it! Don’t push it or I’ll give you a war you won’t believe. Let it go. Let it go!”

Chad Knaus may be the Greg Poppovich of NASCAR. Rest’em until the playoffs – then start trying. No way right?

3rd at Las Vegas / 3rd at Phoenix

Saint Clair: “Please understand… it was all business. It wasn’t personal.”
Bryan: “It was all personal to me.”

Ryan Newman is a no non-sense, all business dude. And he continues to just get it done.

17th at Las Vegas / 4th at Phoenix

Kim: “You don’t have to worry.
Bryan: “That’s like telling water not to be wet, sweetie.

Maybe it’s just me, but if I was 4th string on a team like Kasey is I’d be worried a lot too. Been running better and better, maybe he’s stopped worrying.


4th at Las Vegas / 43rd at Phoenix
-No Country For Old Men

Poolside Woman: “Oh… that’s who you keep looking out the window for?”
Llewelyn Moss: “Half…”
Poolside Woman: “What else then…?”
Llewelyn Moss: “Just looking for what’s coming…”
Poolside Woman: “Yeah… But no one ever sees that coming…”

One race it seems like he’s going to win it all. The next, we’re left scratching our heads. You never know with this guy.

7th at Las Vegas / 6th at Phoenix
-True Blood

Deputy Mitch: “How blind are you? Can’t you see this guy’s crazy?”
Deputy Sergeant Arthur Gault: “Can’t you see I don’t give a shit?”

Same ol’ Bad Brad. Once he starts rolling and keeps not giving a shit – look out.

9th at Las Vegas / 16th at Phoenix
-No Country For Old Men

Ed Tom Bell: “How many of those things you got now?”
Ellis: “Cats? Several. Well, depends what you mean by got. Some are half-wild, and some are just outlaws.”

Cats = wins?


6th at Las Vegas / 17th at Phoenix
-Taxi Driver

Travis Bickle: “Twelve hours of work and I still can’t sleep. Damn. Days go on and on. They don’t end.”

I swear that was intended to be a shot at The Dinger. Just that he’s putting in a lot of work and not seeing much reward!

5th at Las Vegas / 23rd at Phoenix
-Taxi Driver

Travis Bickle: “Shit… I’m waiting for the sun to shine.”

Will the sun ever shine again for Denny?

25th at Las Vegas / 20th at Phoenix
-Taxi Driver

Travis Bickle: “Now I see this clearly. My whole life is pointed in one direction. There never has been a choice for me.”

Love seeing Casey Mears do well. Now is his time to shine. Like a few other drivers, hope the recent success of good finishes is a confident boost.


22nd at Las Vegas / 21st at Phoenix
-Taxi Driver

Personnel Officer: “How’s your driving record? Clean?”
Travis Bickle: “It’s clean, real clean. Like my conscience.”

Been a pretty clean start to the year thus far taking over for Mr. Busch. How long will his driving record stay clean?

8th at Las Vegas / 10th at Phoenix

Will Munny: “Wanna help me count this, kid?”
The Schofield Kid: “I trust you.”
Will Munny: “Don’t go trusting me too much.”

Any day now he’s going to flip the switch, and he’s going to be a stone cold killer. Don’t go trusting his kid too much.

12th at Las Vegas / 14th at Phoenix
-No Country For Old Men

Anton Chigurh: “Step out of your car, please.”

For some reason I don’t think Paul responds well to please.


21st at Las Vegas / 24th at Phoenix
-True Blood

Teasle: “Goddammit, what the hell do you think this is? Some kind of a circus?”

Maybe it is?



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Power Rankings Thus Far // With Help From Heist Films



So to save you the trouble of reading some guy’s power rankings every week – I’m going to spare you this season, and me. Every two weeks and you get your annual “Power Rankings with A Little Help From Our Friend”s column by me.

Now one of the reasons because I thought it would be a lot harder to come up with themes – boy was I wrong.

After writing half of what I may personally describe as a mind blowing blog post about a fantastic movie and how it tied into this crazy NASCAR season thus far I had a what could only be described as a mind blowing thought.

Travis Kvapil’s car just got stolen. We are going to Las Vegas this week. Ocean’s 11, 12, 13 and 14 (Rumored) – WE HAVE TO DO HEIST MOVIES!


Don’t worry – this mind blowing column/article/dribble that has already been written will see the light of day, some day, because don’t you worry I don’t always have epiphany’s and stellar ideas. Just ask my girlfriend – amirite?! (See that joke. Oh boy).

So this week I bring you, the best NASCAR drivers this 2015 Sprint Cup season thus far – with a little help from our friends, great American heist movies.

1st at Daytona / 4th at Atlanta
–The Usual Suspects

Strausz: “Do you guys know who the fuck I am? Do you know who the fuck I am?”
Hockney: “We do now, jerk-off.”

We knew who Joey was after last year’s Chase. Not we certainly know who this little guy is.

2nd at Daytona / 2nd at Atlanta
–The Town

Doug MacRay: “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we’re gonna hurt some people.”
James Coughlin: “…Whose car are we gonna’ take?”

Doesn’t matter where Harv is this year or what car he’s driving, he captured that Championship and doesn’t want to/won’t let go.


5th at Daytona / 1st at Atlanta
–The Town

Claire Keesey: “Did you say your name was Jim or Gem?”
James Coughlin: “Well, huh, it’s kinda both. The teacher’s use to always say, ‘Here take this one. He’s a gem.'”

This was too easy and too good to pass up. But seriously, this guy is a gem isn’t he? Never misses a beat.

3rd at Daytona / 3rd at Atlanta
–The Usual Suspects

McManus: “There’s nothing that can’t be done.”

Fenster: “Can you hear me in the back? Hello?”

Sure has been running pretty far up front this year – new crew chief and all. Don’t see him slowing down anytime soon.

33rd at Daytona / 41st at Atlanta
–Reservoir Dogs

Mr. Pink: “I don’t wanna kill anybody. But if I gotta get out that door, and you’re standing in my way, one way or the other, you’re gettin’ outta my way.”

33rd and 41st is not good, clearly. But it won’t last long, and if it does – this guy is going to see red. What are you going to do, fire him?

35th at Daytona // 5th at Atlanta
–The Town

Doug MacRay: “No matter how much you change, you still have to pay the price for the things you’ve done. So I got a long road. But I know I’ll see you again – this side or the other.”

He will see that Championship again. But maybe not this year..



8th at Daytona // 6th at Atlanta
–Inside Man

Madeliene White: “Well detective, there are matters at stake here that are a little bit above your pay grade. No offense.”
Keith Frazier: “Well, why don’t you just tell the mayor to raise my pay grade to the proper level, and problem solved.”

Pretty sure I predicted this before the season started. He’s too good to be tamed, even if it is in inferior equipment.

4th at Daytona // 38th at Atlanta
–Ocean’s 11

Turk Malloy: “I’m gonna get out of the car and drop you like third period French.”

Be careful Danica. Joey. Whomever it may be. There’s a handful of guys this year that seem on edge – Denny may be one of em.

9th at Daytona // 14th at Atlanta
–Inside Man

Madeliene White: “The sooner you STOP being my problem and START being my solution the better off you’ll be.”

There’s no way that this is an actual quote from Rick Hendrick to Kasey right? He’s quietly having a good year.

15th at Daytona // 11th at Atlanta
–Italian Job

Steve: “You blew the best thing you had going for you. You blew the element of surprise.”

Aric made the Chase last year. And he’s off to a hell of a start this year. No one will be surprised to see him race up front.


41st at Daytona // 9th at Atlanta
–Italian Job

Steve: “Still don’t trust me?”
Stella: “I trust everyone. It’s the devil inside them I don’t trust.”

Wonder who (nobody) how there (everywhere) will take any crap (bumper cars) from Brad this year. HE HAS A LOT OF FRIENDS. (No he doesn’t).

7th at Daytona // 24th at Atlanta
–The Town

James Coughlin: “If we get jammed up, we’re holding court on the street.”

I just feel like Clint drives around thinking this the whole damn time he’s driving. Or wish.

38th at Daytona // 10th at Atlanta
–Reservoir Dogs

Joe: “Let’s go to work.”

Ryan Newman is to NASCAR what Bill Belichek is to interviews – strictly business. Both, are good at their business.

23rd at Daytona // 12th at Atlanta
–Ocean’s 11

Danny: “Thirteen million and you drive this piece of shit cross country to pick me up?
Rusty: Blew it all on the suit.”

Rightfully so, it’s been a transition to his new team. Hope the hype wasn’t the suit, in this, unreal, completely random scenario.


16th at Daytona // 17th at Atlanta
17th at Daytona // 18th at Atlanta
–Reservoir Dogs

Mr. Blonde: “Was that as good for you as it was for me?”

For stepping into two completely different, new cars for the Busch brothers just days before the start of the season – they should be completely ecstatic with their first two weeks.

Can’t wait to see how the rest of the season pans out for these two.

NASCAR 2015 // How They’ll End Up – with #SNL40



As I light a few candles, turn on the Budweiser Duels and crack open a beer I think about this 2015 Sprint Cup Season and what could happen, what I want to happen and more realistically what should happen this year.

The year 2014 was amazing for NASCAR. I was pretty pumped up too as my favorite driver Kevin Harvick won the championship, but NASCAR couldn’t have written much better of a year after implementing yet another new Chase format.

To be honest with you (thanks Charles Barkley), I haven’t thought much about NASCAR since Homestead. I mean my brother gave me a sweet Harvick Championship T-Shirt for Christmas was great but other than that it hasn’t crossed my mind much.

But as soon as I heard my girlfriend tell me she was heading out with a few friends and that the Duels were on Fox Sports One tonight – I got giddy.

So I thought to myself I have to write something. I mean I only have a couple of days before the biggest and bestest race in motorsports kicks off the 2015 season. Which I also knew meant a few things.

1) I have to predict how they’ll finish.

2) I have to compare the drivers to something/someone.

Because SNL40 just happened less than a week ago, and I can’t stop thinking about how amazing it was and because I’ve used just about every Nic Cage quote there is already – I figured I would compare each driver to an SNL cast member.

I’ve got two rules though.

1) I’m only comparing them to cast members who to this day, are still alive. Otherwise it could get – weird. So when you don’t see John Belushi, Chris Farley, Phil Hartman.. You’ll know why.

2) I’m only comparing them to men. Mainly because I may meet these guys one day and I’m assuming after looking at my numbers that millions of people are going to read this. I don’t need Denny Hamlin mad at me for comparing him to Rachel Dratch. And it could get weird. So when you don’t see Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler.. You better know why.

So here it is, my 2nd Annual how will this finish and my 1st Annual comparing NASCAR drivers to SNL cast members list.




16. TONY STEWART – #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: N/A
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Chevy Chase

Why Chevy Chase?: This is kind of mean. And not how I wanted to start this. But it makes sense right? I’m not focusing on the SNL career as much as the entire career arc – but the comparisons are there. At one time arguably the greatest there was and now, well unfortunately sad. You know the greatest is still there but who knows if we will see it again.

Why 16th Place?: I still think the greatest is there. Tony Stewart on a bad day is better than half the field. He’ll win again – at least once.

15. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: N/A
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Jason Sudeikis

Why Jason Sudeikis?: For me, Sudeikis is one of the GOATs. That is a little strong but the dude crushed, on a cast that was loaded. You had Hader, Armisen, Samberg, Myers, Wiig – loaded. And Sudeikis. If it was any other year (the late 70’s?) he would be the guy. Martin could be the guy. But he’s racing in a decade full of Hader’s, Armisen’s, Samberg’s, Myers’ and one Wiig. See what I did there?

Why 15th Place?: Martin is a freaking great driver. He’s not on a great freaking team. He’s on a great team, but his team just can’t compete at the top.

14. CLINT BOWYER – #15 Five Hour Energy Toyota
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: N/A
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Norm Macdonald

Why Norm Macdonald?: You never know what either of them are going to say. Ever. Also both very underrated and you really never know what either of them are going to say.

Why 14th Place?: We saw some wild cards get in last year. Why not Clint? That’s what I am suppose to tell you, shit. Well, uh – why not Clint?


13. KYLE LARSON – #42 Target Chevrolet
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: N/A
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Pete Davidson

Why Pete Davidson?: I wish I had the balls to put Eddie Murphy. Might be just a little premature for that though. How about Pete Davidson though? A real young guy with all the talent in the world. With SNL in a(nother) transition year, Pete could become the guy. Eddie did it. Pete could do it too. While NASCAR isn’t exactly in a transition year, some of these old farts will be pulling a Jeff Gordon sooner or later and Kyle Larson is going to be the guy.

Why 13th Place?: He finished one spot out of The Chase last year. When no one, and I mean no one probably even his parents believed he would finish there. He’ll get there this year, and then learn The Chase is a whole new ball game.

THIRD TEAM – The Put Up A Good Fights

12. GREG BIFFLE – #16 Cheez-It Ford
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 14th Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Chris Rock

Why Chris Rock?: I feel bad for Biff. He is another guy who has all this talent, but it probably isn’t being used correctly? Jack Roush is/was a good team. Unfortunately there isn’t the team around Biff there to be as dominant as he can/should be. Like Chris Rock, who was being used in correctly – put Biff in the right situation and he’ll kill. Until then..

Why 12th Place?: Same story different year. Good enough to get it done in the regular season and squeak out a few wins – doesn’t have enough to put it all together when it matters.


11. RYAN NEWMAN – #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 2nd Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Jon Lovitz*

Why Jon Lovitz?: Jon Lovitz benefited from being a pretty weak cast. Ryan Newman is going to benefit this year from coming off the year of his life. As fast as he got kicked to the curb for Kevin Harvick – he seemed to drive even faster to an unbelievable second place finish in The Chase. Lovitz came back that next year and people were watching for him, he rose to the occasion.

Why 11th Place?: Newman is coming back this year and people are watching for him. It may have been a fluke of a year, it may not have been. Either way – people will be expecting Ryan Newman this year.

10. KYLE BUSCH – #18 M&M’s Toyota
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 10th Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Adam Sandler

Why Adam Sandler?: The Sandman was the ultimate love him or hate him guy. The Younger Busch is the ultimate love him or hate him guy. Believe it or not, Sandler was fired from SNL. Kyle Busch won’t be getting fired from Joe Gibbs Racing anytime soon, but he better get back to that old Kyle Busch way of driving like he stole it – or he better hope that fire suit really does work as his seat will be getting hot. #NailedIt

Why 10th Place?: Kyle Busch is one of those guys who again I think on his worst day is better than half of the field. I don’t think he gets it all together this year, but one this is for sure – he can’t have has much bad luck as he did last year.

2009 NASCAR Bristol Priority

9. CARL EDWARDS – #19 Arris Toyota
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 9th Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Mike Myers

Why Mike Myers?: I wish I could say I’m not a huge fan of Mike Myers so I could compare him to Carl Edwards because according to my Twitter feed (shameless plug @adamgoestreich) I am not a fan of Carl Edwards. But what I do know about Myers is that he is a perfectionist. And so is Carl Edwards. They care tremendously about their craft and to their detriment, they won’t stop until things are perfect. One of the best there is. One who will always be underrated.

Why 9th Place?: New year? New team? New car? New crew chief? New line of mediocre smelly will do you good in a pinch sandwiches? 9th isn’t terrible.

SECOND TEAM – The Close But No Cigars

8. DENNY HAMLIN – #11 Fed-Ex Toyota
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 3rd Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Jimmy Fallon

Why Jimmy Fallon?: Charismatic as all get out. This may be one of the comparisons that I actually stick to the game plan and compare Denny’s career to Jimmy’s SNL career. WARNING: This is only SNL Jimmy. Not killing the Tonight Show owning the SNL40 post party every celebrity’s best friend Jimmy. Both have the potential to be great. Always so close. Always so far. You like the guy, he’s good looking, but you aren’t sure how far you want to see him succeed. Plus when you need him to come in clutch he ends up cracking.

Why 8th Place?: Had a a hell of a 2014 and tough act to follow up. Last time he was that close to a Championship (2010) – he followed it up with a 9th place finish (2011). WHAT?! STATS?!

7. BRAD KESELOWSKI – #2 Miller Lite Ford
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 5th Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Dennis Miller

Why Dennis Miller?: A lot of people love Dennis Miller (and Brad). A lot of people thought Dennis Miller was really, really funny (Brad’s not that funny). A lot of people were/are/continue to be rubbed the wrong way by Dennis Miller (and Brad). Keselowski sure didn’t make any friends last year, and I don’t see any Edible Arrangements being sent his way anytime soon. If Brad is going to see victory lane this year, he is going to have Mario Kart his way there.

Why 7th Place?: He’s still really good. And while Brad has no friends in NASCAR, he doesn’t freaking care. He will have to take on the villain role this year – like he has any other choice.

6. DALE EARNHARDT JR. – #88 Nationwide Chevrolet
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 8th Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Jim Belushi/Eddie Murphy

Why Jim Belushi?: Well.. Jim Belushi because what a tough act to follow. Now listen, this is in no way comparing their talents to each other. I mean Dale just crossed the finish line as I type this to win his 15th time at Daytona. While Jim is still texting SNL groupies to come over to his apartment while striking out. But both had huge shoes to fill. Dale Sr. = THE GREATEST OF ALL-TIME / John Belushi = FUNNIEST THERE EVER WAS. So yeah – the same, jerks.

Why Eddie Murphy?: They are freaking rockstars. Both of em. Eddie was a bonafide movie star while still an SNL cast member while any time Dale wins a race they have to call in the Coast Guard to make sure the race track doesn’t burn to the ground. Now while as far as careers goes, Dale is probably somewhere in between Jim Belushi and Eddie Murphy, he’s inching closer and closer to Eddie as long as he doesn’t end up in a Dr. Doolittle 5 anytime soon.

Why Dale Jr. got two SNL cast members?: He’s Dale Jr.

Why 6th Place?: I want to believe. Just can’t do it. Last year was the year. Steve Letarte’s last ride – it was meant to be. It wasn’t meant to be. It took awhile for Dale to get use to his new crew chief, I don’t see it being a different story this time around.

5. MATT KENSETH – #20 Dollar General Toyota
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 7th Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Bill Hader

Why Bill Hader?: Another Bill, of the Murray ancestry recently said that Bill Hader is secretly the greatest SNL cast member of all-time. I can’t fully agree with that, but fuck (that’s the first one by the way) I could see it. I love Bill Hader. Unfortunately you would probably give Hader one of those Best All-Around driver awards. It’s not quite the MVP because we are giving that to the good looking kid who hits the game winners and wears the flashy shoes. But you are still the Best All-Around. That’s Bill Hader. That’s Matt Kenseth. If it wasn’t for this silly/amazing Race For The Chase thing Matt Kenseth could probably be the best driver of this era. But that isn’t the case. So hey Matt, congrats on your Best All-Around ribbon.

Why 5th Place?: Because I still don’t think Kenseth has still figured out his whole Chase thing. I mean it’s really not that hard to figure out right, just win. Which he will, a lot – during the season. THAT’S NOT WHERE IT COUNTS THOUGH BROTHER!


FIRST TEAM – The Best Of The Best

4. KEVIN HARVICK – #4 Budweiser Chevrolet
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 1st Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Dan Akroyd

Why Dan Akroyd?: Old school. Not the movie. But the style. Kevin Harvick is an old school, no non-sense, get the job done, get out of the way guy. I once heard that Dan Akroyd punched out all the ceiling tiles while interrogating the entire 8th floor looking for his drugs. Oh and he’s an old school guy, all business type of guy. One of the best. Harvick has always been there. Never quite there, but finally got there. 2014 was his Blues Brothers. It finally put him up there with the best of the best.

Why 4th Place?: It’s tough to go back-to-back. Just ask the Seattle Seahawks.

3. JOEY LOGANO – #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 4th Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Fred Armisen

Why Fred Armisen?: Sneaky great. Fred was always right there. You weren’t sure how or why, but he was right there crushing each and every sketch he was in. You didn’t expect it, but he did it. Whether you liked it or not. Joey Logano is kind of just there. And he kind of just keeps getting in the mix and crushing. Hell of a 2014 with no signs of slowing down in 2015. Armisen sure didn’t slow down after SNL. I had to find some sort of other comparison there. Didn’t feel comfortable ending it there. Also the answer to how hasn’t he slowed down is What is Portlandia?

Why 3rd Place?: He’s good. Really good. Still young and good. He’s still feeling this hiccup at Homestead last year. But he’s going to need a hiccup from these next two guys to win his first championship.


2. JIMMIE JOHNSON – #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet
Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 11th Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Will Ferrell

Why Will Ferrell?: The greatest of this generation. We will have to wait hopefully a dozen more years and a handful more championships to rank JJ all-time. But it is safe to say he is the best of our generation, just like Will Ferrell. Just as Will Ferrell had hit after hit after hit – Celebrity Jeopardy, Spartan Cheerleader, Mandatory Drug Assembly. Jimmie Johnson had/has/will have Championship run after Championship run. You cannot ever count these two guys out. Still today, you never know when and where they will show up and remind you and everyone else that you are a mere mortal.

Why 2nd Place?: There’s no doubt he and Chad have figured out this Chase format. There’s just no way the Gods will allow him to rain on the parade of the man who made him (too far).

1. JEFF GORDON – #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet

Finish In Last Year’s Chase: 6th Place
Saturday Night Live Cast Member: Bill Murray

Why Bill Murray?: Who doesn’t love Bill Murray? Who doesn’t love Jeff Gordon? Well me for instance back when I was young dumb and full of – yeah. Both may not go down as the titular greatest of all-time. Both will be in the conversation. Bill Murray and Jeff Gordon are those guys you take for granted. You can’t imagine your life without them. You are floored by their greatness but you also forget sometimes just how great they are. Until Bill Murray comes out as Nick Ocean and sings the Jaws Theme Song. Or until 42 year old Jeff Gordon goes all Tyson on Keselowki and starts a street brawl after a race. You love these guys. You miss these guys. You don’t know what you will do without these guys. And you really don’t wanna think about it at all.

Why 1st Place?: Now watch me bring this thing full circle. Tina Fey put it best at SNL40 during Weekend Update when she said, “What are they going to do, fire us?” That is going to be Jeff’s attitude all year long. Kevin Harvick may have been the the fastest car all year long last year, but Jeff was 1b. Dude was bad fast. And there is nothing you can put in his way that he won’t go Dale Sr./Cole Trickle/Ricky Bobby on your ass to get that checkered flag. Jeff Gordon is going all out this year. He’s got nothing to lose, and only that alluring Chase Championship to win. And that’s all that matters.


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P.S. *Jon Lovitz is still alive.