For the first time in nearly a month, Mother Nature allowed NASCAR to get qualification in the books, and Red Bull Racing couldn't be happier. Check out this week's Yahoo! story (.pdf) of who's going to be hot at in the LifeLock.com 400.
It will be an all Red Bull front row to start Saturday's race. Brian Vickers earned his fifth pole of the season with a lap of 184.162. His teammate Scott Speed is on the outside pole with a lap of 182.958.
Our View: Toyota has always done well on these similarly-configured, 1.5- and two-mile tracks. Vickers is a dark horse—and Speed just might be also.
Even though this has been an abysmal season and Lewis Hamilton's hopes for a championship are gone, the team is close to determining what their problems have been all year, according to Autosport.com.
Our View: Statements like this from drivers are easy to make, but watch this team closely. If they can improve in the final races of the season, fantasy owners will not car if Hamilton can win the championship so long as he earns points in each individual race.
Scott Speed was the fastest "go-or-go-home" driver in Chicagoland's first practice session by a wide margin. His lap of 180.060 was third best overall, which reinforces his teammate Brian Vickers's fastest lap of 180.234.
Our View: Toyota has been strong on this style of track, so while Speed lacks the experience and history to make him even a dark horse, fantasy owners should watch him closely all weekend and take notes. He could have a strong run.
David Gilliland only got a lap or two at the end of the first practice session, but at least the team got back on course.
Our View: That could mean the difference between making the show and going home. His speed of 175.439 was only 42nd best, but it was better than three of the other "go-or-go-homers," and that is his only goal for today.
Tony Stewart called Kyle Busch this week and asked about his health. That was nice, Busch say, but he still lays the responsibility of the crash on Stewart's shoulders according to multiple reports from the track.
Of course, he's pretty much alone in that assessment. Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne said in their press conferences that the move was not Stewart's responsibility.
Our View: When Busch gets overly emotional, he's prone to making mistakes. If he truly harbors hard feelings, he might be best left on the sidelines for a week or two.
Despite a commanding lead in the points, Jenson Button says he cannot afford to ease off, according to Autosports.com.
Our View:Momentum can be gained and lost in an instant. In the British Grand Prix, Button was caught in traffic and could never find the front of the field. Still, Formula 1 is much more prone to streaks—especially in terms of podium finishes—than any other series.
The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) is still considering the possibility of a breakaway series after they were told they could not have any input on future rules, according to Autosport.com.
Our View: The rift between teams and the sanctioning body continues to be wide. It is unlikely that enough support exists to make two sanctions successful. Formula 1 really should take notice of the open wheel battle in the US that left both CART and IRL battered and bruised.