Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Michigan Betting Preview: 2017 Pure Michigan 400

Kyle Larson is the new face of NASCAR, really?
LAS VEGAS -- Things are getting pretty intense with only four races to until the 16-drivers are announced for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Playoffs, but I'm looking ahead to 2018 right now and the climate of the Cup Series.

Hendrick Motorsports is losing Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne and will replace them with two very young drivers, Alex Bowman and William Byron. They'll join Chase Elliott in his third year and then of course there's the anchor, seven-time champ Jimmie Johnson.

That's a new look, a new flavor, and a new taste for NASCAR. But there's lots more.

Kurt Busch likely won't return to the No. 41 and Matt Kenseth won't be back in the No. 20 as Erik Jones takes over. Paul Menard will leave the No. 27 and drive the No. 21 after Ryan Blaney accepted the Team Penske offer to drive a third car -- the No. 12. Danica Patrick may be a sitting duck as well in the No. 10. She barely found enough sponsorship coming into 2017. At some point Tony Stewart is going to want to see that division of his team win some races; the sponsors too. That's why she may be out.

With Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards and Earnhardt Jr. gone, can the series survive? The stands have been empty everywhere with the exception of Watkins Glen being sold out last week for the third straight year.

I hate to be that crusty old man who can't move on and lives in yesterday's world -- I don't apologize for feeling the same way with music. I think I just see some reluctance from the drivers this season to show some emotion. Kyle Busch exploded in Las Vegas while chasing Joey Logano on pit row, and got bloodied in the process, but it was awesome. And that was it. Las Vegas was race No. 3 and we're at No. 23 now. Snooze....

I don't want wrecks. I want personality conflicts and these guys all seem too chummy in the garage for that to happen.

Alright, enough whining already, let's talk about this week's race.

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