Two Down One to Go

Written by

Cliff Tanner
Owner & Host
Radio Speed Talk
Cliff Dawg Media

As we celebrate Veterans Day and say Thank You To All!, it is also a pivotal weekend in two race series. In what we figured would be a shootout in all three divisions of NASCAR and the Countdown Final in the NHRA has arrived. What a finish we may see in most of them.

First we will start with NASCAR. The Camping Truck Series turned into a different points race then we have originally thought. in what everyone touted as a dash race between James Beuscher and Ty Dillon has taken a totally different turn with one race remaining.

At Phoenix International which is also called a big track with short track racing breaking out. Now a lot of you may not realize how much this is a wildcard race. Unless you watched the truck race Friday night. The tempers flared and the worm turned.

As I said in what was a race between Dillon and Buescher quickly changed. Dillon hit the wall earlier in the race which of course put a hge damper in his title hopes. Coming in Dillon and Beauscher were just few points from each other and Timothy Peters a distant third.

As Dillon went out and lost huge points it appeared and young Beuscher was on his way to pretty much clinching the title. Then the short track racing kicked in again and James went into the wall. Quietly Peters missed it all and finished fourth. Now with that Peters is only 11 points out. Now we know that is sometimes a lot but definitely out of the realm of possibility.

Now as far as the Nationwide race went it resulted in a different aspect of the race points race.It really surprised me of the outcome of this race. I was surprised at the impatience of a driver going for the championship.

Yes the race at Phoenix ended up being a crash em up derby. However it was the craziness of the day when Elliot Sadler made a mistake a rookie would make. Now I know sometimes pressures of a point race can make one slip. Sadler took himself out with a crash with two laps left that ended up being red flagged. Is this the reason that Elliot is no longer in Sprint Cup?

At Phoenix there is a section of the track that you can go way down on the apron and gain some serious positions. Now Sadler was actually making a great move to gain some spots. however he came up too hot and got turned and hit the wall and took out Cole Whitt and tore the front and back of the car off the frame .Now we can safely say barring an intervention of God at Homestead that Sadler will not win the championship.

Now Rickey Stenhouse Jr. is going to win back to back titles before he heads to the big league next year.(Again barring an intervention from God) . All Stenhouse has to do is finish 16th or higher. And no he doesn’t have to lead laps or anything. Both Sadler and Rickey went into this week actually tied in points. However Stenhouse had the tie breaker due to wins.

Now with all of that said today is the Sprint Race. Now Jimmie Johnson leads Brad Keselowski by a mere seven points. Brad qualifies, I believe 14 and Jimmie 24. Now you all say they both have proven they can get up to the front quickly. BUT we have to consider what happened the last two races here. Yes I know this is the big leagues but the pressure is still there.

Kyle Busch set a new track record and took the pole. The record broken was only minutes old because Martin Truex Jr. broke the record. Funny Busch broke the record on his first qualifying run but took another turn, With the second lap he would have started second. So why do I bring that up you ask? Well the Gibbs cars have been looking good this weekend. Although he has a very outside shot Denny Hamlin starts fourth.

Clint Bowyer who sits third 20 plus points is sitting pretty well. If nothing happens to the top two then this is a moot point. We have an outside chance this could be a four way battle heading into Homestead. Stay tuned because it is going to get crazy. What do you think?

Now let’s talk NHRA at Ponoma for the Final Countdown. Today we will crown two new champions in Top Fuel and Funny Car. The pro stock division both car and motorcycle crowned their champions on Saturday.
First Congratulations go out to Allen Johnson for the Pro Stock trophy. This was the first year Johnson made every elimination round. All he had to do was qualify to clinch. Good job Allen,

In the Pro Stock Motorcycle division Eddie Kraweic wins his second straight title. This was his third championship in this division. Eddie and Harley Davidson have been in many semi-final runs. His teammate Andrew Hines gave him a run for his money this year as well as Hector Arana and Hector Arana Jr.

Now in the Top Fuel Antron Brown leads going into the final elimination round. Now his teammate and second in points Spenser Massey looks to not make it easy. Now the crazy thing is they both face each other in the first round. This is the second year this division will be decided on the last day.Morgan Lucas and Tony ‘the Sarge’ Schumacher are right there as well.

Now a big deal is being made about Brown being the first African american to win the title Now don’t get me wrong this is huge but why not make the big deal that he has had a career year about to become or hopefully become the Top Fuel Champion. I have interviewed Brown and he is a Champion at heart and very competitive.

With that being said Twitter was making waves on a fantasy final in the Top Fuel. Now before I tell you what was said Massey has to beat Brown. There is a distinct possibility that a final Championship run can pit ‘The Sarge and Massey. Now not saying this is going to happen but this would be huge for Schumacher racing and the NHRA. AHHHH the Drama.

Now I save the best for last. That’s right the Funny Car. Now this division is also going to be decided on the last day for the second year in a row. And yes it involves Schumacher Racing. And not without a lot of adversity and craziness.

Last race Ron Capps won the final to shorten the lead of Jack Beckman to 24 points coming into Ponoma. If you don’t know at the beginning of the season the crews of each car was switched at the beginning of the year which brought some animosity.

Capps ran very well at the beginning of the year but Beckman has come on strong through the countdown to take the points lead. Beckman also became the fastest driver ever in Funny Car history just a few weeks ago. He became the third driver to beak the four second mark. So with that you would think he was in the driver’s seat. Wrong!

Now if Beckman does win this championship I can safely say that he will have taken the longest road. Why do I say that you ask? Well go to and look at the video of Beckman in one of his first runs. He was cruising down the track when his car exploded and sent his body of the car flying into the air. Thank God he walked away with now scratches. As Kenny Barr told me he had no time to say Oh S**T or pray to God.

Now back to Capps he broke the track record on the final run to vault to number one for the elimination finals. Now two things happened here. One when Capps made his last run he was actually on the bubble at 16th. Secondly with the run he now is only two points behind Beckman. Beckman qualified 10th.

Now I know all of you John Force Racing fans say wait a minute. Yes Mike Neff is second 97 points out. However it will take Beckman and Capps getting beat in the first round. On top of that Neff would have to win the Elimination round.

Force racing has struggled a lot this year. Courtney Force has been the bright spot. She won an elimination round and has run well every week. Heck she has even beat Dad. She is going to make history in this division. But that is a subject for another blog.

Bottom line is that we are going to see some drama and some good points racing in NASCAR and the NHRA today. Check it out and stay tuned.

I’m outta here

NHRA Lucas Oil Raceway Live Remote

The Balance
the ONE place where fanatics can come together and talk about their favorite teams.

Contact: Michelle Derr
Phone: 317.407.8540

Courtney Force, many others join The Balance live remote from Lucas Oil Raceway

You never know who will stop by The Balance this Saturday morning

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – This Saturday morning, September 1st, the Balance Radio Show will be broadcasting live from the MAC Tools NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.  The broadcast will be live from 9am to 11am EST on BlogTalkRadio.

Courtney Force (John Force Racing) will be the headliner guest, joining the program during the 10:00 hour.  After qualifying for her debut event at the wheel of the Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car, (Courtney) Force beat Bob Tasca III in round one, becoming just the second John Force Racing driver ever to win his or her first round with the sport’s most successful team.  Force is currently 6th in points standing, entering the season’s final competition this weekend.

Other scheduled guests include Vance & Hines drivers Andrew Hines and Ed Krawic along with Brandon Baker from John Force Racing. With all the activity around Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend, you never know who will stop by to say hello to The Balance.

We’re excited to announce that Cliff Tanner and Pete LaFaucia will be joining The Balance host, Tom Marquis, on this weekend’s show. Join us Saturday morning!


The Balance is the ONE place where fanatics can come together and talk about their favorite teams. The Balance brings an analytical breakdown of sports from a Fans point of view. Hosted by Tom Marquis, The Balance bring breaking news, commentary, stats, standings, audio, highlights, and more! We also have a growing social media presence. The Balance is LIVE on Saturday mornings from 9-11a EST. The Balance Radio Network is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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