Your Chasers from 2011. (Getty Images)
Welcome to the latest Happy Hour mailbag! You know how these work: You write us with your best rant/ joke/one-liner at email@example.com or on Twitter at @jaybusbee, we respond to your messages, everyone goes away with a smile on their face.
I was on jury duty for the first part of this week. If you've never had jury duty, it's this weird air in the room while you're waiting to be picked. NOBODY wants to be picked. And if they do, the lawyers don't want 'em. I was the LAST GUY PICKED. I was in the back row, and I was counting as they named jurors, and my heart soared as they got to the twelfth guy two rows up...and then BOOM, they jumped right to me. I felt exactly like Tom Brady felt when he learned that I drafted him for my godawful fantasy football team. (Or so I would assume.) And guess what? Since I was the last one picked, I was the ALTERNATE, which means I sat through the whole trial but didn't get to go have the late-night fight in the jury room over guilt or innocence. Very, very unsatisfying.
Anyway, your letters. All writers are guilty until proven innocent.
OK, maybe Jimmie Johnson isn't finished. But someone big will NOT make the Chase. It could be Jimmie "Vader" Johnson, or it could be Smoke, Matt "Flatline" Kenseth (can we really call him that anymore?), Gordon (Jeff, not Robby, as if I need to say that), Kyle Busch, or even Junior, who is STILL better than Kyle Busch as per my previous assertions!
Yeah, I know, I'm going out on a limb here.
— Jeff "Sarge" Smith
One thing that nobody pointed out last year was just how stacked the Chase was. I mean, you had almost every single major driver (with the possible exception of Kasey Kahne, depending on how you classify him) in the hunt for the Cup. That's some first-rate Chase-rigging by NASCAR right there. While I don't know that we'll see that again, there's definitely a divide between the haves and have-nots, and by "have" I mean "have the ability to not screw themselves out of a Chase spot over the course of a season."
Of your picks, at first blush I'd say Gordon is the most likely to miss the Chase; he's a feast-or-famine driver lately, and I could see him going on a long, dry run. Kenseth has the Daytona win to fall back on, and all the other drivers (yes, even you-know-who) seem to have what it takes to hang close week in and week out. Now, Gordon fans, get those emails ready.
Read More »from Happy Hour: Which big name won’t make the Chase in ’12?