IN THE DRAFT: Expecting the worst

Aug. 21, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

Have you ever just wanted to get away for a couple of days to recharge your batteries? That's what we did this weekend. Sue and I took off Saturday afternoon and spent a couple of days at Kure Beach. It was nice, relaxing and, most of all, now we are ready to get back to work.

Why do I bring this up? It was on the ferry from Fort Fisher to Southport where I heard Mark Martin had lost another race. I think it is almost time for him to think like us and head to beach for a day, or week, or maybe retire there forever. He has found more ways to lose races than any other driver I care to remember.

We had just gotten permission to exit our vehicles as the last laps were winding down when I decided not to listen. I recalled something Barney Hall said on the radio. He stated it could be close on fuel for some. He didn't name names but I knew he was referring to Martin.

Somehow Martin would lose a race he was destined to win. He overcame a brush up with Juan Pablo Montoya and moved his way to the front; which was a miracle in itself because most drivers who have issues with Montoya aren't able to finish the race.

I got out of the vehicle knowing not who won but knowing who lost. I have been so trained on his losing I didn't want to hear it. I walked up the ladder to the top deck and glanced at my phone and there it was, Joey Logano won. Martin was a lap down. So another win gone and off to the beach we go! Care to join us Mark?

Oh, but not so fast! Monday it was announced Martin is replacing Tony Stewart for the last 11 races of the season.

I find this odd. Earlier this season, Martin was asked to replace Denny Hamlin after Hamlin's wreck in California. Martin's sponsor didn't allow it, even though he would've still been driving a Toyota.

I realize all of this is confusing! I am confused! Martin is going to be driving a Chevy again and only after Brian Vickers signs to drive Martin's Toyota the next two seasons. So where does Martin go after this season?

I think it is about time he hangs it up, head to the beach, ride the ferry across the Cape Fear River and have supper like we did at Provision in Southport.

Only 21 points separate positions eight through 13 and with his win, Logano is in the hunt for a wild card. He jumped three spots and Martin Truex Jr. dropped two. Kurt Busch moved up two and Greg Biffle dropped one. I think it is going to be really interesting the next three weeks. And another concern for NASCAR is Dale Earnhardt Jr. is going the wrong way. I still feel he is safe, but he is only 18 points out of not making the Chase.

I could write all night about the possibilities, but there is still a lot of racing ahead of us. See you after Bristol!