Everybody stand back now...."

Ya may have noticed that I crashed and burned this soothsayin' Sopwith weeks ago.  Outside of a coupla lucky guesses at Charlotte, I've been cookin' crow.  Nothin' I prognosticate has ended up-...nosticatin'.  So I've poured my heart, soul, and 17 coffee-filled hours of research into today's predictions.  I've crunched
the numbers.  I've watched Happy Hour.  I've shuffled the tarots and bled the bubbles from my 8-ball.
Hell, I've even hired Jimmy Stewart to pilot this wreck. So let's go Jimmy.  Let's rise from the ashes.
My eclairvoyant ship is ready to do some doughnuts in the infield.

Huh?.....What do you mean you've only flown model planes?"

Phoenix.  Population 1.3 million.....'Cept for this weekend, as 8-billion sports fans descend on this Arizonic little burg.  Have you seen this city's slate for the end of October?  They've got everything.

Baseball's World Series opened at the BOB yesterday.  Curt Schilling snaked his way to win.  And the "Big Unit" faces Andy Petttttitttte tonighttt.....Ya know, Asunta likes to call me the "Big Unit" sometimes....

(...editor's note:  No, that's "Big Eunuch," Jim... - Asunta)

The Coyotes out-hocked the Avalanche in a landslide, one to nothin', on Saturday. Then, Arizona State hosted the Huskies...and got mushed.  The Suns open up at home on Tuesday....The only team that's outta town is the Cardinals, and they're playin' Dallas. (.....Trust me Phoenix.  Ya ain't missin' anything.)

And of course, racin'.  Most every NASCAR series is here this weekend.  The Trucks.  Busch.  Cup....If it's got 8 cylinders and a cupholder, it's here.  Phoenix International Raceway.  A one-mile oval, that, like a lot of NASCAR tracks isn't really shaped like an oval.  It's more like-....like that old, wire coat hanger that you've been hangin' your winter coats on.  It's got long, sweeping corners that are as flat as my singin' voice.  And it's the only track that Jeff Gordon has raced on for years and never won......Ya just gotta love this place.

Nicolas Cage swept the Truck and Busch races on Friday & Saturday.  No wait, that was Greg Biffle.  (...Separated at birth.)  Bill Elliott's Dodge takes the pole for the Winston race today.  No wait, that's Casey Atwood's Dodge. (...Separated at paint shop.) 

...I think I better get to predictin' before I start confusin' ya anymore than I have....
"C'mon, Harvey!  Let's get this plane cranked up and flyin'!"

...Damned invisible rabbits.  Looks like I'm gonna hafta rise from my own 'ash' and do this all by myself.

Sue - Nadeau's had a pretty rough time at this track.  His average finish is a 33rd in the three years he's been racin' here.  His average start is somewhere outside of Tucson.  By the time he gets to Phoenix, they'll be risin' for the national anthem....in Rockingham.  30th today.

Tony, Andrea, & Lori - Rusty's had three top-5's in the last 4 races here, includin' a rain-shortened win in '98.  Hey, if it takes another Hopi Rain Dance, I'll take it.....I Hopi'm right.  1st.

Roy - That's right.  The Mighty Casey is at bat.  Atwood attaboy-ed himself his first pole position here at Phoenix.  Hmm.  Might that be a wooden bat he's swingin'?.....Ash, maybe?   Nope;  Strike 3.  But there's still joy in Muddville.  A 9th.

Paul & Kim - If anybody needs to get their ash in gear, it's Marky Mark.  The funky buncha fans that rooted for Martin over the years are startin' to get a little hard on him......(Oops!  The preceding subliminal message has been brought to you by Viagra.)  Mark's the perennial bridesmaid here.  And look for him to keep up the tradition. 2nd.

Stacy & Carl - Like I said, Gordon has checked most every NASCAR circuit off his list of things to-....to checker.  'Cept this'n......Aw quit your whinin'.  Four top-10's here in the past 5 years, ain't bad.  And bein' that he's so far ahead in points, he's got room to get a little more aggressive here....Oh. Too bad.  Phoenix turns out to be Jeffy's albatross once again.   A 4th.

Fox & Parker - While Junior's been checkin' the tracks off of his little list too, he'll have to wait a year or so before he firsts this southwestern enigma.  His Dad has won here at Phoenix, but the heir is ona-ly gonna be able to rise to a 15th.

Dave - Sterling's tenacity has been showin'.  Along with the occasional top 5, and the normal, weekly top-10, he's seen two wins, and is poised to take over second if Rudd and Tony go up in flames.   He Tenneffee-nix his way to a 14th.

(Keep lookin', Dave.  "Tenacity" woulda been too simple.)  

Michael won't rise from the ashes like the Phoenix.  But he will poke his nose over the embers...Like a loon.  Waltrip flirts with a top ten until late.  28th.

Pam - While we're on the subject of flamin' birds, Kenseth has cooked his own goose here the last coupla years.  He crashed here last year.  He crashed here yesterday.  What if he nicks the wall again today?...I said, what if Phoenix DeWalt again today?.... I said, what if he-....(Pam?  Have you met Dave?)  Matt, an 18th.

Doc & Jeff - Again, while we're on the subject of flamin' birds, is Tony's glove on fire?  Stewart flipped over in his Pontiyak at Daytona.  Then he flipped out when they mandated that he hook his helmet to a Hutchens last week at Talladega....Now, I could swear I saw Tony flippin'
somethin' at NASCAR.  Someone musta got their Phoenix hurt....Tony let's his finger do the walkin' and dials up a 3rd.

Reagan - Bobby's LaPontiac started that whole mess last week, with his 18 car endin' up crashed on the backstretch.  But his team has pieced together another car and now he's gonna drive it out to the desert......Uh, Bobby?  Mr. Stewart says you've got the script backwards.  LaBonte LaTwelveths.

Kathy - Jarrett won this thing back in '97 comin' back from a lap down under green.  And he's been rackin' up the best numbers on the flat, flatter, & flattest of tracks lately.  A win and a second at Martinsville.  A win at Loudon in the spring.  His numbers this weekend don't look too good, but that's because he was drivin' the truck.  Break out them flames, DJ.  A 7th.

Mollie - Looks like that Foyteen car has got a pretty good weekend shapin' up.  Hornaday 4th'ed in the Busch race yesterday, had a Happy Hour, and starts from a respectable 8th today....But let's remember who we're dealin' with here.  These two old coots may still be asleep right now.  31st.

(By the way, remember.  It's Daylight Savings Central Smoke Detector Standard Time.  Make sure you set your VCR back till it's flashing 11:00.)

Granny & Ted - Ricky Ruddered into a wreck at this track last year while leadin', finishin' 37th and givin' away a sure victory to that Burton boy (...the intelligible one.)  And he's had a pretty rough time of it the last three weeks. A 6th today, but don't worry;  Rudd will be back. The Rooster shall rise from the coop.  Like a bird risin' from the ashes.......

(sniff....sniff-sniff.)  Actually, that smells like Jim's cookin' crow again....
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