The hair on the back of my neck is standin' up.  Gotta haircut a few weeks ago and I'm still not used to havin' my nape-d body exposed to the air.  I'd been lettin' it grow for a year or two, hopin' that with some length and lack of attention, I might luck into "Le Coiffure du Jim."  That one-of-a-kind do.  Something unique.  Something MINE......Then, David Spade has to go and release that movie.  Didn't really wanna be
a wannabe so I went and cut it all off....Sold it to a wig maker and bought myself a set of combs and some scrunchies.....The gift of a mad guy.

And now I'm feelin' every cubic foot per minute that this air conditioner is-.....conditioning.  The slightest breeze across the back of my neck and I'm perkin' my ears more than a Timmy-less Lassie.  These super-cilia can find a draft in a submarine.  It's like some sort of doppler radar or somethin'.  (Pardon me..."Willis Knighton Stormtracker 12 Live Mega-Doppler Network Radar Systems Blah-de-blah."......I did say "Mega", didn't I?)   I can feel people walkin' by.  I can feel people THINKIN' about walkin' by.

....And I can tell ya where it's rainin'.

Draft.....Get used to that word.  You'll be hearin' it a lot, today.  'cause it's Taaaaaa-lladega, where the wind comes sweepin' into play.  Look for an aerodynamical train of cars to be choo-choosin' up to three different lines to get around this track.  And they'll pretty much stay en masse all afternoon.  A few rule tweakin's have affected some dams and spoilers, but nobody will break away from the draft and run off with this race.  And as long as they stay with the pack for the first 187 laps, they'll have a chance to win.  It's anybody's race.

So I got me a nice, shiny quarter sittin' beside the coffee cup this mornin'.  Maybe George and his powdered mullet can pre-dictate this race for us.  Thumb's all stretched and ready for flippin'.  Someone call it! -

........Well, I found the open window.

Kim & Paul - Mark Martin's chances at winning are dashed late in the race, when he gets hung out, and loses the draft.  It's fate Marky.  You're from Arkansas.  Draft dodgin' is in the genes.  And a smaller gene pool, you'll not find.  Banjo-boy breezes to a 9th.

Parker - The Aero-Parent and the Heir Apparent...Dale Sr. won more races at Talladega than anyone else.  With some DE-vine intervention and help from those draft horses, Earnhardt, Jr. blows by the field and brings that Clydesdale Car of his home first.

Ted - Let's see.  Steve Park....Which one is he?....Okay, busted!....That's right, I haven't studied up for this race at all.  Truth is, I've spent the last coupla weeks obsessin' with my fantasy leagues and have remained devoid of the NASCARnal pleasures.  Steve drives a yellow car, right?  And what's his number?.....Doesn't he pitch for L.A.?  The draft Dodger comes home 16th.  With 5 walks and a 3.16 ERA. 

Tony, Lori & Andrea - Rusty's Miller Lite car will hang up front all day, but I'm afraid he's brought the wrong keg to the party.   That ol' Miller Genuine Draft car woulda been right at home here.....Airborne most likely, but at home.  Rusty taps a 7th.

Mollie - Actually it's not really ANYBODY'S race.  Ron Hornaday has about the same chance at winnin' here that the Falcons have of gettin' the first pick.  The Chargers get Vick.  Hornaday winds up 25th.  And the Bengals get a player-to-be-injured later.

Pam - Matt Kenseth had a hard time breakin' the wind in koala-fryin' and barely makes the field with a provisional.  But look at it this way:  He gets to draft behind most any car he wants.  3/4 of 'em are ahead of him at the start.  Matt poots a 12th.

......Atlanta did what?

Dave - Damn.  Shoulda saved the draft-dodgin' comment for Sterling.  Draft...Dodge...Get it?....It isn't easy, Dave  (.....And don't be fooled.)  Draftin' is even harder than it used to be for the "King of Restrictors."  Marlin paints a Brooks and Dunn mural on his Dodge.  Breaks, and done by the 150th lap.  34th.

Stacy - Jeff Gordon rolled off the truck and ran 13th fastest in the first practice.  Then qualified 13th.  But his lucky number turned to 43rd in Happy Hour.  This track used to be a breeze for Jeff.  They'll loosen up some weatherstrippin' and he'll stay drafty, but there's a new wind a-blowin', Gordo.  And it smells like an 8th.

Jeff & Doc - The Stewman, on the other hand, rolls a coupla 7ths on Friday and Happy Houred a 6th.  He may look like money in the bank, but by mid race he'll over-draft outta turn four and bounce like hot check.  His insufficient fun stops when he wobbles in 19th.

DEI held a little expansion draft of it's own last year and Michael Waltrip ended up the first round pick.  He's always been good at these big tracks and finally proved at Daytona that he CAN win......I'd wish him another victory, but I'm not sure I ever wanna see Waltrip win again.  Help Jr. and take your 4th, Mikey.

There ya go.  So says the 25 cent pompadour of our nation's forefather.  Short, sweet, and uninformed.  I'll do better next week.  But while my two-bit methods of last-minute clairvoyance may sound flippant, we'll see how close I am in a few hours.  And if I'm too far off, I can always go back and rewrite this thing real quick....This is just a rough draft anyway.

Bare Neckedly,
Talladega 500
Is There a Window Open Somewhere?...
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