Face it, the number makes you smile. You’re driving down the road and the truck you’re passing has it plastered on his rear doors in a shameless homage to a past hero. Maybe you honk. Even if you don’t, just seeing it puts a grin on your face. NASCAR Nation lives! Thusly, I have been inspired to write about the third digit in our numeric system this week.
Did you know there are three points separating Johnny Benson and Ron Hornaday in the Craftsman Truck Series points going into Friday’s shoot-out at Homestead? In a Chase season that has been interesting, but not exciting, the trucks have proven once again you don’t need a playoff system to build TV ratings when you have nail-biting, on-the-edge-of-your-seat excitement week after week. Bad luck, edgy driving, gritty determination and some blind good luck have all collaborated to put on the best season in ’08 racing. Homestead will not be a race I will play in the background while I clean the cat boxes.
Were you aware Kevin Harvick won his third truck race on Friday? All three of his wins happened at Phoenix. That it was the third win in a row for a KHI truck? Driven by three different drivers?
Can you hear the Twilight Zone music now?
Finally, to top the three-scoop sundae, we have the impending crowning of the 2008 Sprint Cup champion. Jimmie Johnson is about to perform what only one other driver has ever accomplished in our sport. Cale Yarborough tossed the trophy over his head for last time in 1978. That means it has been 30 years (3 x 10) since a driver has won the Cup three times in a row. Chad Knaus will create a new line in the record books by becoming the only crew chief to ever achieve this accolade three times in a row.
Truly, I’m not the superstitious type. And I realize that with only 10 digits in our numbering system, it’s likely to find patterns in everyday life. Still, with the end of the racing season in plain view, it is certainly fun to line these statistics up to enjoy the symmetry of the moment.
It’s a big number. And there’s no denying it, somehow, someway, we managed to end this year on a more spectacular note than previously anticipated.
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