NASCAR Chase set

NASCAR The Chase is on!

9/9/12 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Blog Photo - NASCAR Chase setLast night's race at Richmond had rain delays and fuel mileage strategies, and in the end, it was Clint Bowyer who crossed the finish line first.  That win propelled him into sixth place in the Chase standings come next weekend's race at Chicago.  Of course, Denny Hamlin took over the top spot by virtue of his four wins, but once again, Jimmie Johnson is up near the top, sitting in second.

Last year's champion, Tony Stewart, grabs third, followed by Brad Keselowsku and Greg Biffle.  Following behind Bowyer is Dale Earnhardt Jr, then Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.  Kasey Kahne grabbed the first Wild Card spot with Jeff Gordon beating out the rest of the boys for the second Wild Card spot.

Am I surprised that all four Hendrick cars are in the Chase?  Not really.  I am more surprised (although I shouldn't be) that Michael Waltrip Racing has both Clint and Truex Jr. in the chase.  Bowyer managed two wins while Truex didn't get one, but much like Dale Earnhardt Jr., his former owner, Truex had such a consistent season he should be in the Chase. 

MWR has been steadily improving on all the tracks and hiring Bowyer seems to have been just the addition the racing team needed to excel.  

The question now is who will be the dominant driver and team in the coming ten races.
Blog Photo - NASCAR Chase set
The Chase schedule doesn't yet include a road course, but it does have just about every other type of track the teams race on.  The "short tracks" include Dover, Loudon, Martinsville and Phoenix, while Talladega lends itself to the true Wild Card racetrack, being a Super Speedway.  Talladega  is the one track where set up and preparation could count for absolutely nothing, if a car is caught up in "The Big One".  

The mid-size tracks, including Chicago, Charlotte, Kansas, Texas and the final race, at Homestead, encompass the majority of the Chase races.  

The question is, who can win it all?  Tony Stewart won five of the ten races last year, en route to his third Championship.  This year, his closest competitor, Carl Edwards, isn't even in the Chase.  Denny Hamlin has the benefit of Darian Grubb, the crew chief who guided Tony to his Championship last year.  Wouldn't that be a kick in the face to Tony if Denny and Darian became the 2012 Champion?  Of course, this fan hopes fervently that that does not happy.  I am not a fan of Denny Hamlin!

The presence of Jimmie in the top two should be a worry to other teams.  After all, he and his crew chief, Chad Knaus, have been here before, and have succeeded five times.  He can't be counted out.  

Those are the top three, and yet there are nine more.  Nine other drivers could have the season ending of their dreams.  

One more week and it starts all over again.  We'll see you in Chicago.
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9/16/12   |   yeg69   |   1 respect

I think that, Hendrick has there work cut out for them with 4 great drivers.  It's hard to beleive that the trophy won't go anywhere else.  But however, don't count out the choch Gibbs               

9/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

9/10/12   |   JenX63   |   32792 respect

Debi_L wrote:
I completely understand your feelings, Jen, I just cannot hope for Denny to win anything.  I've seen  him act like a spoiled little brat too many times, and I truly don't want to see him as a "leader" of anything.  He is not, in my opinion, fit to be a champion of anything.  Tony has a temper and speaks his mind as well, but he has gained the respect of his fellow drivers in other actions, even though they may disagree with him at times.  All I see from Denny is that spoiled brat mentality and I want to bitchslap him when he starts whining.  

I honestly don't think I have ever "disliked" drivers as much as I have in recent years.  The humble "I'm so lucky to be here" mentality has truly died and the "I deserve to be treated like a king" mentality has taken over, at least in some of them.  

I don't want JJ to win again either, not even close.  If I had to pick anyone in the top three, it would HANDS DOWN be Tony, with not a second's thought.

I also hope the MWR boys get a chance to show Michael they deserve to be there - they are both truly humble young men.  

I completely understand what you are saying. It would'nt be to far a jump to say Jr has a great chance too. So if Tony can't then maybe Jr will. I do like them MWR boys!

9/10/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

(Edited by Debi_L)

I completely understand your feelings, Jen, I just cannot hope for Denny to win anything.  I've seen  him act like a spoiled little brat too many times, and I truly don't want to see him as a "leader" of anything.  He is not, in my opinion, fit to be a champion of anything.  Tony has a temper and speaks his mind as well, but he has gained the respect of his fellow drivers in other actions, even though they may disagree with him at times.  All I see from Denny is that spoiled brat mentality and I want to bitchslap him when he starts whining.  

I honestly don't think I have ever "disliked" drivers as much as I have in recent years.  The humble "I'm so lucky to be here" mentality has truly died and the "I deserve to be treated like a king" mentality has taken over, at least in some of them.  

I don't want JJ to win again either, not even close.  If I had to pick anyone in the top three, it would HANDS DOWN be Tony, with not a second's thought.

I also hope the MWR boys get a chance to show Michael they deserve to be there - they are both truly humble young men.  

9/9/12   |   JenX63   |   32792 respect

(Edited by JenX63)

Debi, I would much rather see Denny win the Championship than Johnson. Neither are up there in favorland with me, but I just couldn't't stomach another vanilla win. I am seriously hoping Tony can get it together and concentrate on getting his car out in front and winning these last 10 races. It seems like this year has just flown by. If Tony can't get it done? Matt or either of the boys from MWR. Just my opinion, but it is an honest one. Good Luck to all the drivers that made it in! (except jimmie)