Ranking Top 12 NASCAR Chase Contenders

Who's the Favorite Going Into The Chase?

9/8/13 in NASCAR   |   kantwistaye   |   4219 respect

Blog Photo - Ranking Top 12 NASCAR Chase ContendersThe field for the 2013 NASCAR Chase was set last night in Richmond. In the end, everyone who began the night in the Chase ended the night in it as well, but not without controversy.  Clint Bowyer inexplicably spun out with five laps to go in a move that just happened to help put teammate Martin Truex Jr back into the Chase.  After the race, Allan Cavanna reported that team owner Michael Waltrip told Truex that he "had awesome teammates" and Truex agreed.  Regardless, the field is set and here's who's most likely to take home the Cup in descending order.

Nice Season, But No Chance

12. Martin Truex Jr
 This isn't just due to the fact he shouldn't be in the Chase, but that he's also injured and just not very consistent.  Truex did break his years long winless streak legitimately this season and should be happy with that.

11. Dale Earnhardt Jr
 Much like Jeff Gordon, Jr just hasn't shown the same speed as Hendrick teammates Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne this year. Jr will probably finish well in the Chase, but won't be a top contender.

10. Greg Biffle
 Biffle has the least amount of top 5's (3) and top 10's (10) of any driver in the Chase. Avoiding disaster does not make one a contender.

9. Kurt Busch
 I hate  putting him here because if he was in a Hendrick or Joe Gibbs car he'd be number one. Busch is pulling off the most impressive driving I've seen in NASCAR.

Maybe There's A Chance

8. Joey Logano
 Logano lucked his way into the Chase at Richmond, but prior to that was the hottest driver in NASCAR.  This is his first ever Chase and experience will probably cost him at some point.

7. Kasey Kahne
 Kahne easily has the speed to win the Chase but has had many issues with non-1.5 mile race tracks.  The reason why he does have a chance is because the Chase has five 1.5 mile race tracks and Kahne is the best non-Joe Gibbs driver on them this season.

Second Tier Contenders

6. Kevin Harvick
 Harvick has run well all season on a lame duck team.  He's made a pattern of finishing well without running particularly well and its hard to see that be a path to the title.

5. Clint Bowyer
 Outside of intentionally altering the outcome of the NASCAR season at Richmond, Bowyer has run extremely well all year and would've lead the regular season point race had he not intentionally wrecked himself.  He's certainly a contender, but Toyota's engine issue all season concern me.

4. Carl Edwards
 Won at Richmond, though he clearly jumped the final restart and should've been punished.  Also had a strong car at Atlanta and had the best car at Bristol. He's peaking going into the Chase, but the Ford cars are not as strong as the Chevy and Toyotas.

The Contenders

3. Jimmie Johnson
 There's one thing that separates him and the top two - 1.5 mile tracks.  Joe Gibbs Racing has won five of the six ran so far.

2. Kyle Busch
 There's one thing separating him from number 1 - the three points he trails his teammate going into the Chase.

1. Matt Kenseth
 The top three have thirteen wins between them this year - half of all the races won.  These three are clearly the best this year. Kenseth goes into the Chase 3 points up on Busch and Johnson and the schedules sets up to his strengths this year. 

Who do you have as your top contender going into the 2013 Chase?

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9/8/13   |   JenX63   |   33139 respect

I'm like you. I think only the top 3 have a chance of winning the Championship, it's just how it plays out. I'm taking Matt Kenseth to win it all. I think Johnson's bad luck continues. 

9/8/13   |   Scott   |   54579 respect

Even though Johnson has been struggling the last month or so, these last 10 races is really where the Lowe's team turns it up a notch.  That said, I would love to see either Kenseth or Kyle Busch give Joe Gibbs a title