The standings as we see them now will change drastically after tomorrow night. Greg Biffle sits on top of the leaderboard today, but even if he wins tomorrow night, he will vacate that position, likely to Denny Hamlin, who has four wins. Of course, any one of the drivers with three could tie Denny for four wins, and Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, or even Tony Stewart could take over the top spot.
I've always been in favor of awarding more points for a win, but I have always said they should be awarded at the time of the win, not after the Race to the Chase is done. Yes, this way awards consistency as well as wins, but I am not a fan of the re-alignment of the leaders once the Chase competitors are set.
It isn't really possible to establish today who the leader will be, but unless Martin Truex Jr or Kevin Harvick get a win tomorrow, the two of them will be down in the cellar. Even Kasey Kahne has two wins, although his first season with Hendrick Motorsports hasn't been as consistent as he would have hoped.
It all comes down to Richmond.
As the Race to the Chase winds down, we are also hearing official announcements from teams and drivers regarding where they will end up in 2013. Matt Kenseth has a great chance to win his second Championship, just as he finishes up his time with Jack Roush. Earlier this week (Surprise!) Matt and Joe Gibbs announced that Matt would take over the number 20 ride in the JGR stable, and much is being said about his "leadership" role in that team. I'm sorry, but although Matt is an experienced driver, and veteran, the other two drivers in JGR, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, don't strike me as the type who will want any kind of guidance from the likes of Matt. Matt is just too nice. Denny and Kyle are, well, hotheads. Both have let their tempers lead them on more than one occasion, and neither has been particularly sorry for anything they have done on impulse. Sure, we've heard they "I'm so sorry for anything I have done that might have .....blah blah blah..." Did they mean it?
Not a chance in hell.
Would they do it again?
So you can say what you will about Matt's leadership at JGR, and as much as I love Matt, I don't see it. I do, however, wish him the best.
Now, Joey Logano will move to the 22 of Penske Racing, come 2013. Good move? Probably. Penske needs a driver who is better than mediocre. Yes, Sam Hornish Jr has done well for the team, but he just isn't the same caliber of driver that Brad Keselowski is. Can Joey be that good a driver? I think so. He needs to "grow some" - and I don't mean in height. Brad will be great for Joey. That team, I think, will be a force to reckon with in 2013.
And finally, on the heels of the announcement that the Army will no longer sponsor Ryan Newman's number 39 car for Stewart-Haas Racing comes the news that Ryan has agreed to stay with SHR for another year. No sponsor is in place, the team is hoping they will find sponsorship. Tony won the 2011 Championship, and has lost two sponsors this year for his stable. Just goes to show us how strapped our economies really are.
So there you have it. Who will win tomorrow night? Will it be one of our Chasers, determined to make a final mark as we move into the playoffs? Or will one of the Wild Cards seal the deal? Or even better, will it be a first time winner?
Look out. It's gonna be a wild one.