Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chaser's Bar

The NASCAR season is now down to its ten race playoff dash. The twelve driver Chase field for the championship was set Saturday night in Richmond. That 400 lapper was rain delayed a couple of times, Clint Bowyer won, and Jeff Gordon willed his way to the final wild-card spot in the Chase with a stirring second place run.


I've believed all along that the champion will come from among those drivers who have more than one regular season win. I'll narrow it down even more to just the four that will have a legitimate shot at the hardware.

Denny Hamlin is the top seed in the playoffs with his four wins already. Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Brad Keselowski, all with three wins, start the Chase just three points out of first. The 2012 champ will be among this group. Look for Stewart to have another shot at the Cup, as he battles Johnson until last call. Don't be surprised if JGR engineering leaves Hamlin out to dry. Keselowski is a smooth combination of talent and smarts with a bright future. He will make some noise over the next ten weeks.


Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, and Clint Bowyer all bring their two wins into the Chase, while Matt Kenseth has been close to the top of the standings all season long. Kahne has long been a master on the mile and a half tracks, and has improved on all tracks now. Biffle and Kenseth are both capable of winning a couple of Chase races. Bowyer could string together a few top five finishes.


Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr have put together some solid runs of late. Either could win a Chase race, but don't look for them to be among the final top five in points. Dale Earnhardt Jr has been among the points leaders all year, but has slipped a little during the late summer grind. He is due for more Chase bad luck. Kevin Harvick is winless in 2012, that will be hard to change in this field.


Hendrick Motorsports, with all four cars in the Chase, would seem to have the best chance of taking home the title. Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing both have two teams in the playoff hunt.


Hamlin and Keselowski are on their own in the Chase. Although, Hamlin may find help from his two non-Chase teammates, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano, easier than Keselowski does from Sam Hornish, his teammate. Stewart and Harvick also have no teammates inside the final twelve.


Kasey Kahne will be in the hunt when the Chasers roll into Miami two months from now.


Is it time to start another title streak? Yes, it is. Jimmie Johnson and his Lowes' team prove last year was a fluke by storming to the Sprint Cup title once again.


  1. Say it ain't so, Gene! I can hear the Imperial march way off in the background, but it's there...

    From the "Would really like to see" department: Dale Earnhardt Jr. hoisting the Sprint Cup trophy just once in his life and this appears to be the best chance he may ever have... Will dad put an invisible shield around the 88? Will the force be with Jr.? It would make one helluva story! Homestead would be wiped out by the flood of happiness tears being shed by a joyous Jr. Nation!

    Bad Brad might have to go some to win, but that story would be a good one to write too!

  2. Dwindy... Jr winning the title would be great for the sport.... but, I have to think that he is due for some bad luck... and all it takes is a couple of bad finishes to ruin his Chase.

    BK would not surprise me at all. For a young guy, he has a bag full of tricks.

  3. I think Penske losing Dodge will be bigger problem for Bad Brad than not getting help from Sam...and he sure as shit is getting more help from Sam than he ever would have outta AJ. Brad might make some noise but without Dodge investing in sport he cant win.

    Junyer will be better than you give him credit for, I think it will be down to Hamlin or JJ though. Neither I am too excited about so hoping JPM and a few others have some wrecking left to do these last 10 races to keep it interesting.

    Where is a road course when you need one!!

  4. Kris... I just wonder if Sammy may be a little hurt because Kez wanted Joey in the 22 instead of him?

    I'm not sold on Jr at all. He had no bad luck all year until a month ago when he finally had a race when he didn't finish on the lead lap.

    Road course would be nice!

  5. He's got *THE* lug man..special delivery at Bristol! =)

    Sammy holds no grudges, just the way he rolls, knows best he can do for himself is be good team player and finish well.