With only 5 races left in the NASCAR season, I am going to remove 7 drivers from contention for the 2012 title in my mind. I don’t see anyone outside of 40 points getting in it.
The theme of the Chase has been the “Fuel Mileage Win” and Clint Bowyer got another one in Charlotte last weekend. I know Bowyer is tired of not being able to do burnouts after wins, but I think he is okay with it. Keselowski got on the wrong side of the fuel issue and let JJ and Denny get close. The last 5 races look to be heating up and should be in for a very good finish to the 2012 season. Will it be as good as 2011 finish? It may be.
|2012 NASCAR Chase Standings after Race 5 of 10|
|1. Brad Keselowski||2,214||Failed to finish in the top 10 for the 1st time since late August and gave up some breathing room. Can he get it back in Kansas?|
|2. Jimmie Johnson||2,207 (-7)||2-time Kansas winner will be a threat, but how much the track changed will be a factor.|
|3. Denny Hamlin||2,199 (-15)||Did his Kansas momentum go away with the old track surface? His wreck in practice may be a sign for a big slip.|
|4. Clint Bowyer||2,186 (-28)||His win in Charlotte was his 3rd of the season and the race is in his home state of Kansas. I like his chances.|
|5. Kasey Kahne||2,179 (-35)||Had a very bland race in Charlotte. Was a favorite and never showed any flash.|
|6. Greg Biffle||2,171 (-43)||2-time Kansas winner needs a win to get into the fight. No win, but a top 5 finish.|
|7. Martin Truex Jr.||2,165 (-49)||Surprised he is at #7. He has done nothing and he just turns laps.|
|8. Tony Stewart||2,164 (-50)||50 pts out with 5 races to go is a monster gap, but Stewart has wins in Kansas and can get one again.|
|9. Jeff Gordon||2,164 (-50)||Bad Charlotte race puts him out of reach. Has 2 wins in Kansas, but they were 10 years ago.|
|10. Kevin Harvick||2,158 (-56)||Read Martin Truex Jr.|
|11. Matt Kenseth||2,147 (-67)||YOU’RE DONE SON!!|
|12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2,128 (-86)||For the 2nd week in a row Jr. will be sitting out due to his concussion. His title hopes are over, so here’s to hoping he doesn’t rush back too soon.|
This Kansas race will be hard to predict giving that the track has gone through such a drastic change since Denny Hamlin’s win in April. I have a feeling that Carl Edwards can get a win for the non-chasers and finish up the season with some momentum. I love Bowyer’s chances at getting a win in Kansas for the 1st time. Denny’s practice wreck puts him out of contention in my mind and I think Kesolowski is on the downturn. I like Biffle to run well, I am going to go with Tony Stewart to get the win in Kansas. New track, fast speeds and Smoke looks good to me.