Kyle Busch is number one, be it in points, on the podium, or in getting his butt kicked by employees of RCR. His third win of the season at Kentucky last weekend means all he has to do now to make the Chase is not fall out of the Top 20. He might be in like Flynn, but Brad Keselowski is not. He might have his win, but for it to do him any good he needs to move up one spot in the standings. Not too tall an order with only three points to make up when they slide into Loudon, New Hampshire for Sunday’s fun..
[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”253″][/media-credit]Others have a little more work to do, which could include picking up that all important victory. With time running out on their Chase chances, that might be the most realistic route to explore. Kasey Kahne and Joey Logano are among the 12 best since we left Talladega but are so far out of the Top Ten that wins might become more important than points before too long.
David Ragan has been hot as of late, is climbing this ladder, and has both a win and a top 20 position to his credit. Tony Stewart is hanging in the top dozen, but a win by any of the other winless folks in the top twenty would put his Chase chances in jeopardy. Same might be said of Ryan Newman, who sits ninth for the season but seems to be showing signs of heating up at the right time.
One who is not would be Dale Earnhardt Jr. Fifteen other drivers have done better than he has over the past ten. This Sunday might be a good time to reverse the trend. The nice thing about the two wildcard spots into the Chase is that a win can change everything. Eleven drivers currently on the outside looking in could change their season completely with a win on Sunday.
Here are out hot 20 drivers over the past ten events…
POS (LW) – Driver – Pts/10 races – (W-T5-T10)
*Currently has a place in the Chase
1 (3) – Kyle Busch* – 367 pts – (2-6-6)
1st over the season, 1st over the past ten, 1st in Kentucky, last on Childress Christmas card list.
2 (8) – Matt Kenseth* – 350 pts – (1-3-6)
His eight race plan to earn an average of 38 points per race has worked out brilliantly.
3 (1) – Kevin Harvick* – 346 pts – (1-2-5)
Has yet to finish outside Top Twenty since they concluded the Daytona 500.
4 (2) – Kurt Busch* – 341 pts – (1-3-5)
When someone yells “Busch you jerk” he just pokes Kyle to turn around.
5 (6) – Denny Hamlin* – 334 pts – (1-3-5)
Driving a Toyota while listening to a Ford seems to be working out.
6 (5) – Carl Edwards* – 325 pts – (0-6-7)
Carl may do flips after wins, but isn’t his crew chief former stuntman Super Bob Osborne?
7 (4) – Jeff Gordon* – 319 pts – (1-3-5)
I thought he was a dwarf until I discovered he was as tall as me…just 90 pounds lighter.
8 (7) – Jimmie Johnson* – 315 pts – (0-2-6)
This is just Jimmie being Jimmie, at least until the Chase begins.
9 (15) – David Ragan* – 303 pts – (1-3-4)
Daytona and Kentucky brought him into contention, but he’s not out of the woods just yet.
10 (16) – Brad Keselowski – 295 pts – (1-2-4)
The last nine has featured a few birdies, the opening nine nothing but bogies.
11 (17) – Kasey Kahne – 290 pts – (0-3-3)
Points would be nice, but at this point wins would be even better.
12 (11) – Joey Logano – 290 pts – (0-2-3)
Like the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead, ranges from very, very good to horrid.
13 (13) – Tony Stewart* – 287 pts – (0-0-4)
Apparently that second place finish in Las Vegas stayed in Vegas.
14 (19) – Ryan Newman* – 285 pts – (0-2-4)
5 Top Fives is impressive, which is why he has not yet faded into the night.
15 (12) – Greg Biffle – 275 pts – (0-0-2)
What is it with that single Top Ten over the last eight?
16 (10) – Dale Earnhardt Jr* – 272 pts – (0-1-3)
Stopped for two Saturday night, but needed at least three.
17 (21) – Marcos Ambrose – 271 pts – (0-2-3)
Hometown zoo has a breeding program for Tasmanian Devils. I know!!
18 (9) – Clint Bowyer – 269 pts – (0-1-4)
Back-to-back crashes not exactly helping the cause. Another win at Loudon would.
19 (14) – A.J. Allmendinger – 257 pts – (0-1-3)
If the 29-year old makes the Chase, the #43 will have had to return to Victory Lane.
20 (20) – Martin Truex Jr – 257 pts – (0-0-4)
If Bullwinkle can pull a rabbit out of his hat, maybe Truex can still pull this season out of his…