Hot 20 over the past 10 – The cream is rising to the top, with 9 sure bets and a bunch of maybes

With six races to go to decide who is Chasing and who is just racing, six of the top eight have been among the hottest drivers over the past ten. If I were a betting man, I would lock in Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, and the Busch boys. Heck, the way Denny Hamlin has been performing, take a gamble and lock him in as well.

Carl Edwards might not be hot, but he is still running pretty warm as of late and I like Ryan Newman’s chances. So, that is nine of the dozen needed for the Chase, with three fighting for wins and points to keep their hopes for a championship alive.

[media-credit name=”Adam Lovelace” align=”alignright” width=”230″][/media-credit]The wildcard spots based on wins really makes this interesting. At least one spot will go for wins alone, while Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr could hang on to the final two positions as long as they can put a string of Top 15’s together. If they can’t, and slip out of the Top Ten, this could well become a disappointing season for both of them earlier than expected. Pocono should provide us with a piece of that puzzle.

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Here is a look at the hot 20 drivers over the past 10 races…

Pos – Driver – Points/10 races – (W-T5-T10)

1. Matt Kenseth – 371 pts – (1-4-7)
The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment…just kidding.

2. Jeff Gordon – 358 pts – (1-4-6)
Prettiest eyebrows in NASCAR, and that includes Danica.

3. Kurt Busch – 358 pts – (1-3-5)
Beating and banging his own self.

4. Kevin Harvick – 342 pts – (1-1-5)
It is not the same without being able to put the fear of the Lord into Kyle

5. Kyle Busch – 327 pts – (1-5-6)
Needs a mustache, a black hat, and some self defence lessons.

6. Jimmie Johnson – 316 pts – (0-3-6)
Is he trying or just waiting for the real racing to begin?

7. Denny Hamlin – 311 pts – (1-3-5)
With time, understanding, and lots of booze I might come to love him.

8. Joey Logano – 308 pts – (0-3-4)
Without a win, too little, too late.

9. Carl Edwards – 304 pts – (0-4-5)
To sign a new deal all he wants is for Jack to be able to call him “partner.”

10. Ryan Newman – 301 pts – (1-2-4)
Sit in the Top 10; check. A win; check. 30 point cushion; check.

11. Tony Stewart – 296 pts – (0-1-4)
Still good to go, provided he avoids disaster.

12. David Ragan – 292 pts – (1-2-3)
A winner, but trails Menard by seven points in the standings.

13. Brad Keselowski – 291 pts – (1-1-3)
That win was nice, but now he needs another.

14. Paul Menard – 282 pts – (1-2-3)
Menard’s, now more than just a hardware store.

15. Clint Bowyer – 277 pts – (0-1-3)
Last time a guy worked with a guy named Shane, they kicked the crap out of Jack Palance.

16. Dale Earnhardt Jr – 275 pts – (0-1-3)
Time for talk is over, time for action is now.

17. Greg Biffle – 274 pts – (0-0-2)
Now he’s a full race out of the Chase.

18. Kasey Kahne – 273 pts – (0-1-2)
For Kasey, winning isn’t everything, it has become the only thing.

19. Marcos Ambrose – 265 pts – (0-2-4)
Like the Cubs, he looks ahead to next year.

20. Martin Truex Jr – 260 pts – (0-0-4)
New crew chief, but do you see any difference?

Officially in the Top Twenty…

21. Mark Martin – 255 pts – (0-1-3)
What Mark needs to do is win like hell…and soon.

22. A.J. Allmendinger – 250 pts – (0-1-1)
Probably a better driver than Petty. Then again, the King is now 74.

24. Juan Pablo Montoya – 244 pts – (0-0-2)
Not this season, Senor.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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