Tony Stewart. Bam! Ryan Newman. Pow! Brad Keselowski. Biff! Denny Hamlin. Ouch! Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sock, Ooof! No doubt these boys are thanking the Lord Dover is over, but at least two or three have to be wondering if their title hopes might also be done like dinner.
[media-credit id=26 align=”alignright” width=”242″][/media-credit]Stewart and Newman had cars that were so ill handling that they turned out just as fine as David Stremme’s vibrating piece of machinery. Newman can complain to the boss about having to drive crap, but who does Tony go to? Maybe the mirror. In short, the pair were back there fighting it out a couple laps down with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Junior, Junior, Junior. Just when you think he has started to get it back together, a part breaks early and then somebody allows him to leave the pits with a loose wheel. Thanks for nothing, chums. It was a good thing AAA was sponsoring this thing.
Keselowski found himself driving without assistance when the power steering belt got knocked askew. The time it took to fix the problem ended his hopes for last Sunday. So, while Tony is now 9 back, Brad is 14 away, Earnhardt has faded to 34 and Newman to 41 off the pace, things could be worse.
That brings us to Hamlin. The good news is that he has been consistent. The bad news is that 18th at Dover was the best of the lot thus far in the Chase. Hamlin does have a better chance of taking it all than, say, my grandmother, but Viola Schulz was 93 when she passed away three years ago.
No, Dover would go to the King of Bitching, Kurt Busch, who for once had nothing but laudable things to say about his crew chief, crewmen, and that attractive blonde who gave him a hug in Victory Lane. Okay, I have good things to say about her, but that does not take away from the spirit of what I’m trying to say here. Jimmie Johnson ran second, Carl Edwards third, and tenth was good enough for Kevin Harvick.
Happy and Cousin Carl are tied on top of the heap, with Kurt and Tony nine back, and Jimmie just 14 in arrears. In fact, just 19 points separates the ninth place Jeff Gordon from the duo in first, so for most it still is a tight race.
Kansas should bring interesting news, including some regarding Clint Bowyer, who is expected to be named as Michael Waltrip’s latest employee. Of the eleven races held at this speedway, only four were won by those not currently in the Chase, two of those by Greg Biffle. Keselowski won there in June, Stewart and Gordon each have a pair, while Newman and Johnson also know where Victory Lane is. Victory would come in handy for someone’s Chase hopes, and for three it could mean the difference between Chasing and just plain racing. Enjoy the week!