Hot 20 over the past 10 – Kahne and Bowyer remain solidly in the hunt for a place in the Chase

[media-credit name=”David Yeazell” align=”alignright” width=”224″][/media-credit]Eight races to go before the dozen contenders for the 2012 championship are determined. The top ten look solid to stay there, barring some very bad luck, leaving just the two wildcard spots for those holding the most wins. Clint Bowyer has a 31 point lead over Carl Edwards in the battle for tenth, while Kasey Kahne has a win but the way he is running seems to indicate that he is not quite finished visiting Victory Circle just yet.

Of course, the Chase came to be after Matt Kenseth gave up wins for consistency to take the crown back in 2003. Isn’t ironic that, nine years later, Kenseth once again leads the way, with just a single win to his credit?

Here is a look at our hottest 20 drivers over the past ten events…

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()=Official ranking

1 (1) Matt Kenseth – 381 pts – (0 Wins, 4 Top Fives, 8 Top Tens)
We’ve learned that winning even a championship sometimes does not keep the love alive.

2 (2) Dale Earnhardt Jr – 360 pts – (1-4-7)
Dare we dream.

3 (9) Brad Keselowski – 356 pts – (2-3-5)
A star is born.

4 (10) Clint Bowyer – 345 pts – (1-2-6)
Running well, and with a 31 point lead over Edwards, he is doing just fine.

5 (4) Jimmie Johnson – 343 pts – (2-5-7)
Mrs. Johnson liked the beard, he kept it. Would she also like another trophy in the case at home?

6 (16) Kasey Kahne – 334 pts – (1-4-7)
Three points out of a wild card spot, and he is hot, hot, hot.

7 (5) Tony Stewart – 321 pts – (1-6-6)
Winner at Daytona, even though he got hosed before the race.

8 (3) Greg Biffle – 320 pts – (0-3-4)
Outside Top 20 in back to back races.

9 (6) Kevin Harvick – 299 pts – (0-1-3)
Got to go buy a tiny firesuit.

10 (12) Kyle Busch – 298 pts – (1-4-5)
Winning isn’t everything. Yah, right.

11 (7) Denny Hamlin – 295 pts – (0-5-5)
Outside Top 20 only four times, but three have come in the last four events.

12 (11) Carl Edwards – 290 pts – (0-0-4)
Best finish of the year was 5th. Needs to improve that by four.

13 (13) Paul Menard – 289 pts – (0-0-1)
6th at Daytona in February remains his high water mark of 2012.

14 (8) Martin Truex Jr – 287 pts – (0-1-3)
He and Harvick are the only two Chase contenders minus a victory

15 (17) Jeff Gordon – 285 pts – (0-1-4)
Only needs to win two of next eight.

16 (19) Marcos Ambrose – 283 pts – (0-0-4)
Did not need that wreck at Daytona.

17 (14) Joey Logano – 282 pts – (1-2-5)
If he makes the Chase, does he still get the boot?

18 (20) Jamie McMurray – 272 pts – (0-0-1)
Has been known to lead a few laps, but not so much this year.

19 (18) Jeff Burton – 269 pts – (0-1-2)
October 11, 2008 marked his last win and his last year in the Chase.

20 (15) Ryan Newman – 253 pts – (0-1-1)
Will Newman retreat next season along with the U.S. Army?

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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