Hot 20 over the past 10 – Gordon is blazing, but Keselowski is bringing his own kind of heat

By Ron Thornton On Wed, Sep. 07, 2011

Jimmie Johnson has five straight titles, and he is again poised to add yet another finger bauble, but one man standing in his way operates out of the company’s other shop. It has been a decade since the recently turned 40-year old Jeff Gordon claimed his fourth crown, but there is nothing old about his act as of late.

In his last ten events, Gordon was 17th at the Glen, 11th in Loudon, with the rest all Top Tens, including his 85th career victory last Tuesday on the asphalt of Atlanta. He has averaged more than 39 points per race over the span, claiming more than 80% of those available to him. Under the current system, where last place gives you just 2% and even tenth is under 70%, his results lately have been stellar. Gordon appears up for the challenge.

However, watch for the young man from Michigan. 27-year old Brad Keselowski has been outstanding, especially in his last six starts. Two wins, a second, a third, a sixth at Atlanta, and 9th at the Brickyard. He moves into the Chase with three wins and a chance to even earn a Top Ten berth in the standings with another great effort at Richmond.

Quite frankly, it appears that ten of the 12 currently holding down a place in the Chase are set and ready for the fun to begin. For Dale Earnhardt Jr and Denny Hamlin, they need to throw another log or two on the fire, as the embers appear to be cooling off.

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

POS (LW) DRIVER – PTS/10 – (W-T5-T10)

1 (1) JEFF GORDON – 392 pts (1-4-8)
Petty, Pearson, & Gordon. Junior partner joins the firm.

2 (6) JIMMIE JOHNSON – 370 pts (0-6-8)
Visits the White House so much, it is now called the Johnson Bedroom.

3 (5) BRAD KESELOWSKI – 364 pts (2-4-8)
A bit of the spotlight has found this darkhorse.

4 (2) KYLE BUSCH – 349 pts (2-5-6)
Tuesday will be a crash fest? Well, maybe he meant next Tuesday.

5 (3) MATT KENSETH – 343 pts (0-2-6)
Has been called silent but deadly. That stinks.

6 (4) RYAN NEWMAN – 330 pts (1-4-5)
If he ever ran neck and neck, he probably would lose.

7 (9) KEVIN HARVICK – 307 pts (0-0-4)
Don’t send him a last minute invite. Just ask a certain Mr. B. Obama.

8 (8) CARL EDWARDS – 303 pts (0-3-5)
Wanted to go, but had a date with a duck.

9 (7) JOEY LOGANO – 303 pts (0-3-4)
A hundred races and the best is yet to come.

10 (13) MARTIN TRUEX JR – 300 pts (0-2-4)
Nothing that a win and a raid on Hamlin’s hauler wouldn’t cure.

11 (12) KURT BUSCH – 298 pts (1–3-5)
After three straight duds, Atlanta was welcome.

12 (10) TONY STEWART – 297 pts (0-1-4)
His schedule opens up after November 20, if the President wants to reschedule.

13 (11) A.J. ALLMENDINGER – 296 pts (0-0-2)
Victory, and by at least 11 points over Hamlin, would do the trick.

14 (15) MARCOS AMBROSE – 281 pts (1-2-4)
Richmond To-Do list includes winning and moving into the Top 20.

15 (14) KASEY KAHNE – 280 pts (0-1-3)
Red Bull? More like bulls***

16 (23) JEFF BURTON – 258 pts (0-0-1)
Jeff, where the hell have you been?

17 (20) GREG BIFFLE – 256 pts (0-0-2)
If only 3-M retreat had been at Camp David.

18 (16) PAUL MENARD – 255 pts (1-1-3)
Win at Richmond, he’s in the Chase. Don’t, and he won’t.

19 (18) DENNY HAMLIN – 254 pts (0-1-3)
A good day back in June looms big for the Pied Piper.

20 (21) JAMIE MCMURRAY – 253 pts (0-2-2)
In the Top 15 thrice in past ten just not good enough.

21 (24) DALE EARNHARDT JR – 248 pts (0-0-1)
In recent weeks he is about as much a threat to claim the title as I am.

22 (19) DAVID RAGAN – 242 pts (1-1-2)
Soon Big Brown will be just a skid mark.

23 (17) CLINT BOWYER – 242 pts (0-1-2)
Dear Juan: You are a jackass. Your pal, Clint.

Ron Thornton (289 Posts)

Ron is a former broadcaster who is in his 11th season writing for SpeedwayMedia and is celebrating his 21st season as Amy's husband. Their 19-year old sons are in their second year of Civil Engineering Technology, and they will have to wait and see if their family time at the baseball diamonds extends another season or not. Something about budding careers might get in the way. Ron is still not sure he wants to do when he grows up, other than possibly not actually growing up. So far, so good.


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