Hot 20 over the past 10 – Edwards still has a bump in the road ahead, and its name is Martinsville

By Ron Thornton On Thu, Oct. 27, 2011

Carl Edwards is hot. He is the man atop the official standings with just four races to go. However, there has been one better over the past ten. Brad Keselowski finished 4th at Talladega, compared to the 11th for Edwards, to maintain a torrid pace when it counts the most.

Up next is Martinsville, a track Cousin Carl has never won at, one that could see him falter. It might not be enough to save Jimmie Johnson’s hopes of maintaining his lock on the title, but it could open a door for Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, or Tony Stewart. The Fat Lady may have already sang her tune for some and is warming up for the others, but the championship has not yet been decided.

While the official standings has Edwards up on the third place Keselowski by 18 points, he got three bonus points for his win at Las Vegas last winter. Brad had three wins, but got credit for none when they rejigged the points for the Chase as he failed to make the Top Ten and got advanced due to his victory tally. If he could have improved on horrid runs he experienced at Talladega, Richmond, or Loudon early in the season the smart money might be on the fellow from Michigan and not the man from Missouri. It still might be a bet to consider with four runs to go.

One more thing to consider is the fact Edwards finished 18th at Martinsville this spring, and his average finish there is 16th. Until we see what takes place on Sunday, the engraver can sit back a little longer before he thinks about putting anybody’s name on the trophy.

Here is a look at our hot 20 over the past 10 events…

Pos (LW) Driver – Pts/10 – (W-T5-T10)

1 (1) Brad Keselowski – 378 pts – (1-6-7)
If he sees Edwards at the line on Sunday, it better be in the mirror.

2 (2) Carl Edwards – 360 pts – (0-6-8)
Martinsville is not an Edwards friendly facility, but it is no sure thing for the rest either.

3 (5) Matt Kenseth – 349 pts – (1-3-7)
Was sixth in the spring, and that might be good enough for this weekend

4 (8) Tony Stewart – 347 pts – (2-3-7)
Once hot, his last three Martinsville appearances were not.

5 (4) Kevin Harvick – 328 pts – (1-2-6)
Just one more bad day away from throwing in the towel.

6 (6) Jimmie Johnson – 325 pts – (1-5-6)
Yes the Fat Lady is a singer…why do you ask?

7 (3) Kyle Busch – 323 pts – (1-2-4)
Of his 23 career victories, only one was in a Chase race…in 2005.

8 (7) Jeff Gordon – 318 pts – (1-4-5)
The good news is that he might still be able to match Jimmie next year.

9 (13) Kasey Kahne – 311 pts – (0-3-5)
Oh, so this is why Hendrick hired him.

10 (11) Kurt Busch – 298 pts – (1-3-4)
Things weren’t going all that great before Talladega.

11 (16) Jeff Burton – 288 pts – (0-1-1)
Needed to turn left, really hard left, to end his slump.

12 (18) Brian Vickers – 286 pts – (0-2-2)
No ride yet for next year, but this has to help.

13 (9) Ryan Newman – 282 pts – 0-1-5)
Made the Chase, what more do you want?

14 (19) Clint Bowyer – 281 pts – (1-1-5)
Soon to be the best damn driver at MWR.

15 (10) A.J. Allmendinger – 279 pts – (0-0-2)
Big drop after getting a big kick to the curb last Sunday.

16 (20) Greg Biffle – 277 pts – (0-1-2)
About the best thing about this season is that it is almost over.

17 (17) David Ragan – 274 pts – (0-1-2)
How good is Ragan? About as good as Junior lately…and that might not be a compliment.

18 (14) Dale Earnhardt Jr – 274 pts – (0-1-1)
Okay, just what in hell happened at Talladega?

19 (12) Marcos Ambrose – 271 pts – (0-1-4)
Things were starting to look mighty sweet before turning all sour.

20 (23) Denny Hamlin – 271 pts – (0-0-5)
Each his past five races has been an improvement, from 31st in Chicago to 8th last Sunday.

Ron Thornton (238 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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