With Four races to go until the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race for the Chase starts I will give you my predictions on who is still alive and who will make the chase, and who just won’t have enough to get there.
To me there are just two slots open for the chase and there are about ten drivers that still have a shot at those last two spots.
The first of those drivers is the man in 11th, Greg Biffle
Biffle won two weeks ago at Pocono Raceway. It has finally looked like that Roush Fenway Racing has finally turned a corner. Although Biffle struggled to a 24th place run on Sunday at the Glen, I believe he will make the chase with some great tracks for him and his team coming up.
The 12th spot is currently held by Mark Martin. It’s hard for me to believe I am listing him as a pretender but let’s take a look at Martin’s year. It’s a struggle for Martin to get into the chase. So you might ask what’s wrong. There are a couple things. Engineers from Martin’s team last year went over to help the 88 and Dale Earnhardt Jr this year to help that team be more competitive. My theory is “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” and Mark Martin’s team wasn’t broke. However, it seems it is now.
I understand Martin’s in the chase now but to me this team is too far off to make the chase. Look at Sunday. Bowyer has a bad day and Martin has a chance to capitalize and ends up 19th. Not exactly chase material. Martin in my opinion will miss the chase and Rick Hendrick will look to improve this team for 2011. Maybe move some engineers back to his team so Martin can be competitive again.
Clint Bowyer is sitting 13th in the standings just ten points out. Mechanical problems had him finish 32nd Sunday, but fortuatly for Bowyer, Martin didn’t capitalize much. Richard Childress Racing has rebounded from the disaster that was 2009 and Bowyer has had some bad luck this year. However, Bowyer needs to qualify better if he wants to get into the chase.
Sitting 14th and 83 points back is Ryan Newman. Newman has had an up and down year this season. Lately, however Newman has gained some points, with back to back 12th place finishes. Will Newman get in? It’s hard to say. Teammate Tony Stewart has run much better as of late and who will say Newman can’t have the same late regular season surge Stewart has had?
Sitting 15th 94 points out of the chase is Jamie McMurray. McMurray has two big wins this season and is having a surprisingly really good year. Yet, his finishes have been really inconsistent this season. Should be interesting to see what he does with four races to go.
Sitting 16th is Dale Earnhardt Jr, who just continues to fall in the standings. In the last four races Earnhardt has fallen from 11th to 16th in points. In that same span he’s gone from 46 points in the chase to now 121 points out with four races to go. Momentum is huge for drivers this far out of the chase and Earnhardt doesn’t have any right now. I will wonder if Michigan will provide him any luck.
And the last driver who has a chance is Kasey Kahne. I know you may think I am crazy, but I still believe this team has an outside shot at it. Kahne needs to have four great runs to get in. Can he do it? Well fords run great at Michigan, he runs well at Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond. The tracks play in his favor. That’s the only reason why I don’t rule him out.
Looking at all these scenarios it should be interesting to see who makes the chase and who is on the outside looking in. What do you all think?