I am a blessed man. I have a multitude of wants, but I already have all those things I truly need. I just wish that when we pray for a miracle, the odds of realizing it were not as astronomically against its success. When we lose someone as young, vibrant and talented as Steve Byrnes, despite all of our prayers, it does test one’s faith.
Byrnes loved his family and he loved NASCAR. In his memory, we once again take stock of those who are in Chase contention. As we move forward, we find the likes of Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Larson just outside looking in, while even wins by Trevor Bayne and Tony Stewart would rocket them up among our leaders.
Our Hot 20 heading to Richmond include…
1. KEVIN HARVICK – 2 WINS (314 points)
First a NASCAR champion and now he is in the White House. Well, for a brief visit.
2. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 2 WINS (258 points)
After last week, we might know why Jimmie was not picked as Harv’s running mate.
3. JOEY LOGANO – 1 WIN (284 points)
If he was ahead of Brad at Bristol, how things might have been different.
4. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 1 WIN (255 points)
If he was behind Joey at Bristol…
5. MATT KENSETH – 1 WIN (236 points)
43 years old, but in Gordon years he is just 36.
6. DENNY HAMLIN – 1 WIN (223 points)
Bristol was a pain in the neck, but he is coming home Saturday night.
7. MARTIN TRUEX, JR. – 281 POINTS
Bristol wasn’t great, but only Harvick and Logano have more points this season.
8. DALE EARNHARDT, JR. – 241 POINTS
If he can keep the wheels tight and the tires round he should be all right.
9. KASEY KAHNE – 237 POINTS
Those All-State girls never got him, but he was available this week at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.
10. JEFF GORDON – 227 POINTS
Five straight in the Top 10 has Pops back in the hunt.
11. ARIC ALMIROLA – 226 POINTS
One of five Cup guys driving the XFINITY race. Go Erik Jones!
12. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 223 POINTS
Hopes to add Chase place to his Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, and All-Star race career resume.
13. DANICA PATRICK – 211 POINTS
Bristol was a gift, but enough gifts can add up to something very good.
14. PAUL MENARD – 210 POINTS
Odds are his decent finish at Bristol will not transfer to this short track.
15. CARL EDWARDS – 203 POINTS
Despite a very ordinary start, still a contender.
16. RYAN NEWMAN – 201 POINTS
After his big penalty, has pegged his way back into contention.
17. CLINT BOWYER – 200 POINTS
Richmond is a track he loves and that loves him in return.
18. DAVID RAGAN – 197 POINTS
Still living the dream as Kyle dreams of his return.
19. CASEY MEARS – 186 POINTS
With odds at 500-1, anything in the Top 20 would be welcome.
20. GREG BIFFLE – 180 POINTS
Roush-Fenway presence could soon disappear with Austin, Kurt, and Larson just behind.