Glance at the 12 drivers in the Chase Print
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Wednesday, 29 September 2010 07:33
NASCAR Headline News

 A glance at the 12 drivers competing in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship heading into this weekend's race at Kansas Speedway (in order of points):
DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
CHASE POINTS: first, 5,368 points
CAR: No. 11 FedEx Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 5
BEST KANSAS FINISH: Fifth (2009)
LAST WEEK: On the track, very quietly kept his spot atop the standings with a ninth-place finish at Dover. Off the track, his dustup with Kevin Harvick gave the Chase another shot of melodrama.
CHASE CHATTER: ``A lot of people are waiting for us to slip up like we have in the past, but I don't see it this time around,'' Hamlin said. ``I think it's going to go all the way to the wire.''

DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
CHASE POINTS: second, 5,333 points
CAR: No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 4.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 8
BEST KANSAS FINISH: 1st (2008)
LAST WEEK: That's more like it. The four-time defending champion shrugged off a poor start to the Chase at Loudon by rolling through the field at Dover to pick up his third win in his last four starts at the Monster Mile.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I don't look all that excited right now, but there's a huge weight off my shoulders that we were able to come and win a race in the Chase, rebound from last weekend and we're in the middle of this thing,'' Johnson said.

DRIVER: Kyle Busch
CHASE POINTS: third, 5,323 points
CAR: No. 18 M&Ms Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 6
BEST KANSAS FINISH: seventh (2006)
LAST WEEK: Is this New Kyle Busch, or Old Kyle Busch pulling a fast one? He finished a solid sixth at Dover and showed some maturity by not forcing the issue by trying to gamble for a win.
CHASE CHATTER: ``If I drove it a little bit over my head and a little harder, it was faster than (Johnson), but I about wrecked a couple times so I just backed up and rode there,'' he said.

DRIVER: Kurt Busch
CHASE POINTS: fourth, 5,309 points
CAR: No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
TEAM: Penske Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 9
BEST KANSAS FINISH: sixth (2004)
LAST WEEK: Overcame a mid-race pit road speeding penalty to match a career best with a fourth-place finish at Dover. Seems to be rounding into form after a late season bobble.
CHASE CHATTER: ``It was a good solid top-five finish,'' Busch said. ``This was a tough one and Kansas will be a tough one. I'm real happy with this effort today.''

DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
CHASE POINTS: fifth, 5,303 points
CAR: No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 3.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 9
BEST KANSAS FINISH: sixth (three times)
LAST WEEK: If only his car showed as much fight on the track as Harvick showed jawing with Hamlin in the garage. Ran in the top 10 before slipping to 15th at Dover.
CHASE CHATTER: ``It's somewhat puzzling, because our car was super fast in the early going,'' Harvick said. ``For some reason, we just lost the handle on it.''

DRIVER: Carl Edwards
CHASE POINTS: sixth, 5,295 points
CAR: No. 99 Aflac Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 6
BEST KANSAS FINISH: second (2008)
LAST WEEK: Is Edwards the new Chase dark horse? Posted his ninth top-10 in the last 11 races at Dover and heads to his ``home'' track with solid momentum.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I was fortunate to win the truck race there at Kansas,'' Edwards said. ``That was a huge victory and to win the Cup race would be unbelievable.''

DRIVER: Jeff Burton
CHASE POINTS: seventh, 5,288 points
CAR: No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 2.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 9
BEST KANSAS FINISH: fifth (2006)
LAST WEEK: What, you expected him to go away? The veteran finished runner-up at Dover and is arguably running as strong as he has all season.
CHASE CHATTER: ``At about halfway and through the next-to-the-last run, my car just got really happy and took off,'' Burton said. ``We then became a contender.''

DRIVER: Jeff Gordon
CHASE POINTS: eighth, 5,285 points
CAR: No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 4.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 9
BEST KANSAS FINISH: 1st (twice)
LAST WEEK: Proof positive of how tight the pack is behind Hamlin: Gordon finished a steady 11th at Dover and slipped from fourth to eighth in the standings.
CHASE CHATTER: ``When the rubber laid down, man we just really struggled,'' Gordon said. ``It was everything I could do to just hang on to it, let alone finish 11th.''

DRIVER: Greg Biffle
CHASE POINTS: ninth, 5,228 points
CAR: No. 16 3M Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 1.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 8
BEST KANSAS FINISH: 1st (2007)
LAST WEEK: Caught a little bit of bad racing luck at Dover, when an ill-timed yellow prevented him from recovering from early race struggles and he wound up 19th.
CHASE CHATTER: ``If we were running on the lead lap, I thought we were a top-10 car,'' Biffle said. ``It's unfortunate. We're not out of it, but those two finishes (at Loudon and Dover) are not a way to start the chase off.''

DRIVER: Tony Stewart
CHASE POINTS: 10th, 5,206 points
CAR: No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet
TEAM: Stewart/Haas Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 9
BEST KANSAS FINISH: 1st (twice)
LAST WEEK: A total nonfactor at Dover after a pit road speeding penalty, Stewart's hot summer appears to have cooled off in the Chase. He came in 21st at the Monster Mile, but heads to a track where he has dominated at times.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I'm sorry guys,'' said Stewart over the radio on the race's cool-down lap. ``I knew it as soon as I came in. I just couldn't get slowed down enough.''

DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
CHASE POINTS: 11th, 5,203 points
CAR: No. 17 Crown Royal Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 9
BEST KANSAS FINISH: fifth (twice)
LAST WEEK: A blown tire while trying to pit under green sent Kenseth tumbling to an 18th-place finish at Dover.
CHASE CHATTER: ``It's 100 percent my fault, I just got in there too hard and it locked the left-front up,'' Kenseth said.

DRIVER: Clint Bowyer
CHASE POINTS: 12th, 5,133 points
CAR: No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER KANSAS STARTS: 4
BEST KANSAS FINISH: second (2007)
LAST WEEK: So much for taking the anger of his New Hampshire mishap out on the field at Dover. He brushed the wall about halfway through the race at Dover and slid to 25th.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We fought back for all we could get but we're really disappointed in that finish,'' Bowyer said.
 

NASCAR Odds

Driver Odds
Sprint Cup - Odds to Win Top 3 Camping World RV Sales 301 @ New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Jimmie Johnson #48 +125
Denny Hamlin #11 +175
Jeff Gordon #24 +175
Kevin Harvick #4 +200
Kyle Busch #18 +250
More NASCAR odds

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