Glance at the 12 drivers in the Chase Print
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Wednesday, 06 October 2010 05:33
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 Auto Club Speedway (in order of points):
DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
CHASE POINTS: first, 5,503 points
CAR: No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 15
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 1st (five times)
LAST WEEK: Drove his way back atop the Chase standings with a strong second-place finish at Kansas. Now heads to a track he's practically owned in recent years. The drive for five is very much alive.
CHASE CHATTER: ``There's still a lot of racing left, but we're doing the right things,'' Johnson said. ``We're making bad weekends good weekends.''

DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
CHASE POINTS: second, 5,495 points
CAR: No. 11 FedEx Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 1
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 9
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 3rd (Fall, 2008)
LAST WEEK: Slipped out of the top spot with a 12th-place finish in Kansas, thanks mostly to a car Hamlin deemed too loose. The preseason pick for the title will need to keep Johnson in sight this weekend.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I knew right away we were going to have a long day,'' Hamlin said. ``You've got to make the most of your bad days and, if this is a bad day for us, then we're going to rebound.''

DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
CHASE POINTS: third, 5,473 points
CAR: No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 2
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 16
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 2nd (Spring, 2010)
LAST WEEK: ``Happy'' certainly was after posting his 13th top-5 finish of the year by coming in third at Kansas. Looking to improve on the success he had in California in February, when he came in second.
CHASE CHATTER: ``It took a little longer than we needed to get through traffic after our pit stops,'' he said. ``It was a great day, though. The car was fast all weekend.''

DRIVER: Carl Edwards
CHASE POINTS: fourth, 5,450 points
CAR: No. 99 Aflac Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 2
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 12
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 1st (Spring, 2008)
LAST WEEK: Continued his steady climb up the standings by coming in sixth at Kansas. Remains very much in striking distance despite extensive winless streak.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I was frustrated with sixth, but then I found out we are only 53 points out of the lead, so that is huge,'' Edwards said. ``It was a good day for us from a points perspective.''

DRIVER: Jeff Gordon
CHASE POINTS: fifth, 5,445 points
CAR: No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 3
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 20
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 1st (three times)
LAST WEEK: Jumped three spots in the Chase by putting together another solid top-5 finish at Kansas. He led nine laps at Kansas and now heads to a track where he's enjoyed success year after year.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We were hoping for a little bit more than that with the way things went all weekend long,'' he said. ``Good adjustments that brought us back up in the top five so that was a great finish.''

DRIVER: Kurt Busch
CHASE POINTS: sixth, 5,433 points
CAR: No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
TEAM: Penske Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 2
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 16
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 1st (2003)
LAST WEEK: Handling issues cost him in Kansas, where he slipped to 13th, not bad, but not enough to stop him from sliding two spots in the standings.
CHASE CHATTER: ``With so many of the Chase guys finishing in front of us, it certainly wasn't the type of day that we really needed out there,'' Busch said.

DRIVER: Kyle Busch
CHASE POINTS: seventh, 5,423 points
CAR: No. 18 M&Ms Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 4
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 12
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 1st (2005)
LAST WEEK: A little nudge from David Reutimann sent Busch into the wall at Kansas and made it somewhat remarkable he was able to finish 21st with a banged-up car.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I have a serious problem with what just happened and I don't think anyone in the (NASCAR) tower is going to do a damn thing about it,'' Busch said over the radio after the incident.

DRIVER: Greg Biffle
CHASE POINTS: eighth, 5,418 points
CAR: No. 16 3M Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 15
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 1st (2005)
LAST WEEK: Umm, where did that come from? The Bif dominated at Kansas, leading 60 laps while picking up his second win of the season. Considering how tight the field is packed at the moment, he's not out of it yet.
CHASE CHATTER: ``Last weekend's race was a pretty big win for this team,'' he said. ``It would be great to make it two in a row this weekend in California.''

DRIVER: Jeff Burton
CHASE POINTS: ninth, 5,402 points
CAR: No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 2
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 20
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 2nd (1999)
LAST WEEK: Ran toward the front for long stretches at Kansas, but had handling issues late and finished 18th.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I don't know what happened,'' Burton said. ``The run before the final caution, we were the fastest car on the race track.''

DRIVER: Tony Stewart
CHASE POINTS: 10th, 5,376 points
CAR: No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet
TEAM: Stewart/Haas Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 18
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 4th (twice)
LAST WEEK: Smoke led a race-high 76 laps in Kansas before ending up fourth behind Biffle, Johnson and Harvick.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We just had bad luck the first race (of the Chase) and then just a bad day the second race,'' he said. ``Hopefully, the upcoming weeks will be like today.''

DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
CHASE POINTS: 11th, 5,354 points
CAR: No. 17 Crown Royal Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 17
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 1st (three times)
LAST WEEK: Part of a solid overall day by Roush-Fenway Racing, finishing seventh at Kansas and now heads to a place where he's won three times. Still, a third of the way through the Chase, he would need a miracle to win the title.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We were pretty good today,'' Kenseth said. ``We just weren't able to keep up with the track well enough towards the end of the race unfortunately.''

DRIVER: Clint Bowyer
CHASE POINTS: 12th, 5,251 points
CAR: No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None
CAREER AUTO CLUB STARTS: 9
BEST AUTO CLUB FINISH: 3rd (Fall, 2006)
LAST WEEK: Ended another tough week with a 15th-place finish at Kansas. The drama surrounding the penalty he received after winning in New Hampshire has overshadowed everything else that's happened on the track.
CHASE CHATTER: ``A top-15 finish isn't exactly what I had hoped for, but we'll take it and look forward to a strong run at Fontana next weekend,'' Bowyer said.
 

NASCAR Odds

Driver Odds
Sprint Cup - Odds to Win the AAA Texas 500 @ Texas Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick #4 +475
Brad Keselowski #2 +550
Jeff Gordon #24 +550
Joey Logano #22 +600
Jimmie Johnson #48 +700
More NASCAR odds

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