Glance at the 12 drivers in the Chase Print
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Wednesday, 13 October 2010 05:46
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 Charlotte Motor Speedway (in order of points):
DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
CHASE POINTS: first, 5,673 points
CAR: No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 18
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 1st (six times)
LAST WEEK: Didn't win in California, as has become his custom during the fall race there, but his third-place finish gave him a little cushion over Hamlin with the Chase nearing its halfway point.
CHASE CHATTER: ``If we can leave the racetrack with a top-three each week, we'll be where we want to at Homestead,'' Johnson said.

DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
CHASE POINTS: second, 5,637 points
CAR: No. 11 FedEx Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 10
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 8th (Fall, 2005)
LAST WEEK: Lost a little ground to Johnson by finishing eighth in Fontana. Still, pretty solid performance considering he started from the back after a transmission change following qualifying. Now heads to another track where he's struggled and Johnson has dominated.
CHASE CHATTER: ``A little bit frustrated, but all in all it's a decent day,'' Hamlin said. ``Can't be too disappointed, especially from where we started.''

DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
CHASE POINTS: third, 5,619 points
CAR: No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 19
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 2nd (Spring, 2001)
LAST WEEK: Steady as he goes. Harvick posted his series-high 20th top-10 finish by coming in seventh in Fontana. Has avoided major mistakes in the Chase so far, and could be wiser choice than Hamlin to chase down Johnson.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We need to step it up, and we are still in striking distance in the points battle,'' he said.

DRIVER: Jeff Gordon
CHASE POINTS: fourth, 5,588 points
CAR: No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 35
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 1st (five times)
LAST WEEK: A pit road speeding penalty at California cost him, forcing him to settle for ninth. Remains an outside threat to catch Johnson, but will need to reach Victory Lane at least once to do it.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We've been strong on the intermediate tracks this year, but Charlotte is one where I felt we needed to improve to make a run at the title,'' Gordon said.

DRIVER: Tony Stewart
CHASE POINTS: fifth, 5,566 points
CAR: No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet
TEAM: Stewart/Haas Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 5.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 23
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 1st (Fall, 2003)
LAST WEEK: Look who's back. Followed up a fourth-place finish in Kansas by winning in Fontana to jump five spots in the standings and get very much in the picture.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We're going to need some help, but we're doing everything we can do,'' Stewart said.

DRIVER: Kurt Busch
CHASE POINTS: sixth, 5,533 points
CAR: No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
TEAM: Penske Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 20
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 1st (May 2010)
LAST WEEK: A late-race run-in with David Ragan sent Busch tumbling to 21st at Fontana. Will try to be the first driver to win all three races at Charlotte this weekend. He swept the All-Star race and the 600-mile race there in May.
CHASE CHATTER: ``It could have been a really solid day here for the Miller Lite Dodge, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be,'' Busch said. ``Hopefully, we can bounce back next week at Charlotte.''

DRIVER: Carl Edwards
CHASE POINTS: seventh, 5,511 points
CAR: No. 99 Aflac Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 3.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 11
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 3rd (Fall, 2005)
LAST WEEK: His slow climb up the standings took a major hit in California, where a broken rotor in the distributor sent him to the garage for 15 crucial laps. He finished 37th.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We've got six races left and we're 162 points back, so over six races that's not a lot of points per race, so I think we can do it,'' Edwards said.

DRIVER: Jeff Burton
CHASE POINTS: eighth, 5,496 points
CAR: No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 33
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 1st (three times)
LAST WEEK: Fought some handling issues all day in Fontana, ending up 23rd.
CHASE CHATTER: ``It's definitely go time right now and we can't afford to give up more points,'' Burton said.

DRIVER: Kyle Busch
CHASE POINTS: ninth, 5,486 points
CAR: No. 18 M&Ms Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 2.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 13
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 3rd (three times)
LAST WEEK: And the hits just keep on coming. A blown engine at California left Busch mired in 35th and puts him perilously close to being out of it.
CHASE CHATTER: ``It's over,'' Busch said after the race.

DRIVER: Greg Biffle
CHASE POINTS: 10th, 5,458 points
CAR: No. 16 3M Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 2.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 15
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 2nd (Spring, 2008)
LAST WEEK: Was in the process of backing up his win at Kansas with a solid run in Fontana before a mechanical issue sent him to the garage in 41st.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We will still go out there every week and try to get the No. 16 3M Ford into victory lane and gain as many positions in the points as we can,'' Biffle said.

DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
CHASE POINTS: 11th, 5,432 points
CAR: No. 17 Crown Royal Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 22
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 1st (Spring, 2000)
LAST WEEK: Mechanical problems led to a miserable day in California, a track where he's won three times. Finished 30th to take away some momentum he'd built after a strong day in Kansas.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I had something wounded that was getting ready to break, so I just held on to what we could,'' Kenseth said.

DRIVER: Clint Bowyer
CHASE POINTS: 12th, 5,251 points
CAR: No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER CHARLOTTE STARTS: 9
BEST CHARLOTTE FINISH: 2nd (Fall, 2007)
LAST WEEK: A ray of light following the fallout from his penalty-marred win at New Hampshire. Finished second in California after nudging past Johnson in the last few laps.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We're capable of winning races, and if we keep doing what we did today, we're going to win another one,'' Bowyer said.
 

NASCAR Odds

Driver Odds
Sprint Cup - Odds to Win the Oral-B USA 500 @ Atlanta Motor Speedway
Jeff Gordon #24 +550
Kevin Harvick #4 +600
Brad Keselowski #2 +600
Jimmie Johnson #48 +600
Joey Logano #22 +800
More NASCAR odds

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