Glance at the 12 drivers in the Chase Print
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Wednesday, 03 November 2010 06:30
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 Texas Motor Speedway (in order of points):
DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
CHASE POINTS: first, 6,149 points
CAR: No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 14
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 1st (Fall, 2007)
LAST WEEK: Managed to avoid disaster at Talladega and maintain his slim lead over Hamlin. A late-race gamble to work with teammate Jeff Gordon backfired when Gordon had engine issues.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I didn't have any teammates in front, and it just really didn't work out for me,'' Johnson said. ``But it was still a great finish, and we'll take it.''

DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
CHASE POINTS: second, 6,135 points (-14)
CAR: No. 11 FedEx Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 10
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 1st (Spring, 2010)
LAST WEEK: Kept Johnson well within reach thanks to a ninth-place finish at Talladega, though he needed a little luck to snatch a top-10. Dropped a lap down at one point, but a pair of cautions allowed him to get back on the lead lap.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I asked for nobody to really get killed (in the standings) ... and let us settle it on the racetracks where our cars and our teams can make a difference and us as drivers can make a difference,'' Hamlin said. ``And that's what we got.''

DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
CHASE POINTS: third, 6,111 points (-38)
CAR: No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 15
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 3rd (Fall, 2006)
LAST WEEK: Nearly backed up his win at Talladega in the spring with a runner-up finish last weekend despite having a banged-up car. Drew within 38 points with three races remaining as he pursues his first title.
CHASE CHATTER: ``Our car was kind of beat up in the front there, but it was just going to be a drag race there to the end,'' Harvick said. ``We did what we needed to do.''

DRIVER: Jeff Gordon
CHASE POINTS: fourth, 5,942 points (-207)
CAR: No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 19
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 1st (Spring, 2009)
LAST WEEK: Appeared poised to make a serious run at his first victory in seemingly forever at Talladega, but his tag-team effort with Johnson failed when Gordon's engine couldn't hack it over the final laps and he ended up eighth.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I started experiencing some weird things inside the car,'' Gordon said. ``It was kind of vibrating. There was a lot of smoke and it smelled like oil.''

DRIVER: Kyle Busch
CHASE POINTS: fifth, 5,919 points (-230)
CAR: No. 18 M&Ms Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 1.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 11
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 3rd (twice)
LAST WEEK: Had a fantastic car at Talladega, but didn't have any luck. Busch fell out of the draft and was shuffled back to 25th when the race-ending wreck occurred.
CHASE CHATTER: ``It's disappointing,'' Busch said. ``We had a good M&M's Camry and we led laps. We just weren't there at the end when we needed to be.''

DRIVER: Carl Edwards
CHASE POINTS: sixth, 5,902 points (-247)
CAR: No. 99 Aflac Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 13
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 1st (three times)
LAST WEEK: Avoided the Big One at Talladega, but couldn't overcome some issues late in the race that kept him out of the lead draft. Finished a so-so 17th before heading to a track where he's won three times in search of his first victory in two years.
CHASE CHATTER: ``Everything was going as planned that last lap,'' Edwards said. ``We needed to run that last lap because we were marching forward, but we didn't wreck the car and that's OK.''

DRIVER: Tony Stewart
CHASE POINTS: seventh, 5,832 points (-317)
CAR: No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet
TEAM: Stewart/Haas Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 17
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 1st (Fall, 2006)
LAST WEEK: A mad dash from the back to the front in the final laps at Talladega ended in disaster when he was caught up in A.J. Allmendinger's wreck that ended the race. Smoke finished 31st.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I got mowed over by somebody I don't know who, but that was ridiculous,'' Stewart said.

DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
CHASE POINTS: eighth, 5,825 points (-324)
CAR: No. 17 Crown Royal Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 2.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 16
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 1st (2002)
LAST WEEK: Continued a ho-hum Chase with a 16th-place effort at Talladega. Led 13 laps, but lost the lead draft at the end and slid quickly toward the back.
CHASE CHATTER: ``Things just didn't go our way there at the end of the race,'' Kenseth said. ``It seemed like we could be pretty competitive in exactly the right spot, but I had a really hard time maneuvering and I'd get stalled out pretty bad.''

DRIVER: Kurt Busch
CHASE POINTS: ninth, 5,799 points (-350)
CAR: No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
TEAM: Penske Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 15
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 1st (Fall, 2009)
LAST WEEK: Qualified third and ran among the leaders for most of the day at Talladega in search of his first restrictor-plate victory, but was caught up in traffic late and wound up 30th.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We ran in the top 10 all day and ready to make a run at the end, but never got the chance,'' Busch said. ``Typical Talladega.''

DRIVER: Jeff Burton
CHASE POINTS: 10th, 5,797 points (-352)
CAR: No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 2.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 19
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 1st (twice)
LAST WEEK: A misaligned bump draft from Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Talladega sent Burton into Jamie McMurray and then the wall with 55 laps to go. His crumpled car finished 41st.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We just didn't get lined up and I guess (Earnhardt) got me in the right-rear quarter panel and got me turned around,'' Burton said. ``It wasn't anything on purpose.''

DRIVER: Greg Biffle
CHASE POINTS: 11th, 5,788 points (-361)
CAR: No. 16 3M Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 13
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 1st (Fall, 2005)
LAST WEEK: Didn't hit the jackpot in NASCAR's version of the lottery. Ran as high as second at Talladega before getting grouped with slower cars in the end and came in 19th.
CHASE CHATTER: ``There weren't enough cars lined up behind us (at the end), I'm just happy I wasn't involved in anything,'' Biffle said. ``We escaped that, but we wanted a better finish than where we ended up.''

DRIVER: Clint Bowyer
CHASE POINTS: 12th, 5,782 points (-367)
CAR: No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER TEXAS STARTS: 9
BEST TEXAS FINISH: 4th (Fall, 2008)
LAST WEEK: Finally, some good karma. Bowyer found himself at the front when the Big One hit, and he outdueled teammate Kevin Harvick for his second win in the Chase. Even better? This one wasn't marred by penalties for breaking the rules like his win in Loudon in the Chase's first race.
CHASE CHATTER: ``Standing in the winner's circle with Clint and the team was real special because it brought back memories of being here 10 years ago with Dale Earnhardt when he won this race,'' team owner Richard Childress said. ``I was thinking about that.''
 

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