Glance at the 12 drivers in the Chase Print
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Wednesday, 17 November 2010 03:59
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 A glance at the 12 drivers competing in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship heading into this weekend's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (in order of points):
DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
CHASE POINTS: first, 6,462 points
CAR: No. 11 FedEx Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 5
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 1st (2009)
LAST WEEK: Seemed to have a firm grip on his first points title before miscalculating on fuel mileage at Phoenix. He was forced to pit late and wound up a disappointing 12th, opening the door for Johnson and Harvick to creep closer.
CHASE CHATTER: ``The strategy bit us,'' Hamlin said. ``We're just going to have to go there and do it the old-fashioned way next week and try to beat them on the race track. This is one of the bigger let downs I've had.''

DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
CHASE POINTS: second, 6,447 points (-15)
CAR: No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 9
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 2nd (2004)
LAST WEEK: You don't win four straight championships without a little luck. Sipped enough gas to coax a fifth-place finish at Phoenix and creep within 15 points of Hamlin heading to Miami.
CHASE CHATTER: ``(I want) to put the pressure on the 11,'' Johnson said. ``I hope being on his heels really works on his mind throughout the week, he and his crew. Those guys better be on their toes.''

DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
CHASE POINTS: third, 6,416 points (-46)
CAR: No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 9
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 2nd (twice)
LAST WEEK: Remained in the thick of the championship by salvaging a sixth-place finish in Phoenix despite a pit-road miscue. Probably needs to win in Miami and have Johnson and Hamlin struggle just a bit if he wants to take the title.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We just have to be aggressive,'' Harvick said. ``That's been a great race track, statistically, for us. It's our best race track on the circuit, so we're looking forward to it.''

DRIVER: Carl Edwards
CHASE POINTS: fourth, 6,198 points (-264)
CAR: No. 99 Aflac Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 6
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 1st (2008)
LAST WEEK: Ended a nearly two-year winless streak with a dominant victory at Phoenix. Led 93 laps and had no issues at the end to win for the first time since taking the checkered flag at Homestead at the end of the 2008 season.
CHASE CHATTER: ``It was a great day for us,'' Edwards said. ``To sweep the weekend here was pretty unbelievable. It was really special.''

DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
CHASE POINTS: fifth, 6,151 points (-311)
CAR: No. 17 Crown Royal Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 10
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 1st (2007)
LAST WEEK: Continued his late-Chase surge by finishing seventh in Phoenix, not bad considering he was forced to pit twice late due to a lug nut problem that sent him tumbling through the field.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We ran pretty good,'' Kenseth said. ``I think if we wouldn't have had to come back in, we probably had a top two or three car.''

DRIVER: Jeff Gordon
CHASE POINTS: sixth, 6,124 points (-338)
CAR: No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 11
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 3rd (2004)
LAST WEEK: Finished 11th in Phoenix in a rather uneventful race following the blowup in Texas the week before. Now heads to the only current track on the series schedule he hasn't won.
CHASE CHATTER: ``You don't want to be the guy that costs somebody the championship because you did something dumb racing for 10th place,'' Gordon said. ``But I think those guys also have to recognize that you're trying to win the race.''

DRIVER: Kyle Busch
CHASE POINTS: seventh, 6,115 points (-347)
CAR: No. 18 M&Ms Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 5
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 8th (2009)
LAST WEEK: Led twice for six laps in Phoenix before sliding to 13th after having fuel issues at the end of the race. Has been a nonfactor in the Chase, a surprise for one of the series' top drivers.
CHASE CHATTER: ``The guys gave me great stops all day,'' Busch said. ``We just had to pit with about 14 laps to go to make sure we could make it on fuel. That's just frustrating.''

DRIVER: Greg Biffle
CHASE POINTS: eighth, 6,113 points (-349)
CAR: No. 16 3M Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 8
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 1st (three times)
LAST WEEK: Moved up to eighth in the standings thanks to a fourth-place finish at Phoenix, benefiting when several cars ahead of him ran out of gas during the final laps.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We weren't that good but the fuel mileage worked out for us at the end,'' Biffle said. ``We had a top-10 car but we want to be better than that so we'll keep working on it.''

DRIVER: Tony Stewart
CHASE POINTS: ninth, 6,074 points (-388)
CAR: No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet
TEAM: Stewart/Haas Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 1.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 11
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 1st (twice)
LAST WEEK: ``Smoke'' slogged to a 17th-place finish at Phoenix when he was forced to nurse the No. 14 car to the finish line in hopes of making it on fuel. He did, but was the last car on the lead lap.
CHASE CHATTER: Stewart was not available for comment after the race in Phoenix.

DRIVER: Kurt Busch
CHASE POINTS: 10th, 6,033 points (-429)
CAR: No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
TEAM: Penske Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 9
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 1st (2002)
LAST WEEK: Fought an ill-handling car most of the day at Phoenix was but still able to finish ninth and climb inside the top 10 with a race to go.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We'll take the top-10 finish,'' Busch said after collecting just his second top-10 finish of the Chase. ``Our Miller Lite Dodge was a little temperamental today.''

DRIVER: Clint Bowyer
CHASE POINTS: 11th, 6,028 points (-434)
CAR: No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 1.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 4
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 5th (2008)
LAST WEEK: Was banged around pretty good in Phoenix and forced to drive with his car covered in black tape. Got off sequence on fuel late and slipped to 21st.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We just didn't come away with the finish we deserved,'' Bowyer said. ``I am proud of my guys. They worked hard on the car all weekend and deserved better.''

DRIVER: Jeff Burton
CHASE POINTS: 12th, 5,958 points (-504)
CAR: No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER MIAMI STARTS: 11
BEST MIAMI FINISH: 2nd (2009)
LAST WEEK: Ran in the top 10 in the desert but ended up 19th after he was forced to pit with eight laps to go when he ended up short on fuel.
CHASE CHATTER: ``It's disappointing in the fact that we finished 19th, but I can't complain about where we were running and how well the No. 31 ran,'' Burton said. ``We have one more chance to win a race this season and that's what we're going to set out to do.''
 

NASCAR Odds

Driver Odds
Sprint Cup - Odds to Win the Hollywood Casino 400 @ Kansas Speedway
Jeff Gordon #24 +400
Kevin Harvick #4 +450
Brad Keselowski #2 +550
Jimmie Johnson #48 +550
Joey Logano #22 +800
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