Monday, September 22, 2008

Three-car chase

What a race. The last 20 laps were astounding as three Roush-Fenway teammates bumped and battled for the checkers in the second Chase event at Dover. The ESPN commentators were saying this was one of the best races at Dover they’ve ever seen. And they were right. Thankfully, the Steelers/Eagles were at halftime, giving me and other Pittsburghers plenty of time to watch the mad dash to the finish.

This wasn’t a typical race with a few cars shifting around each other for an important win. The fact these were teammates, all of whom raced each other clean, is what made this race so special. Matt Kenseth first battled Carl Edwards with about 20 to go and eventually got past him. Then he had to hold off a furious challenge from Greg Biffle, who eventually took the lead on lap 9 and never looked back. All of this, meanwhile, happened around a pack of lap cars.

Most watching had to think Edwards was out of it because he took only two tires on the final pit stop. But several lap cars slowed Kenseth and Biffle, allowing him to catch up and even get a nose under the first place car. It just makes you wonder what team owner Jack Roush was thinking during those frantic 20 laps. Sure, he had a great shot of one of his cars winning, but it seems as if the chances of a three-car disaster were even more likely. Could you imagine the headlines today if those three crashed each other with a few laps to go? But they didn’t, and it appears Roush is well positioned for his third Cup title in six years.

This is what NASCAR should be about. Regardless of how the Chase unfolds in the next eight weeks, this was one of the best Sprint Cup races I’ve seen in quite a while.

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