Monday, November 3, 2008

Chase race tightens

Don’t tell Carl Edwards this championship is over. Despite a nearly insurmountable deficit behind points leader Jimmie Johnson, Edwards continues to run hard, win and chip away. He received some especially good luck when the No. 48 team hiccupped with the car’s set up that effectively stalled their sprint to the championship. Johnson went down a lap early and was never able to adjust the car to get back into contention. The result? Edwards made up 77 points on Johnson, giving him a legitimate, albeit outside, chance at the championship. Had NASCAR not messed up the championship points standing with Chase, the standings would be even closer. Could you imagine the excitement generated in Phoenix and Homestead with just 21 points seperating the best two drivers? It has shades of 1992, but it won’t happen because of the Chase. And NASCAR wonders why its rating are sinking and the stands are empty.

Standings after Texas
1. Jimmie Johnson – 4902
2. Carl Edwards – 4881 (-21)
3. Kyle Busch – 4736 (-166)
4. Jeff Burton – 4528 (-374)
5. Greg Biffle – 4503 (-399)
6. Dale Earnhardt – 4415 (-487)
7. Jeff Gordon – 4332 (-570)
8. Kevin Harvick – 4307 (-595)
9. Tony Stewart – 4247 (-655)
10. Clint Bowyer – 4205 (-697)
11. Denny Hamlin – 4160 (-742)
12. Matt Kenseth – 4096 (-806)
13. David Ragan – 4074 (-828)

Lugnuts and spare tires:
When is Jeff Gordon going to win a race? He finished second to Edwards, but it is still not enough to extend his 14-year winning streak that began in 1994 when he won the Coke 600 and Brickyard 400 In his second season. That streak is just behind Dale Earnhardt, who won at least once in 15 straight years, and Ricky Rudd and Rusty Wallace, both of whom had 16-year win streaks. Gordon still has two races left, and his best shot appears to be this week at Phoenix, where he is a perennial contender.

If weekly scrub David Gilliland’s career isn’t over, then it should be. The driver of the No. 38 Yates car has been a failure in two seasons in Cup, but he should be bagging groceries after his stunt Sunday night. He and Juan Montoya were scrapping it up when Gilliland made a hard left turn into the No. 42’s rear panel. It sent Montoya hard into the wall. Gilliland said he misjudged the move while trying to pull behind Montoya. What a bunch of B.S. He clearly tried to dump the No. 42 in what could’ve been a deadly move. And even if it was an honest miscalculation, that shows an utter lack of talent. Regardless, Paul Menard is taking his ride next year. If Yates was smart, he would make sure it happened immediately

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