NASCAR Racing: The Chase For The Sprint Cup


Louden, NH

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season is now over and the chase for the Sprint Cup starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This track is the Magic Mile, just over one mile long and flat. Last year Mark Martin won the first race of the chase.

Here’s a look at the chase contenders.

1.Denny Hamlin won the race at Richmond, his sixth win this year.That places him at the top of the point standings to start the chase. His regular season wins were: Martinsville (a chase track), Texas (also a chase track), Darlington, Pocono and Michigan.

2. Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie has won the last four championships. Three championships in a row was the most anyone has ever had, that driver being Cale Yarborough. Jimmie is now going for his fifth in a row. Four in a row was unprecedented, can he make it five in a row? In my opinion, the chase was made for Jimmie Johnson.He has five regular season wins. Auto Club, Las Vegas, his first win at Bristol, Infineon and the last race at New Hampshire. Perhaps he will sweep New Hampshire and start the chase off with a win.

3. Kevin Harvick. Kevin was the points leader before the chase started. His three wins puts him in third for the chase. Kevin won at Talladega, the second race at Dayton and the second race at Michigan. Kevin held the points lead for 18 straight weeks before the chase began. In my opinion, it would be great if he wins the chase after being the points leader for so long. Can he do it? I hope so. He has been running very well this year.

4. Kyle Busch. Kyle also has three wins this year. He won the first race at Richmond, the first race at Dover (a chase track) and the second race at Bristol. I won’t go into how I feel about this driver. However, in 2008 Kyle had 8 wins going into the chase, leading the points. He did no winning in the chase that year. And failed to make the chase last year.

5.Kurt Busch. Kurt was the very first chase winner in 2004. He has won this year at Atlanta and swept the races at Charlotte by winning the non-points All Star Race and the Coca Cola 600, the next weekend.

6. Tony Stewart. This is Tony’s second year as a driver/owner. Last year he led the points lead before the chase. His lone win this year was the second race at Atlanta. Tony won the second chase.

7. Greg Biffle. Greg clinched his spot in the chase when Jason Leffler became the first car to not finish at Richmond. He won the second race at Pocono. Greg started his career in the Craftsman Truck Series, winning the championship there. He moved on to the Busch Series and won the championship there as well. Can he win a Sprint Cup championship?

8. Jeff Gordon. Jeff has four championships under his belt. All were Winston Cup championships. He has yet to win a chase. And he has yet to win a race this year. Jeff finished the regular season in second place, despite his not winning a race.

9. Carl Edwards. Carl is also winless this year, his last win being the season finale at Homestead in 2008, where he had a season high 9 wins. He finished second that year.

10. Jeff Burton. Jeff has no wins this year but has come close a number of times. He went winless last year and didn’t make the chase. But his car came on strong at the end of last year. If he can close a few races and stay out of trouble he could win his first championship.

11. Matt Kenseth. Matt won the 2003 Winston Cup championship, the last one under the old format. The chase was created because he it won with only one win, while others had several wins. However, NASCAR did not award more points for wins, but gave winners ten points toward the chase if they made it into the chase. In my opinion, racing has no need for a play-off when it has no leagues and the Super Bowl is the first race of the season. Matt has no wins this year and has much work to do if he intends to win a Sprint Cup trophy.

12. Clint Bowyer. Clint was one of three drivers who had a chance to race his way into the chase this year. And he did just that by finishing sixth at Richmond. He also has no wins this year. And failed to make the chase last year. However, Clint’s first win was at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which starts off the chase.


I’m not a fan of the 26 race season and a 10 race play-off. In my opinion, it’s just a way to hype up the last ten races. And in my opinion, racing is exciting without the chase to talk about. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is 36 races long and I liked it that way. The champion should be the driver who is the best in those 36 races, not the one best in the last ten races. Jimmie would not have those four championships in a row if the champion was the one that was best in all 36 races. If the goal is to have the drivers race for wins and the winner of the most races to win the championship, give more points to race winners instead of just 10 to seed them in the chase. The drivers wouldn’t want to settle for second. Or tenth.

NASCAR would get more fans by presenting racing as exciting, each race is exciting. Rather than NASCAR being a sport with a play-off. Fans of the other 30 drivers would be watching the last ten races if there were no chase. Ryan Newman starts the chase in thirteenth. He could win all the ten races and still find himself in thirteenth in points at the end of the year. Denny Hamlin, first going into the chase, could finish 35th or worse in every race in the chase and still do no worse than 12th. I don’t find that very exciting. It was more exciting watching the drivers in the top ten in points racing into or falling out of the top ten. All drivers out there matter. Not just twelve of them. That’s my opinion as a passionate NASCAR fan for many rears.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.


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One Response to “NASCAR Racing: The Chase For The Sprint Cup”

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