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Blog Entry

Chase for the Sprint Cup

Posted on: September 17, 2009 4:13 pm

Alright, I said I would do this once the chase came, and now here it is. I will put up all the chase drivers as predictions for the chase, explain a bit what they have done, and my power rankings for each driver during the second half of pre-chase.
_.) (Where I place this is based on their 2nd segment performance.) (The number in parenthesis is where I predict they will finish after all is said and done.)
1.) Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Yup, he's going to be the same that he was last year, at least most likely. Why do I believe that? Apart from 2 races where he had major problems, not once since late June did he finish below 13th, that's a pretty good bar. And let's not mention that he only gets better with the chase, as much as I wish someone else would win, and how many are saying he won't because we want someone new, I'm afraid nobody can stop him. Once he gets a win in the chase, he will be gone, which shouldn't take him that long. (1)

2.) Denny Hamlin- Denny Hamlin I have to lay this man some props, 2 wins, 1 bad race, and a 15th, other than that all top 10s from mid-June, but then why didn't I rank him higher than Johnson, because he just hasn't been as dominant, he has just finished a bit better, barely, Denny Hamlin has 3 50+ leading lap performances since late-May, Johnson, 6, with only 1 being 100+ laps led perfomances from Hamlin, the most recent one, as compared to Johnson's 4. Now as far as the chase goes, there are 8 out of 10 races in the chase where we have raced this year, and how many of them did Denny Hamlin get a top 5 in... 1, which was 2nd place, how many as a top 10... 3, 2 of the other 5 were crashes. Fact of the matter is... Denny Hamlin doesn't have races that suit him as well in the chase, apart from Martinsville and maybe 1 or 2 others. Unlike last year, he will do better, but he will not live up to expectations. (8)

3.) Tony Stewart Tony Stewart From the very mid of May until late August, he never finsihed below 10th, that's quite a bit. The only reason why he is behind Johnson is due to his last 4 races, where he would finsih in the lead lap 3/4, indicating that he didn't have problems, but finsihed 11th, and 17th twice, just that could really kill him coming into the chase. Will he come back, most likely, but will he win the whole thing, unless he can win at New Hampshire, he will likely not have the momentum until later in the chase, when it is too late. (3)

4.) Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Since June, he has had 3 bad races, that's still a bit of a number, because that can eliminate you in a chase, yet, he never finished below 10th, and then again, he never run during that stretch. But he won at Texas, a race he never won at before, and its in the chase, I don't think he will win there, but it may get him enough morale for a top 5, and that could be a nice gap there, if he really can get a top 5 there, which I believe he can, and get a win at least somewhere in the chase, then he could possibly win. (2)

5.) Mark Martin Mark Martin Lets give the old man some props, he's the oldest guy out there, he won the most races during the regular season, he won 2 since mid June and also has 4 other top 5s in there, 3 of them being in the last 3 races run... but now here comes the bad news, during this time he had not 1, not 2, but 3 finishes outside the top 30, bad luck, and also another outside the top 2. Fact of the matter is, everyone would love for this guy to win, he is the guy that everyone wants to see win. But honestly, he just has too much of a chance to have at least 2 bad races, and just that will knock him out of contention. If he only has one finish outside the top 30, which seems very unlikely, he may stand a chance. Also from 8 chase tracks ran earlier in the season, 1 win, then just 3 in the top 10, and at least 2 crashes, he might win a race in the chase, but overall... (6)

6.) Kurt Busch Kurt Busch He's the true underdog in the chase, and this guy has the potential to possibly win, so long as he gets a win, first, lets talk about his second segment... since late may, he has 8 top 10s, but he also has 3 races outside the top 30, 1 outside the top 20, and 2 from 15th through 17th, doesn't seem like winning material... but now lets look at his performance at races in the chase. Out of the 8 races we have ran that are in the chase, 4 of them Kurt Busch finished in the top 5, and 6 of 8 in the top 10, and one he got lapped, Lowe's, but during the all-star race, he finished 3rd. The only race leftover is Martinsville, which he finsihed 18th, yet Kurt has been known to get good finishes there. All he needs is a win early, New Hampshire maybe, and he could get momentum back to be a threat to win, and remember, only 3 drivers, including him, know how to win a chase. (4)

7.) Carl Edwards Carl Edwards Since mid-may, 7 races in the top 5, one other in the top 10, and only 1 crash, yet, 7 have been between 10th and 20th, just indicating so-so performances, you can't do that in the chase, yet it is the chase, you can't count Carl Edwards out after last year, yet without a win so far, he might not be able to do it, he's pretty decent at chase tracks this year, but he will need a win and quick for momentum or his so-so finishes will be the death of him this year, don't expect more than 1 really bad finish though. (7)

8.) Kasey Kahne Kasey Kahne He did better than most suspected in the 2nd half, getting a spot in the chase, but what did he do? Since late-May, he got 2 wins, and 6 other top 10s apart from those, here's the big stat, now a single race during this time did he finish below 30th, and only 1 race throughout the whole season did he finish below 30th! Watch out guys, for Kasey Kahne maybe bullet-proof going through the chase, I still believe he will have one bad one, likely where he did last time, Talladega. But if he can avoid all the bullets, he may get a top 5 in the chase, possibly even be a threat due to those 2 wins and his ability to stay out of DNFs this year, that has really been the big difference for him this year. (5)

9.) Brain Vickers Brian Vickers Wheather you like it or not, he made the chase, and for good reason. Since late May, he has 9 races in the top 10, including a win. And only once bad race since mid june, with only 3 outside the top 10 since then, he had 2 outside the top 20 before that though, and never led for more than 50 laps this whole season. the only thing is that during the chase tracks he hasn't done that well, and that will be his downfall during the chase, he may do better than most, but not by much, also take into consideration that this is his first chase, he stands next to no chance. (12)

10.) Ryan Newman Ryan Newman The only reason he is up here is due to consistency, how many laps did he lead during the second half... 22, that's it, no dominance is there, without dominance, you can't win a chase. Since late May though, he did have 6 finishes in the top 10, and that's not even great, but no finishes haven't been outside the top 30, which is why he is ahead of the other 2. Considering how he did during chase races too, I might be underestimating him, but considering the competition, he shouldn't have much fight for the championship. (9)

11.) Juan Pablo Montoya Juan Pablo Montoya He has 9 top 5s since late May, which is a pretty nice stat, and during this stretch, only 3 have been outside the top 20, that's really nice, yet he only had 1 dominant performance, which he ended up 11th in. He did decent in some chase races, yet he probably won't stand a good chance in the whole scheme of things in the chase, consisentcy don't cut it, and I don't see him getting a win. (10)

12.) Greg Biffle Greg Biffle He shouldn't be in the chase, at least that's what I believe. Since late May, only 6 have been in the top 10, true 5 were in the top 5, but he only led for 50+ laps during 1 race, and he has many below 15th during this time, he has been too inconsistent, and the only reason I rank him ahead from Vickers during the chase is because of his ability to be able to win, he also had 2 other 40+ lap led performances, so he can finish good, and possibly win a race or 2 like he did when he shocked the world last year as soon as the chase came up, but I don't think it will happen, and also he has more experience than Vickers. (11)

Chase Prediction List:

1.) Jimmie Johnson

2.) Jeff Gordon

3.) Tony Stewart

4.) Kurt Busch

5.) Kasey Kahne

6.) Mark Martin

7.) Carl Edwards

8.) Denny Hamlin

9.) Ryan Newman

10.) Juan Pablo Montoya

11.) Greg Biffle

12.) Brian Vickers


Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: September 17, 2009 4:59 pm

Chase for the Sprint Cup

BTW- I thought I read somewhere that you had homework to do. Was this your homework?? LOL -CoachUmmm... well... that's because I thought this would only take 30 minutes, it actually took a while to finsih... and... I'm a really good procrastinator, lol.

Since: Jan 22, 2009
Posted on: September 17, 2009 4:29 pm

Chase for the Sprint Cup

Nice job Roush!!! Excellent explanations to your predictions. Let's check it in about 10 weeks. :)

BTW- I thought I read somewhere that you had homework to do. Was this your homework?? LOL -Coach

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