Race for the Chase is About to Boil Over
The 25 competitions, 214 cautions, 9,706 miles, 468 lead changes and 6,936 laps of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint cup Series have been a barn burner with the energy and pace NASCAR had hoped they would have when they implemented the Chase. All of the work comes down to one last race for many racers just outside the results they need to make NASCAR’s playoffs. Four NASCAR drivers have punched their tickets to the Chase and are sitting pretty, although they have work to do as they use the time to get prepare for the final race, and just to build confidence they need to do well in Richmond. This group includes Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, and Denny Hamlin. The numbers never lie if you learn how to read them and for at least ten drivers Saturday night has implications that are going to determine the result of all the work they and the team did during the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. There are only eight spots left in the Chase and 122 points separating the closest ten racers and their dreams of a berth in the Chase. Currently. Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Juan Montoya, Ryan Newman, Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, and Matt kenseth can all get a lock on a place in the Chase with a good result in Richmond.
Carl Edwards needs to finish at least 24th at Richmond to make the Chase but he had a 216 point lead over 13th place racer Brian Vickers three races ago and this has dwindled to 105 points. Kasey Kahne must finish at least 21st Saturday night at Richmond or he’ll be watching from the stands. This is despite just winning his second race of the Sprint Cup Series season and jumping five spots in the race for the Chase. The rest are in similar positions, but they don’t need to finish as well as these two gentlemen, who are sitting on the edge, looking down at the rocks.
The last race before the Chase, the Chevy Rock and Roll 400, runs this Saturday night on the pavement of Richmond International Raceway (7 p.m. ET, ABC). This competition is going to be one of the most important and pivotal races of the 2009 Sprint Cup Series and will help determine all the stops as NASCAR gets ready for the Chase.
“Image: Zuma Press”