Sunday, September 21, 2008

Breaking Down The Chase For The Sprint Cup

Despite the fact that Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, and Jimmie Johnson have won 18 of the first 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2008, now that the Chase roster has been determined, 12 drivers set their sights on winning the 2008 Sprint Cup. Here are some interesting facts that you may or may not know about this year's Chase contenders.

*Jimmie Johnson & Matt Kenseth are the only two drivers to make the Chase since it's inception in 2004. Kenseth's top finish was a 2nd place effort in 2006. Johnson is going for his third straight Cup title in 2008, a feat that has only been accomplished once, when Cale Yarborough won three in a row from 1976-1978.

*Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and Carl Edwards certainly have momentum on their side. Starting with the July 5th Daytona race, they combined to win 9 straight events up through the final race before the Chase at Richmond on September 7th.

*All 12 drivers in the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup are Chase veterans. In addition to Johnson and Kenseth participating in all five years of the Chase, this is at least the second Chase for the Cup that the other 10 drivers have been a part of: Jeff Gordon & Tony Stewart (4 times), Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick (3 times), and Greg Biffle & Clint Bowyer (2 times).

*Four drivers in the 2008 Chase have yet to win a race in 2008: Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, and Tony Stewart. Entering the 2007 Chase they had a combined nine wins between them.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup has truly given NASCAR a "playoff" atmosphere. With a little luck, any one of these 12 drivers can step up and claim the title. There are a lot of interesting stories in this year's Chase. I don't have a favorite, but I would love to see a close race that gets decided in the final laps of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

No comments: