Page 2 for the week of 10-06-2014

The First Reid: Pre-Chase favorites need misfortune to others

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

You won’t hear Chase drivers, particularly those wiped out in Sunday accidents at Kansas Speedway, mouthing vanilla mantras like “I wouldn’t wish misfortune on any of my competitors.”

In fact, rampant misfortune to other Chase drivers is precisely what Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are hoping for.

“There is still a lot of racing left,” Johnson said Sunday, standing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage as his team repaired the No. 48 Chevrolet, wrecked in a multicar incident on Lap 85. “Stuff can happen.

“We’ll see how the other Chasers fare. If I can get taken out today, somebody else can later in this event or at Charlotte.”

Johnson’s words proved prophetic. Earnhardt popped a tire and slammed into the Turn 4 wall on Lap 122. Keselowski blew a right front and whacked the Turn 2 wall on Lap 160.

Keselowski likened his misfortune to losing a game of Russian Roulette. To extend the analogy, if other Chase drivers don’t find a bullet in the chamber during the next two races, Keselowski is in serious trouble, along with Earnhardt and Johnson.

For those three drivers, the best-case scenario is to miss a “Big One” at Talladega that gobbles up the rest of the Chase field. Remember 2008, when missing a wreck that collected half the Chasers launched Johnson to his third straight series title.

So if you hear Johnson, Keselowski or Earnhardt say they don’t want to advance because of others’ misfortunes, don’t believe it.

They don’t mean it.

 @nascarcasm

The motivational poster hanging in every Chaser’s motorcoach

The motivational poster hanging in every Chaser’s motorcoach

The Contender Round begins. Points earned from wins in the Challenger Round? Gone. Points earned from NOT winning in the Challenger Round? Still there. Sorry, Biffle and all you other suckas.

Here’s what happened at Kansas. Joey Logano won. And based on the number of Chasers who had trouble, I think Joey Gase advanced to the Eliminator Round.

Sunday marked Clint Bowyer’s first race as the father of a new baby boy. He required lots of attention, didn’t fuss much, and frequently needed a bottle. His son, too.

Kyle Larson is clearly knocking on the door of victory. The problem is that victory hasn’t answered yet because it thinks he’s a 4th-grader selling tins of popcorn for an elementary-school fundraiser.

(Follow @nascarcasm on Twitter. His unique views on NASCAR are his own – but chances are you have probably figured that out by now.)

NASCAR NUMBERS

By Reid Spencer­

­­ 8: The series-best number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles won this year by Kevin Harvick, who added his eighth of the season last Friday at Kansas Speedway. The bad news? The only pole Harvick has converted into a victory this year came at Darlington back in April.

5: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup victories recorded this season by Joey Logano, Sunday’s winner at Kansas Speedway. Logano and Team Penske shop mate Brad Keselowski share the series lead in victories, but their fortunes at Kansas couldn’t have been more disparate. Logano won. Keselowski finished 36th after a blown tire sent him rocketing into the wall.

1: The number of top-five finishes posted by Kyle Busch in 15 starts at Kansas Speedway. With his breakthrough third-place run at Kansas on Sunday, Busch now boasts at least one top five at every active Sprint Cup track.

44: In points, Jimmie Johnson’s deficit to Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup leader Joey Logano after the first race in the Contender Round. More to the point, Johnson trails eighth-place Jeff Gordon by 27 points with only two races left to survive the cut from 12 to eight drivers.

3.25: The average finish of Sunoco rookie of the year leader and Kansas runner-up Kyle Larson in the first four Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. Only Joey Logano, winner of two of the first four Chase races, has a better average—2.5. The only problem for Larson? He isn’t in the Chase.

NASCAR NOTES

Joey Logano punched his ticket to the Eliminator Round by winning at Kansas on Sunday. The 24-year-old led 122-of-267 laps (45.7%) and registered a 144.7 driver rating on his way to Victory Lane. He has been dominant in four Chase for the NASCAR Sprint races with two wins and a series-best average finish of 2.5.  … Too bad Kyle Larson missed out on qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He has accumulated the second-most points through the first four Chase races (164) and has an average finish of 3.25. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year frontrunner will attempt to notch his first-career victory this Saturday in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. on ABC). … Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup favorites Brad Keselowksi, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson are in danger of missing the cut after disappointing finishes at Kansas on Sunday. Luckily, they all have experienced success at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where they will try to win or gain back ground in Saturday’s Bank of America 500 (7:30 p.m. on ABC). Johnson won this year’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte and holds the track record with seven all-time wins. Keselowski took the checkered flag in last season’s October race in the Queen City, while Earnhardt claims 11 top-10 finishes in 29 Charlotte starts.

Tune-In: NASCAR On Television, October 6-12

Monday, October 6

4:30 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Tuesday, October 7

7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

Wednesday, October 8

5:30 a.m., The 10: NASCAR’s Most Bizarre Moments (re-air), FOX Sports 1

7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

7:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

11 a.m., TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Race at Road Atlanta (re-air), FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

7:30 p.m., The 10: NASCAR’s Closest Calls (re-air),

FOX Sports 2

Thursday, October 9

7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

7:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

5:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice, ESPN2

7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, ESPN2

1:30 a.m. (Fri.), NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

2 a.m. (Fri.), NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

2:30 a.m. (Fri.), NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

Friday, October 10                                           

7:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice, ESPN2

5:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice, ESPN2

7 p.m., NNS Countdown, ESPN2

7:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Charlotte, ESPN2

Saturday, October 11

11 a.m., The 10: NASCAR’s Greatest Races (re-air),

FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Dover (re-air), FOX Sports 2

6 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 2

7 p.m., NSCS Countdown, ABC

7:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Charlotte, ABC

2:30 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

3 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1

3 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Charlotte (re-air), ESPN2

Sunday, October 12

9:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FOX Sports 1

Noon, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Race at Road Atlanta, FOX Sports 1

12:30 a.m. (Mon.), NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

1 a.m. (Mon.), NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

National Series Schedule

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

The Next Race:Bank of America 500

The Place:Charlotte Motor Speedway

The Date/Time:Saturday, Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: ABC

Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES

The Next Race:Drive for the Cure 300 Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

The Place:Charlotte Motor Speedway

The Date/Time:Friday, Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPN2

Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

The Next Race:Fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola

The Place:Talladega  Superspeedway

Date/Time:Saturday, Oct. 18, 1:00 p.m. (ET)

TV: FOX

Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Channel 90

 

NASCAR National Series Standings

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field was trimmed down to 12 for the Contender Round, after the four winless drivers with the lowest points totals following Dover were eliminated.

Points for all championship-qualifying drivers, regardless of Challenger Round victories, were reset to 3,000.

This year, wins matter more than in any season in the 65-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Just like the Challenger Round, a victory in the Contender Round automatically advances a championship-qualifying driver into the next segment of the Chase.

At the conclusion of the Contender Round’s third race (Talladega), the four winless drivers with the lowest points totals will again be eliminated.

*Advanced to Eliminator Round with a win

Chase Standings
Pos     Driver                     Points

1        Joey Logano*          3,048

2        Kyle Busch               3,042

3        Carl Edwards           3,039

4        Ryan Newman         3,039

5        Denny Hamlin         3,037

6        Kevin Harvick          3,033

7        Matt Kenseth          3,031

8        Jeff Gordon             3,031

9        Kasey Kahne           3,023

10     Brad Keselowski     3,009

11     Dale Earnhardt Jr.  3,006

12     Jimmie Johnson      3,004

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Pos        Driver                 Points

1      Chase Elliott #            1,068

2      Regan Smith               1,030

3      Ty Dillon #                  1,028

4      Brian Scott                 1,011

5      Elliott Sadler              1,008

6      Trevor Bayne                971

7      Chris Buescher #          874

8      Brendan Gaughan        846

9      Ryan Reed #                  791

10   James Buescher           779

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Pos    Driver                      Points

1        Matt Crafton               644

2        Johnny Sauter             625

3        Ryan Blaney                617

4        Darrell Wallace Jr.     611

5        Joey Coulter                562

6        German Quiroga        559

7        Timothy Peters           549

8        Ben Kennedy #           546

9        Jeb Burton                   527

10     Ron Hornaday Jr.        484

 

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