Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Little Chase to Chase Comparison

This time last year, the standings for the Sprint Cup Chase sure looked mighty different.

Who would have thought things would have changed so much in 2010?

For starters, Kevin Harvick is sitting pretty this year. So far, Happy is perched in the top spot with one win to his credit. Not so last year, as he was stuck back in the 23rd spot after Richmond. And even though the NASCAR media has dubbed Jamie McMurray the new bump-draft king, Harvick really deserves the crown. His consecutive wins at the Bud Shootout and his smooth, race-winning move at Dega are proof positive of that.

Unfortunately for Smoke fans, it's now Tony Stewart's turn to be on the outside looking in. Granted, last year's early-season success was atypical for Smoke, it's still a bit disconcerting that he's now in the 15th spot. Good thing about Stewart, he's liable to crank up the summer heat and snag a win or two to gain those all-important bonus points.

Regarding bonus points, Jimmie Johnson stands to gain the most of any driver with an impressive three wins to his credit thus far. Even though Four-Time has had some uncharacteristic issues during the last two races, he's actually in great shape points-wise, with a second-place spot. Last year about now, Johnson was in sixth - and we all remember how last year turned out.

And here's a little prediction - Paul Menard may have shocked and awed the NASCAR world during the first few races of the year, but he won't be the big sleeper. I'm betting that Martin Truex Jr. will keep gaining spots and take Michael Waltrip Racing smack into the thick of the Chase.

At least I hope so. I'd sure like to hear a Chase version of that Napa Know How commercial ...

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