Monday, September 20, 2010

Welcome to the Chase - NASCAR's Own Version of "Survivor"

Clint Bowyer celebrates his
win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
If Sunday's race at Loudon was the first episode of Survivor, then Clint Bowyer would have the immunity idol and Jimmie Johnson would be in danger of getting voted off the island.

Bowyer took advantage of what turned into a fuel mileage race to take his first checkers since 2008. And, as a result, he rocketed from twelfth to second in points. 

Meanwhile, reigning champ Johnson dropped like a rock from second to seventh in points after getting caught up in a mid-pack spin.  He ended the day in twenty-fifth spot.

On Survivor, fire represents life.  And if that's the case, then Smoke was nigh unto death as his car ran out of gas at the race's end.  While Bowyer began his victory burnout, Tony Stewart (the former race leader) was still sputtering across the finish line in twenty-fourth spot.

But beyond Bowyer, there were several other Chasers who managed to outwit, outplay and outlast at Loudon.  These are the guys who head to Dover with momentum on their side.

Denny Hamlin took a race that started as a basket of lemons and turned it into a dry citrus martini.  His impressive second-place finish was hard fought and well-earned.  Talk about an auspiscious beginning for a championship run.

Mr. Consistency and pre-chase points leader Kevin Harvick made good on a bad qualifying run and a faux pas in the pits to leave Loudon in the top five.

And Jeff Gordon, who has had a season of ups and downs, was there when it counted, bringing the No. 24 Chevy home in sixth spot.

Speaking of Hendrick Motorsports, former HMS jackman Chase Rice is a contestant on this season's "Survivor: Nicaragua"

And in case you were wondering, Rice did manage to last 'til week two.

Wonder of he'll perform better than Johnson ...

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