Nascar News - Week of August 27th
The Chase for the Sprint Cup inched one week closer as the NASCAR Sprint Cup series emerged from a wild race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Tempers flared all night long as several contenders in the Chase for the Sprint Cup had bad races. Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth were involved in a heated exchange after they wrecked each other. The two formers champions rubbed against each other headed into the turn. Kenseth checked up into Stewart, and almost forced him to wreck into the wall. Stewart pushed him back to get some room, but this caused Kenseth's car to get loose. They both wrecked and lost ground in the points standing.
Stewart even threw his helmet at Kenseth’s car as he passed him on pit road. As a result of this accident, Tony Stewart now finds himself in a precarious situation. He hasn't been as good or as consistent this year as he would have liked while defending his Sprint Cup championship. He is now in danger of falling out of the Chase completely if he doesn't start having good finishes again. Only 2 races remain until the Chase begins. The better teams are starting to become clearer as the regular season comes to a close. Stewart does still have a cushion against falling out of the Chase, but he will have to recover quickly if he hopes to make another run at the championship.
After a disastrous week at Michigan, Jimmie Johnson had another great run at Bristol. The former 5 time Sprint Cup champion blew an engine at Michigan with 5 laps to go. The worst part was that he was leading the race. Johnson finished 2nd at Bristol and he moved up to 2nd in the points standings on the season. He is looking to make yet another impressive run at a 6th championship. Everyone involved in NASCAR knows that Johnson will be in the thick of everything when the chips are down. It wouldn't be a wise move to bet against Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus with everything on the line.
Denny Hamlin all but sealed his spot in the Chase with his win at Bristol Motor Speedway. The win was Hamlin's 3rd of the season and it vaulted him into 8th in the point standings. He will now try to build even more momentum as the Chase drawers closer. His team could be a dangerous one as the run to the Sprint Cup championship gets underway. With so many changing factors each and every day, the most consistent race teams will have the best shot at winning the championship.
The next race is the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. High speeds and exciting racing are the normal expectations at Atlanta. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will look to continue his great season and maintain his 3rd place spot in the points. A strong run at Atlanta would put him in a good position as the Chase rolls around. Tony Stewart will try to stop the bleeding from his recent struggles and return to his winning ways. The reigning and defending NASCAR champion doesn't look like a champion now, but fans have witnessed his fortunes change quickly before. The NASCAR 2012 season is full of excitement now and it will only grow more as the next few weeks unfold.