After the Talladega race, 25 guys sent Tony Stewart hate mail and 1 sent him a fruit basket. Can you guess who sent the fruit? Matt Kenseth needed 2 things to happen to get back in the Chase. He needed a big wreck to eat up the Chase field and he needed to win. He got them both, but the crash came too late in the day to help him move up in the standings. Kesolowski still holds the lead over Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.
|2012 NASCAR Chase Standings after Race 4 of 10|
|1. Brad Keselowski||2,179||The Blue Duce has the Chase winning formula down. Win some races, never finish out of the top 10 and be lucky.|
|2. Jimmie Johnson||2,165 (-14)||6 wins in Charlotte means he is a contender for a win. Recent bad luck in Charlotte makes him a contender for heartbreak as well.|
|3. Denny Hamlin||2,156 (-23)||With 4 consecutive top-10′s, Hamlin is in for a good finish. Catching Keselowski or Johnson might take a great finish.|
|4. Kasey Kahne||2,143 (-36)||He won the spring race and is looking to sweep the track, but he has never posted back-2-back high finishes at CMS.|
|5. Clint Bowyer||2,139 (-40)||He has a mixed record on the “Cookie Cutter” tracks that host 3 of the next 4 races. Needs a win or 2 to make a move.|
|6. Jeff Gordon||2,137 (-42)||Starting to climb up the standings and has a chance to win at CMS like he has done 5 times before.|
|7. Tony Stewart||2,133 (-46)||The villain of Talladega has 1 Charlotte win, but 12 wins on similar tracks. I am looking for a strong finish|
|8. Martin Truex Jr.||2,131 (-48)||With no top 5′s in the Chase yet, Truex is dropping into the also ran category.|
|9. Greg Biffle||2,130 (-49)||No CMS wins, but success on other “CC” tracks make Biffle a threat. Needs to get some wins soon.|
|10. Kevin Harvick||2,130 (-49)||Was a CMS winner in 2011 and needs something to happen to get back in the Chase. That something would be a win and the 11 other Chasers to fail to start the race.|
|11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2,128 (-51)||Due to a concussion from Talladega, Jr. will be sitting out Charlotte and Kansas.|
|12. Matt Kenseth||2,117 (-62)||He won this race last year and he is feeling pretty good after his Dega win. Look for Kenseth to post another top-5 finish this weekend.|
I have been to a dozen races at CMS and they have been hit or miss, but I am seriously thinking about going this weekend considering I won’t have to hear the constant yells of the Dale Jr. fans every time he passes someone. I look for the JGR cars Kyle Busch and Joey Logano to carry the flag for the non-chasers and for Mark Martin to get the pole. I really like Hendrick cars in this race. Gordon, Johnson and Kahne all have great shots at a win. I am going to pick Kasey Kahne to get a big Chase win and to move into the top 3 of the standings.