The Sports Dump 2012 Chase Week 5 Recap and Week 6 Preview

With only 5 races left in the NASCAR season, I am going to remove 7 drivers from contention for the 2012 title in my mind.  I don’t see anyone outside of 40 points getting in it.

The theme of the Chase has been the “Fuel Mileage Win” and Clint Bowyer got another one in Charlotte last weekend.  I know Bowyer is tired of not being able to do burnouts after wins, but I think he is okay with it.  Keselowski got on the wrong side of the fuel issue and let JJ and Denny get close.  The last 5 races look to be heating up and should be in for a very good finish to the 2012 season.  Will it be as good as 2011 finish?  It may be.

2012 NASCAR Chase Standings after Race 5 of 10
1.  Brad Keselowski 2,214 Failed to finish in the top 10 for the 1st time since late August and gave up some breathing room.  Can he get it back in Kansas?
2.  Jimmie Johnson 2,207 (-7)  2-time Kansas winner will be a threat, but how much the track changed will be a factor.
3.  Denny Hamlin 2,199 (-15) Did his Kansas momentum go away with the old track surface?  His wreck in practice may be a sign for a big slip.
4.  Clint Bowyer 2,186 (-28) His win in Charlotte was his 3rd of the season and the race is in his home state of Kansas.  I like his chances.
5.  Kasey Kahne 2,179 (-35) Had a very bland race in Charlotte.  Was a favorite and never showed any flash. 
6.  Greg Biffle 2,171 (-43) 2-time Kansas winner needs a win to get into the fight.  No win, but a top 5 finish. 
7.  Martin Truex Jr. 2,165 (-49)  Surprised he is at #7.  He has done nothing and he just turns laps.
8.  Tony Stewart 2,164 (-50) 50 pts out with 5 races to go is a monster gap, but Stewart has wins in Kansas and can get one again.
9.  Jeff Gordon 2,164 (-50)  Bad Charlotte race puts him out of reach.  Has 2 wins in Kansas, but they were 10 years ago.
10.  Kevin Harvick 2,158 (-56)  Read Martin Truex Jr.
11.  Matt Kenseth 2,147 (-67)  YOU’RE DONE SON!!
12.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2,128 (-86) For the 2nd week in a row Jr. will be sitting out due to his concussion.  His title hopes are over, so here’s to hoping he doesn’t rush back too soon. 

This Kansas race will be hard to predict giving that the track has gone through such a drastic change since Denny Hamlin’s win in April.  I have a feeling that Carl Edwards can get a win for the non-chasers and finish up the season with some momentum.  I love Bowyer’s chances at getting a win in Kansas for the 1st time.  Denny’s practice wreck puts him out of contention in my mind and I think Kesolowski is on the downturn.  I like Biffle to run well, I am going to go with Tony Stewart to get the win in Kansas.  New track, fast speeds and Smoke looks good to me.

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