The boys of NASCAR were in the Land of Oz this week for Chase race #3. Who found the Yellow Brick Road to Victory Lane, and who melted under pressure? We’ve got you covered!
Hot: Roush-Fenway Racing. I was down on this team(besides Carl Edwards) last week. But Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, and yes, even David Ragan all had solid days. Biff left Kansas with his second win at the track in four years, and this one came without controversy. Life is good for the Cat in the Hat.
Not: Joe Gibbs Racing: On the other side of the spectrum, things did not go so well for JGR. No, it wasn’t a disastrous day, but it wasn’t good either. Kyle Busch had a run-in with a non-Chaser and Denny Hamlin…did he even show up?
Hot: Hendrick Motorsports. The benefactor of JGR’s bad day was Hendrick Motorsports. In particular, 4-time defending champ Jimmie Johnson, who now has the points lead. Don’t overlook Jeff Gordon either, as he notched his second top 5 of the Chase.
Not: Dale Earnhardt Jr. No joke: Hendrick Motorsports is pretty good, save for one car. Junior’s #88 has been off the past few weeks after a stellar run at New Hampshire when the Chase started. Earnhardt’s 22nd-place showing marked his second-straight finish of worse than 20th. When’s ‘Dega?
Hot: Kevin Harvick. A little kindness goes a long way. Kevin remained fairly happy in the car on Sunday, and didn’t give his pit crew that bad of a time(as far as we know). The end result was a third-place finish. Doesn’t being nice feel good?
Not: Jeff Burton. It wasn’t a horrible day for The Mayor, but you have to believe 18th was not what he was looking for. Burton is now 101 points out of the lead, but he does have plenty of time to make it up.
Hot: Tony Stewart. Last week, I said Smoke had to have a good run at Kansas to stay in the hunt. This week, he did, finishing fourth after leading several laps. Tony still has ground to make up, but this is a good start.
Not: David Reutimann. Reuti was having a pretty decent day until Kyle Busch decided to go all Billy Bad Butt on his bumper. David get his revenge, but it hurt the title hopes of his Toyota counterpart.
Hot: Richard Petty Motorsports. They didn’t light up the track, but you have to give a shout-out to the RPM boys for putting two cars in the top 10 after the season they’ve had. Paul Menard was solid all day, and AJ Allmendinger came from nowhere to notch his third top 10 in four races.
Not: Kasey Kahne. Then there’s the traitor. I kid, of course. But ever since he was eliminated from Chase contention, Kahne has seemingly been given the rotten equipment(that of which his teammates used to drive). Now while his buddy Allmendinger finishes in the top 10, Kasey putts around in 25th until something happens, like his crash on Sunday. Forget ‘Dega, just bring on Homestead for this poor guy!