Hot or Not: Texas

The boys of NASCAR were in Texas for Chase race #8. Who two-stepped to Victory Lane and who had a Texas-sized temper tantrum? We’ve got you covered!

Hot: Denny Hamlin. Clutch Hamlin found the Winner’s Circle for the eighth time in 2010, and now holds the championship lead by 33 points over Jimmie Johnson. If he can hold his own at Phoenix next week, NASCAR may have itself a new champ.

Not: Jimmie Johnson. Yes, he finished ninth. But he lost 47 points and the title lead to his rival Hamlin, and now he has pit crew problems, which is kind of like a football team having quarterback problems. In other words, it’s not good.

Hot: Matt Kenseth. Great run for Matt on Sunday. And after starting out as the laughing stock of the 2010 Chase, Kenseth now finds himself fifth in the standings. He won’t win the title, but that’s still a pretty good year.

Not: Anybody named Jeff. When you get wrecked under caution, like Jeff Gordon, you’re having a bad day. When you wreck somebody else under caution and need two huge NASCAR officials to stand between you and an epic beat-down, like Jeff Burton, well that’s just embarrassing.

Hot: Joey Logano. Jo Lo now has four consecutive top 10 finishes and has become a model of consistency in NASCAR as of late. No really, I’m serious. This guy may be for real next year.

Not: Kyle Busch. Note: Flipping off a NASCAR official does not land you in the “Hot” section. Just thought you might want to know that.

Hot: Greg Biffle. Biff was frustrated after a dominating run resulted in only a fifth-place finish. But the two most important things to remember here are that he really was dominant, and he did finish in the top 5. When you run like that, better things are bound to happen sooner or later.

Not: Kyle Busch’s penalty. I’m not referring to the penalty Kyle received for flipping off an official. I’m all for that, even if the official may have deserved it. I’m referring to the penalty levied when Busch sped on pit road in an effort to stay on the lead lap. A speeding penalty is not supposed to cost you a lap. I know that because I’ve seen J.J. and others do the same thing, and the penalty is restarting at the tail-end of the field. Just sayin’…

Hot: Trevor Bayne. I love this guy. Just a few weeks ago, Bayne’s NASCAR future was in serious question. But after being picked up by Roush-Fenway’s development program, Bayne was tabbed to make his Cup Series debut in the legendary Wood Brothers #21. He didn’t disappoint, running on the lead lap and finishing 17th at Texas. This kid has a bright future in this sport. Atta boy, Trevor!

Not: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Come on guys, he finished 25th. You had to see this coming.

Tags: Dale Earnhardt Jr Denny Hamlin Greg Biffle Hot Or Not Jeff Burton Jeff Gordon Jimmie Johnson Joey Logano Kyle Busch Matt Kenseth Texas Motor Speedway Trevor Bayne

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