The NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup is a kind of playoff system that is found in other sports, but for race car fans. For the last 10 races of the season, all qualifying drivers have their points manually set to 5,000. Every race that the chasers win during the first 26 races of the season will add ten10 points to their initial 5,000. For the last 10 races, NASCAR points are still assigned exactly the same throughout the rest of the season to determine the champion. After the 26th race of the season, before The Chase begins, all drivers in the top 12 in points qualify.
As the NASCAR racing season draws to a close, there is a chase for that prized possession, the victory trophy. For the Sprint Cup Series, the last major race was the AAA 400 and first place went to Brad Keselowski, followed by Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson, and Carl Edwards. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin were originally leading the race, but with only 10 laps to go, they had to make a pit stop for fuel, putting them at a disadvantage at the rear of the race. This consequently allowed Brad Keselowski to take the lead for the win and the victory at the Dover International Speedway. The top three racers that are doing exceptionally well are Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, and Denny Hamlin. It’s a tough call to say who I think will win this year’s Sprint Cup Series, but I have a strong feeling it will be Jimmie Johnson.
Jimmie Johnson has had some great success in NASCAR racing. Johnson had entered the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway as point leader, holding a one-point advantage on Brad Keselowski. Jimmie Johnson now is holding the second place title in the 2012 Sprint Cup Series in The Chase, but is predicted to win the next race on October 7, which may put him in the number one position. He has had five consecutive championship seasons including two victories in Dover fall races. In fact, he has never left this race better than second in points, which goes to say a lot. He is a very serious racer, knowing how sweet victory tastes. Brad Keselowski did not have the best of luck with the Sprint Cup Series, but he is definitely proving he is capable of winning a championship. As of right now, he is in first place with points and hoping to take home the new title of being victorious. Last year he came in fifth place overall, which is not terrible, but does not have as much fame as Jimmie Johnson. Denny Hamlin has never won a Sprint Cup Series as well, but he came extremely close to it when he received second place in 2010. He is currently in third place overall in The Chase, but anything could happen that could help him out or make him spiral out of control. Any of these talented contenders could take the championship this year as they battle it out to the victory of The Chase with only a few weeks left in the running.
Don’t hold me to my word because it can be any one of these fine racers, and I’m going with the underdog here. The next race will be at Talladega on October 7, 2012 at 2 p.m. on ESPN to see who will take the victory of yet another race. Who do you think will be the winner of that race?
Michelle Speaker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org