Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Denny’s in. Even if he wasn’t his average finish of 9.6 would probably put him in. But he should be up front taking points from someone trying to get in. So will Tony (Average finish of 10th) and Gordon (7.7). Those three and Johnson (a lousy 18.7 av finish, but 3 wins here) will have reason to be up front thanks to the format awarding those 10 points on the other side. It’s the only way Tony doesn’t give up the points lead going into the chase. It’s checkers or the wrecker for these 4 guys. This Chase thing might not be so bad?
Now for the contenders. Without help, Carl needs to finish 24th or better. In 10 starts his average finish is 19th despite only 3 top 10s. But based on the average, he’s in. On his own, Kasey needs to finish 21st or better. He got his first win here and has an average finish of 18.5. I’m not a big proponent on momentum, but if it helps, he’s got some. Kurt needs a 20th or better. An Average finish of 18.7 puts him in. He’s also got one win at RIR. Juan Pablo hasn’t done too well here. He averages 27.8 and needs a 18th or better if no one helps him. I’ll predict he’s out. Ryan needs a 16th with an average finish of 11.7. Needless to say I’d love to see him in. Both SHR cars in the chase would be awesome. I’m saying he’s in.
Mark, everyone’s feel good favorite, needs a 12th with an average finish of 11.9. That’s a close one. I’m not a big believer in momentum, but I’ll bank on his experience and equipment. He’s in. the Biff needs an 11th, but his average finish is 15.8. Even though that’s a bit upside down, I’m going to predict he’s in based on who’s behind him. He might fall a few spots, though. Matt is the same way. He needs a 2nd place to be guaranteed a spot (Av Fn 16.7) but he’s safe based on the people behind him. He will probably need a DNF from Montoya to lock it up.
Out of the top 12 sits Brian Vickers. I think that’s where he’ll stay. His average finish is as bad as Montoya’s (27.8). But I said that Montoya’s out, so I’ve got to replace him with someone right? In 14th place sits NASCAR’s current bad boy in Kyle Bush. Love him or hate him, he’s got and average finish here of an amazing 6.7! With some bad luck for others (or lack of momentum, your choice) I say Kyle’s in.