Tag:NASCAR Chase Charlotte
Posted on: October 16, 2010 11:58 pm

Charting the Chase - Charlotte

The Chase hit the halfway mark and although a non-Chaser spoiled the party with Jamie McMurray's win, the race for the championship stretched out even further. Jimmie Johnson's miraculous comeback coupled by the myriad of problems that plagued his competitors gave the four-time champion another step toward an unprecedented fifth consecutive title:

(2nd) - Kyle Busch
Had one of the fastest cars all night and battled through a throttle issue that bothered Busch early in the race. Could not hold off th ehard-charging McMurray in the closing stages and was forced to settle for the runnerup finish.

(3rd) - Jimmie Johnson
Things looked bleak for Johnson when he spun on the backstretch in the early going and fell back to 37th place after two trips to pit road to make minor repairs and change tires. It turned out to be a minor setback and Johnson roared back through the field to challenge at the front of the pack in short order. He finished 2.179-seconds behind McMurray and just short from a truly amazing "Spin and Win" story.

(4th) - Denny Hamlin
A top five finish still not good enough to gain any ground in the standings when you trail the guy you;re chasing across the finish line. Hamlin had a good car but just not good enough.

(5th) - Greg Biffle
A solid rebound from the engine failure disaster last week in Fontana and the 41st place finish that for all intents and purposes ended his championship hopes. Showed the kind of intermediate-sized track strength Roush Fenway Racing has displayed for decades.

(6th) - Matt Kenseth
Another stealthy top ten for Kenseth who wasn't flashy by any means but stayed near the front of the field most of the night. At the end of the day an okay night by Chaser standards.

(8th) - Kevin Harvick
The in-car communication between Harvick and crew chief Gil Martin was not for tender ears after another pit road miscue and a car that was not capable of making up ground. Adjustments on pit stops did make the Shell Chevrolet better but Harvick again lost ground in the title hunt.

(12th) - Carl Edwards
Some pointed to Charlotte as the track where Edwards would finally end his nearly two-year victory drought. Had a great qualifying lap and started outside the front row but that speed didn't hold up under race conditions and Edwards finished outside the top ten.

(17th) - Clint Bowyer
Nothing close to what Bowyer had a week ago in Fontana when he finished second. A mediocre run for the Richard Childress Racing driver.

(20th) - Jeff Burton
A so-so car and middle of the road night was compounded by a late race spin and Burton was saddled with a 20th place finish for his Charlotte efforts.

(21st) - Tony Stewart
Stewart did exactly what he could't afford to do Saturday night by following up his Fontana win with a dismal effort. Got caught up in an early incident and slid into the infield, sending him to pit road and into a game of catch-up all night long. The five spots he made up in the standings a week ago evaporated Saturday.

(23rd) - Jeff Gordon
After winning his first pole of the year Gordon's night went sour when en electrical issue robbed him of power racing off of turn four. Things got worse when Gordon was nabbed for speeding on pit road for the second straight week and he finished one lap behind the leader.

(30th) - Kurt Busch
Was trying to become the first driver in history to sweep all three Charlotte Cup races after his All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 victories in May. But a spin through turns three and four pretty much ended Busch's night by the race's mid-quarter mark.

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