Posted on: November 7, 2010 7:26 pm

Charting the Chase - Texas

If you missed Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway you have my apologies. The AAA texas 500 had just about anything a race fan could want and then some including a shake-up of the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings with only two races to go:

(1st) - Denny Hamlin
Became first driver to sweep Texas since Carl Edwards in 2008 and in the process took over the Sprint Cup point lead by 33 over Jimmie Johnson. The good news for Hamlin is the driver leading the points with two races to go has won every Chase since its inception in 2004.

(2nd) - Matt Kenseth
Showed his usual Texas magic and nearly pulled off the victory if not for Hamlin's thrilling pass for the lead on the next to last lap. Kenseth now has four second place Texas finishes.

(5th) - Greg Biffle
Looked to have the race in hand until transmission problems cost Biffle a gear and shuffled him back on the last restart when he couldn't accelerate away from the pack.

(6th) - Kevin Harvick
Battled back from early race issues including a disagreement with crew chief Gil Martin on tire strategy. Made contact with the fourth turn wall inside twenty laps that cost Harvick much-needed speed and put him into hang on mode.

(7th) - Clint Bowyer
Followed up his Talladega win a week ago with a somewhat quiet yet consistent afternoon to hammer down another top ten finish and add to the "What Might Have Been" file.

(9th) - Jimmie Johnson
Had his pit crew changed in mid-race when the 48 bunch was swapped with teammate Jeff Gordon's team, a move that did pay dividends with better stops in the second half of the race than what Johnson endured early on Sunday. But the disappointing afternoon cost Johnson the point lead and maybe some morale within his team.

(11th) - Tony Stewart
In the mix near the end of the race but not much of a day for Stewart who was a pre-race pick in the garage area Sunday by many after a strong Saturday practice showing.

(19th) - Carl Edwards
Saturday's Nationwide Series race winner could not back up the performance and has now reached the two year mark of being winless in the Sprint Cup Series.

(24th) - Kurt Busch
Was in trouble with handling issues from the start of the race and was forced to endure a mediocre outing with another finish well outside of contention.

(32nd) - Kyle Busch
Spun out, was penalized for speeding on pit road, was parked for two laps after making an obscene gesture at a NASCAR official and at the end of the day was never in contention despite have a very fast race car.

(36th) - Jeff Burton
Was involved in the day's biggest fireworks when he made contact with the rear of Jeff Gordon's car sending the No. 24 Chevrolet hard into the turn two wall. Gordon took great exception to the incident and confronted Burton on the backstretch with the two exchanging severals swings and shoves. Burton took blame for the incident but both showed emotions not usually on display from the two veterans.

(37th) - Jeff Gordon
Perhaps it was a season-s worth of frustration that finally boiled over but for whatever reason, Gordon's outburst was unlike anything ever seen in his long Sprint Cup career including his Bristol pit road tangle with Matt Kenseth a few years back (when Gordon did keep his helmet on by the way).

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: NASCAR, Texas
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