Matt Kenseth

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Handicapping the Chase and the year's biggest surprises
<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council talks about Chase favorites, the racing at Richmond, the season's biggest surprises and discuss whether NASCAR drivers "give it their all" each and every race.</p>
2012

NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship is here and with it comes the question of who will win it. Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council tackle that question and more, including what is the biggest surprise this year and if they think drivers give their best effort every race. Here’s what the Backseat Drivers Fan Council had to say about those issues and more.


Who will win the Chase?

Rankings NASCAR's Chase for the Championship Performances

The Best and Worst of the Chase
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Vito Pugliese ranks NASCAR's eight Chase for the Championship playoff performances. From the unbelievable to the forgettable, they're all here.</p>
2012

In 2003, Matt Kenseth became the final Winston Cup Champion in less-than-dazzling fashion. He won all of one of 36 races while posting 24 top 10s for an average finishing position of 10.2. He clinched the title by merely starting the second to last race of the year at Rockingham. After promptly blowing an engine and finishing dead last, he ended the year 90 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson, and 207 ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Hamlin, Johnson, Keselowski lead field into Chase
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<p> As NASCAR's regular season comes to a close, Denny Hamlin edges by Jimmie Johnson to take the top spot in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Denny Hamlin   Hamlin slips ahead of Jimmie Johnson thanks to having the strongest car for a third consecutive week (despite the fact he didn’t win). He also gets a hat tip for those four regular season victories. Last week: 2

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

NASCAR's cautions, Hamlin's title hopes and Stewart's revenge
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<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council talks about NASCAR debris cautions, Denny Hamlin's Chase expectations, the Tony Stewart/Matt Kenseth beef and racing in Atlanta.</p>
2012

Trust and belief are core issues the Backseat Drivers Fan Council delves into this week. Members state how much they trust NASCAR in regards to debris cautions. Belief centers on what Fan Council members think about the title chances of Denny Hamlin, who has a series-high four wins, including the last two races. Belief also centers on what they think of Tony Stewart’s various comments last week toward Matt Kenseth and if Stewart will seek revenge. Here’s what members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council had to say on those topics and more.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Hamlin, Johnson, Keselowski separate from the pack
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<p> Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski challenge Jimmie Johnson for the top spot in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson  Denny Hamlin may be the hottest driver on the Cup circuit at the moment, but Johnson’s team will still be the one everyone keeps an eye on going into the Chase.

2. Denny Hamlin  Became the first driver since Tony Stewart in last season’s playoffs to score consecutive wins on the Cup circuit, with victories at Bristol and Atlanta. This is not the Denny Hamlin of 2011, folks.

NASCAR News & Notes: Kenseth to JGR official, Logano to Penske

Kenseth, Logano and Chase wild cards take center stage
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long reports on Matt Kenseth signing with Joe Gibbs Racing, Joey Logano going to Penske Racing and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase wild card battle between Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon.</p>
2012

As a Green Bay Packers fan, Matt Kenseth knows the shock many had seeing quarterback Brett Favre wear another team’s uniform. Kenseth says he doesn’t think his fans will be as shocked with his new look at Joe Gibbs Racing next season after being with car owner Jack Roush’s team since 1999.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Fan reaction from a wild weekend in Bristol
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<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council talks all-things Bristol and weighs in on which wild card drives will make the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship.</p>
2012

The changes to Bristol may not have worked quite how track officials imagined, but most members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council liked what they saw there last weekend. Is it enough to get them back to the track? You might find those responses interesting. Also, Fan Council members updated their selection on who they think will get the wild card spots in the final two races before the Chase.


Grade Saturday’s Cup race at Bristol

Denny Hamlin Wins Bristol

Fireworks fly in a wild Bristol Night Race
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<p> Denny Hamlin won a wild NASCAR event on Saturday, taking checkers in the Bristol Night Race.</p>
2012

Few topics in NASCAR have been as polarizing as track owner Bruton Smith’s decision to “narrow up” the historic half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Johnson, Keselowski in frenzied battle for supremacy
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<p> Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski are in a frenzied battle for supremacy of Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings. Could this be a preview of the NASCAR Sprint Cup title battle?&nbsp;</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson  Loses a second one in three weeks in heartbreaking fashion. That may derail some teams, but with the 48, you get the feeling it only makes them more determined.

2. Brad Keselowski  Keselowski and the boys are rounding into form nicely, with seven consecutive runs of ninth or better. They’re going to be a handful at Bristol this weekend.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Michigan

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for the Pure Michigan 400
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.</p>
2012

After a wild late-race battle for the win at Watkins Glen, the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit heads to the Irish Hills of Michigan for this weekend's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Returning to MIS for the second time this season, the Chase is fast approaching and the action is heating up. In June, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended his 143-race winless streak and made the NASCAR Nation happier than a kid chowing down on some Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia.

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