Johnson, Keselowski in frenzied battle for supremacy
1.âJimmie 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.âBrad Keselowski Keselowski and the boys are rounding into form nicely, with seven consecutive runs of ninth or better. Theyâre going to be a handful at Bristol this weekend.
3.âDale Earnhardt Jr. After a broken transmission and a spin in the oil knocked Juniorâs bunch back the last two weeks, they rebounded in fine fashion to the tune of a fourth-place finish in Michigan.
4.âGreg Biffle Earned his second win of the season at the 2-mile Michigan track. His other was at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway. For those keeping score, there are five such tracks in the Chase.
5.âMatt Kenseth Itâs been a rocky month for Kenseth, who suffered a cut tire late at Michigan while running in the top 5. As luck would have it, the 17th-place result actually bumped him up a notch to second in the standings.
6.âKasey Kahne Since a 33rd in the June Michigan race, Kahne has been spot-on, recording eight straight top-15 runs. Like Biffle, the tracks in the Chase line up well for Kahne and his engineer/crew chief-extraordinaire, Kenny Francis.
7.âClint Bowyer A solid seventh at Michigan did the trick. However, if this team â albeit a relatively new team â is going to challenge in the Chase, it needs more than a boatload of fifth- to ninth-place showings.
8.âMartin Truex Jr. Truex, like his teammate Bowyer, has been as steady as they come this season. However, his No. 56 team must push beyond the sixth- to 10th-place pattern it has fallen into and win races.
9.âDenny Hamlin Virtually invisible at Michigan, Hamlin may have notched the most under-the-radar 11th-place finish in NASCAR history. You have to wonder, with a Chase spot virtually sown up, if this team is doing some testing.