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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Noteworthy in NASCAR

Jack Roush

Last Friday Jack Roush returned to the track at Michigan. Jack was, as we all know, involved in a plane crash when landing at an air show in Wisconsin on July 27th. Jack went from a local hospital to the Mayo Clinic where it was only said that he was being treated for "facial injuries".

Jack did an interview on Friday shortly after arriving at the track and wearing large dark sunglasses said that he is in a back brace due to a compression fracture in his back, suffered a broken left jaw, has packing still in his nose, and lost his left eye as a result of the accident.

Jack arrived on race day as well; there were many pats on the back and “Glad you're back” comments from many teams, fans, and media as Jack made his way through the Pits. It was business as usual for Jack though as he found himself his usual spot on top of a Pit Box.

Jack's return to the top of the Pit Box seemed to be a boost for his Roush Fenway drivers on Sunday; Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, and Matt Kenseth finished third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

Moving on Up

Carl Edwards has put on quite a show over the last seven races with finishes of 6th, 2th, 7th, 3th, 5th, 3th, and 8th respectively. This is quite the improvement over his five finishes prior to the June race at Louden. Those five races found him finishing in 16th, 12th, 12th, 29th, and 25th.

The last seven races Carl's average finish has been 4.85. The five races before that show a 18.8 finish. Edwards is definitely a man on the move. He sits in 5th place in the Points; Carl gained three spots with his 6th place finish in the Carfax 400.

If Carl can continue to run like this every week for the rest of the season it may come down to Edwards giving Harvick and Johnson a run for their money in the Chase to the Championship.

Chase Game Over?

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. lost another spot in the Cup Series Points Standings on Sunday. His 19th place finish caused him to fall back into the 17th spot in the standings. Going into Michigan Dale was just 12 points in front of Kasey Kahne in the Points.

Kahne finished the Carfax 400 five spots in front of Dale and gained 19 points – more than he needed to claim the 16th place in the Points. Over the last three races Kahne has been able to gain 44 points on Earnhardt. Dale is simply being out-performed.

Opinions on why Earnhardt is falling out of any chance to get into the Chase range widely. I have seen opinions that the team isn't working well together, Dale doesn't fit in well at Hendrick Motorsports, and that Earnhardt has lost confidence either in himself or in his team. Another possibility is that Dale is spending too much time with his JR Motorsports racing team and not enough time at the Hendrick shops.

Dale is 129 points out of the Bubble spot in the Race for the Chase with just three races before the cutoff. No one has been able to make up 129 points in the last three races before the Chase to the Sprint Cup in more than 10 years. Bill Elliot came closest in 2001 – he made up 112 points in those three races and went from 15th to 13th place.

While it is not numerically impossible for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to make the Chase the chances that Dale will break into the top twelve in the next three races are extremely small.

Photo Credits
Photo 1: Getty Images/Todd Warshaw
Photo 2: http://www.autoracingsport.com/
Photo 3: Getty Images/Calos Osorio

2 comments:

  1. Hmmmmm, it seems your post from Wednesday is missing? I wonder why that is? Is there something you'd like to say?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad you removed the previous blog, but you would show some graciousness if you apologized. ...just saying :)

    http://www.formulajuan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2438

    ReplyDelete