With nine races left until the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship starts, things are heating up atop the Creature vs. Creature standings here on Bleacher Report.
Kelly Crandall successfully picked (again) the runner-up in Sunday's race and inched her way closer to points leader M.J. Buchanan—who's selection of Jeff Gordon finished a respectible ninth.
Crandall—along with S.M. Napier and Kara Martin—picked the highest finishing driver among our writers, while the other nine drivers fared relatively well.
Writer's successfully picked the second-place, third-place, sixth-place, and ninth-place finshers in Sunday's race.
With things winding down, Napier and Adam Heasley continue to lead the way with two wins apiece, setting them 10 points ahead of four writers (Crandall, David Phillips, Kara Martin, and Rob Tiongson) who each have one win.
Among our new class of writers, Martin regained the points lead with her selection of Stewart, and pulled ahead by 34 points over second-place James Broomhead.
Previously leader Mason Dunn dropped three spots (to fourth) after his selection of Mark Martin lost a tire and finished 35th.
Only four weeks into the expansion, and two new comers (Martin and Tiongson) have both collected wins, while two writers here since Daytona (Ben Bomberger and M.J. Buchanan) continue to search for that first trip to Victory Lane.
Here is a look at each writer's pick from Infineon last weekend, where they finished, and the updated point standings (wins are in parenthesis):
M.J. Buchanan, (2343) Jeff Gordon finished ninth. (0)
Kelly Crandall, (2337) Tony Stewart finished second. (1)
Ben Bomberger, (2259) Juan Pablo Montoya finished sixth. (0)
Adam Heasley, (2239) Montoya finished sixth. (2)
S.M. Napier, (2115) Stewart finished second. (2)
David Phillips, (1845) Ron Fellows finished 27th. (1)
Kara Martin, (742) Stewart finished second. (1)
James Broomhead, (708) Marcos Ambrose finished third. (0)
Rob Tiongson, (681) Gordon finished ninth. (1)
Mason Dunn, (660) Mark Martin finished 35th. (0)
Danielle Henderson, (615) Brian Vickers finished 16th. (0)
Jen Preston, (519) Ambrose finished third. (0)
Kyle Ocker, (494) NO PICK SENT. (0)
Remember, during the regular season, our writers are trying to collect as many wins as possible.
After Richmond, points will be reset with each writer receiving 10 points for correctly picking a winner during the season.
For the final 10 races, the points will matter, and a Creature vs. Creature Champion will be crowned following the season finale in Homestead.
Check back on Friday for this weekend's picks.