The 2009 Sprint Cup Season is down to its final 10 races, which means that the Chase for the Championship is here. The 12 drivers that are set to chase the Cup have been locked in and our 12 Creatures have all been reset with points as they get ready to battle for bragging rights.
After winning at Richmond last weekend Denny Hamlin heads to New Hampshire with momentum, and he’ll need it since statistically the driver that can capture the magic at the Magic Mile has the best chance at winning the championship.
Our Creatures are done looking for bonus points and now will be fighting for the maximum points as they try to stay in title contention. Here are their picks for this weekend’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire.
Ben Bomberger: Mark Martin
Well, let me start by saying it's definitely a lot harder to make a decision knowing that I can't use this guy for the next nine weeks. But in the end, I decided to go with Mark "The Kid" Martin. He's leading the points heading into this weekend and while he's never won at New Hampshire, he's always been solid.
In 47 starts at the track Martin has only eight top-fives, 13 top-10s and two poles. But, he also brings an average finish of 11.1 and has led a small amount of laps, 397, but his average running position of 11.9 ranks sixth best. His driver rating of 93.4 at the track is seventh best.
It wouldn't surprise me a bit to see Martin in victory lane this weekend, and regardless, I think he will give me a solid points day. Because now, it is all about the points...not just wins!
James Broomhead: Clint Bowyer
Yes, I'm picking a non-chaser for the first Chase race, but he along with Hamlin, is a flat track stalwart. And without the points racing sword of Damocles over his head, I'm counting Clint to keep improving a sorry Richard Childress Racing year.
Mary Jo Buchanan: Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya has been singularly focused on getting into the chase and now he can really let loose. This is a short race, which matches his all-out style. Montoya is hungry to get into victory lane and this race will be the place he does it.
Kelly Crandall: Jeff Gordon
Gordon had the best car in the first New Hampshire race this season and was on his way to victory had the rains not come. The Chase has begun and he's ready to win his fifth championship and to do that he needs to start off on the right foot at a track that he has dominated over the years at.
Mason Dunn: Greg Biffle
Biffle always seems to do well at the start of the Chase and I expect this year to be no different, look for him to defend his reign over the fall race at Loudon with his first win of the season and his 15th of his career.
Adam Heasley: NO PICK SENT
No pick sent.
Danielle Henderson: Jimmie Johnson
I was torn between Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch, and Jimmie Johnson, but as the deadline came nearer I decided Jimmie Johnson was the way to go. Jimmie hasn't been the class of the field all season but we all know that he has a way of rocketing through this 10-race sprint that we call the chase. Jimmie Johnson is my pick to win at Loudon.
Kara Martin: Greg Biffle
With the new rules in full effect, this was not an easy pick to make! Coming off of his making the Chase weekend, I hope that it gives the Biff the boost of confidence and drive to sweep New Hampshire this weekend. He has won at this track in the past and has a handful of top-fives under his belt, that is why Biffle is my choice to win this weekend.
SM Napier: NO PICK SENT
No pick Sent
David Phillips: Ryan Newman
No comments sent.
Jen Preston: Kurt Busch
His average finish may be just 14.8, but Busch is one of the obvious choices for Loudon with three wins, six top fives and eight top 10s. He's quietly made his way into the Chase, but now it's time for the older Busch brother to make some noise if he hopes to win his second career championship.
Rob Tiongson: Kurt Busch
With the new rules of the game comes so wild picks from me, and certainly with a crazy race in store for Sunday at New Hampshire, I'm going with Kurt Busch for the win. He has won at this facility three times, with a season sweep in 2004 with Roush Racing and his rain gamble victory last year.
If any team is hungry for a victory and a huge stamp for the points lead after Race No. 1 of the Chase, it's the man behind the Blue Deuce.
After the checkered flag flew last weekend at Richmond to conclude the 26th race of the season here’s how the points line up along with their wins, heading into the Chase.
Adam Heasely (5,030) No Pick Sent (3)
Kara Martin (5,030) Kyle Busch finished fifth (3)
James Broomhead (5,030) Denny Hamlin won (3)
Ben Bomberger (-10) Kyle Busch finished fifth (2)
Kelly Crandall (-10) Kyle Busch finished fifth (2)
SM Napier (-10) Kyle Busch finished fifth (2)
David Phillips (-10) No Pick Sent (2)
Danielle Henderson (-10) Kevin Harvick finished ninth (2)
Rob Tiongson (-20) Jimmie Johnson finished 11th (1)
Jen Preston (-20) Kevin Harvick finished ninth (1)
Mary Jo Buchanan (-30) Kyle Busch finished fifth (0)
Mason Dunn (-30) Kyle Busch finished fifth (0)
Check back on Monday to see which Creature had the best weekend in New Hampshire.