With his 3rd win of 2010 and his first non plate win since 2006 Kevin Harvick has established himself as the championship favorite. But what else is there to talk about?
Kevin Harvick has led points the majority of the 2010. He had two wins going into Michigan but I did not consider him the title favorite because of the lack of a win at a non plate track. Check that off the list. Now it is offical he is the title favorite going into the chase, not Jimmie Johnson. Harvick just seems to be getting better and better and has cars perpared for the chase. If you want to spilt the season in 10 race segments Harvick has always been solid (The only person close to him in that department is Tony Stewart who has actually scored more points than Harvick in the last ten races). The last ten races if the season the only track that could cause Harvick trouble is is Kansas and Talladega is a wildcard. But look for him to be the one to beat.
In the last dozen races Tony Stewart has scored five top fives, and ten top tens. In the last ten races he has scored five top fives and nine top tens. He has scored more points than anyone since the first Pocono race (including Kevin Harvick) and has moved up to 4th in points. Smoke is lacking a win but the way he is running that is a non issue for a win is on it's way. Stewart had a rather slow start but like the Smoke we know and love he came alive in the summer. If there is a driver who Kevin Harvick has to worry about other than Jimmie Johnson he is Tony Stewart.
In the last six races Jimmie Johnson has only scored 1 top ten which was a 10th at Pocono. His second best finish in this time span is 12th at Michigan. Other than that he has finished 31st, 25th, 22nd, and 28th. It isn't just bad luck he hasn't been running well. He was in trouble at the start of Indy and Watkins Glen, and just fell off at Chicagloand, Pocono and Michigan. And the pit crew has been mediocre at best. This is the weakest the 48 has ever been since they have been on their amazing run. You can never count them out but they look like they might not be in the championship conversation right now.
On Sunday at Michigan Jack Roush's Fords finished 3rd, 4th, 5th and 11th with Carl Edwards the man who many picked to be the 2009 champion leading the way. With Greg Biffle winning at Pocono Roush might be back in the championship conversation. Edwards has shown he can win multiple races, the Biff can be strong, and never count out Mr.consistency Matt Kenseth.
Mark was 12th in points ten points ahead of 13th place man Clint Bowyer going into Michigan. But after Bowyer finished 13th and he finished 28th he is now 13th 35 points back while Bowyer is now 12th. Lurking in 14th in Ryan Newman who was wrecked by Joey Logano who ended up finishing 10th and cost him a lot of points and is now 103 points behind Bowyer. The Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 champion Jamie McMurray had a bad day finishing 20th and 105 points behind 12th. Kasey Kahne is 16th in points 126 points behind 12th and Dale Earnhardt Jr is 129 points out of 12th in 17th. All these drivers have shots at making it into the chase but I cut the line at McMurray. Three races left and I expect a dog fight for this 12th spot and it will be fun to watch.