Trick Or Treat: How NASCAR's Chase Drivers Should Dress Up For Halloween
The 2010 NASCAR Chase for the Championship has been covered from every angle. Each driver has been evaluated prior to every race, and then reassessed after the checkers waved.
Everyone has had their opinions on who was going to win and who shouldn't even be in the Chase, but with Halloween just a few days away, maybe it's time to look at the Chase contenders from one more angle.
Oct. 31 provides people of all ages the chance to dress up, have some fun, and for anyone over the age of 13, pretend that you are a kid again.
So, that being said, I think this is a perfect opportunity to look at all 12 chasers and pick out what each of them should dress up as for everyone's favorite candy-giving holiday.
12. Clint Bowyer
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The Costume - Carpenter
The Reason - Clint Bowyer opened the Chase with a win in New Hampshire. After the race, his car failed post-race inspection for not meeting height requirements.
As a result, he and car owner Richard Childress, were each docked 150 Championship points, and that all but ended any hopes Bowyer may have had at winning the Sprint Cup.
So, I think that being a carpenter would make complete sense for Bowyer. As a carpenter, he would always have a tape measure with him. Now, if he ever wonders if his car is at its required height, he wouldn't have to wait until post-race inspection to find out.
And if the car isn't where it needs to be, he is also sure to have a hammer on the side of his tool belt, so he could just wail away until it fit the templates.
11. Greg Biffle
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The Costume - Leprechaun
The Reason - The Chase has been feast or famine for Greg Biffle. He picked up the win in Kansas, and had a top five in Charlotte, but that has been it.
His best finish in the other four Chase races is a 17th place finish back at the opening race in New Hampshire.
Biffle has been hit with some bad luck along the way. Very early in the day at Auto Club Speedway, he lost an engine, and then last week in Martinsville, he was forced to spend extensive time behind the wall after cutting a tire and making contact with the wall.
It wouldn't be a bad idea for Biffle to don the green suit and hat, and maybe pick a few four-leaf clovers along the way, and maybe then his luck would turn around.
10. Matt Kenseth
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The Costume - A Green Bay Packer Cheesehead
The Reason - This is the easiest one. Matt Kenseth is a native of Wisconsin, and although Kenseth has a tendency to be the quiet one, I bet if you put him in a front row seat at Lambeau Field, he could really open up.
Imagine the possibilities here. Look at the picture. Now imagine that serious and quiet face covered in green and gold face paint.
And just for good measure, why not add one of those green Afro wigs. And then put one of those foam cheese hats on top of that.
That would be a great sight. And let's be honest. Hailing from Wisconsin, whether he would ever admit it or not, you know that Kenseth just has to have one of those cheeseheads hidden somewhere in his closet.
9. Kurt Busch
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The Costume - Wile E. Coyote
The Reason - You can thank Jeff Gordon for putting this idea into my head. After last weekend's race at Martinsville, and the altercation between himself and the elder Busch, Gordon said "that Kurt has a short fuse." And then it came to me.
Think back to your childhood. Watching Saturday morning cartoons, and then on your screens appear Wile E. Coyote and the his nemesis The Road Runner.
My logic on this is two-fold. First, Wile E. Coyote, was always very quick to react in his efforts to catch the road runner. Much like the way that Busch was very quick to react to his altercation with Gordon.
Secondly, whenever using dynamite provided to him by the Acme Corp., Wile E. Coyote always seemed to get blown up himself, because he always lit one that had a short fuse.
I know that that was a stretch, but either way, you have to admit that it would be quite funny to see Kurt Busch dressed up in a shaggy coyote costume.
8. Jeff Burton
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The Costume - Crash Test Dummy
The Reason - This is in no way of Burton's on-track performance. For what it's worth, Burton is probably one of the most underrated drivers currently in the series.
The logic behind this costume selection is for Burton's involvement in the safety of the cars that go out on track. Of all drivers, Burton is one of the most vocal and one of the most respected when it comes to the cars' safety features.
So, while it may have been a more appropriate for Burton to disguise himself as a safety inspector of some sort, I think a crash test dummy would be more appropriate for Burton, because if it came right down to it, I think he would volunteer to be one if it meant that the race cars would be even safer than they are now.
7. Tony Stewart
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The Costume - A Businessman
The Reason - When you think of who is the most blue-collar driver in NASCAR, Tony Stewart would have to come to mind. When I see Tony, I think that he is the ultimate man's man.
He has a look about him that says he could easily be your neighbor, your handyman, or even your mechanic. But the owner of Stewart-Haas Racing certainly does not have a suit-and-tie look about him.
I suppose technically, Stewart is already a businessman, as he not only owns his own race team, but he also a track, as well as teams in lower divisions.
But to see Stewart in a nice Armani suit and carrying a briefcase would be a sight for sore eyes, as well as the ultimate double-take moment.
6. Carl Edwards
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The Costume - A Gymnast
The Reason - Carl Edwards has numerous options for his Halloween costume. He could easily dress as Tony the Tiger, in honor of his Kellogg's sponsorship. Or he could pay tribute to primary sponsor, Aflac, and go out in a duck costume.
But the gymnast will take it. Edwards has not won a Sprint Cup race since Homestead at the end of the 2008 season. That means it has been 64 races since the last time Edwards was able to do his patented backflip in Victory Lane.
If he were to go trick or treating dressed as a gymnast this season not only could he backflip his way up and down the streets, but he could also work on his cartwheels, somersaults, and any of those other flips they do in gymnastics.
And, the cool thing about this one would be, that if the opportunity were ever presented to Edwards, with his fun-loving personality, he may just don the outfit.
5. Jeff Gordon
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The Costume - The Invisible Man
The Reason - I'm not exactly sure how you could dress up as the invisible man, but Jeff Gordon would have to find a way. Gordon is having one of his worst statistical seasons of his entire storied career.
Gordon has been absent from victory lane all season. If he fails to win any of the season's final four races, it will mark only the third time in his 18 full-time seasons that he did not record at least one of win.
Gordon also needs to record at least two top 10 finishes to end the season or this will be only the third time in his career that he failed to record a top 10 finish in at least half of the events run.
So, while sitting fifth in the standings is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, when you are Jeff Gordon, you are playing to different standards than most everyone else.
And unfortunately for Gordon in 2010, he has failed to meet the mark thus far.
4. Kyle Busch
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The Costume - The Hulk
The Reason - Kyle would seemingly have the most choices for his Halloween costume, and I am sure that everyone could come up with something that they would pick for him. But, I think the Hulk has to be the choice here.
When things are going well, and Kyle is winning races, he is a nice, charismatic, and almost tolerable person.
This would be his Bruce Banner quality, but much like Banner changes into The Hulk when he gets angry, Busch seemingly turns into someone else when things don't go his way.
When he is in victory lane, Busch is all smiles and willing to conduct any interview, but situations other than a win, the mood is much different.
Busch becomes short-tempered and a lot of times, he comes off as a poor sport. And that is if he does the interview a lot.
So, while Busch could be any countless number of things, The Hulk seems to be the choice, for the way that much like Bruce Banner, Kyle Busch seemingly turns into something else when things don't go his way.
3. Kevin Harvick
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The Costume - Zombie
The Reason - In 2009 Kevin Harvick was a forgotten commodity. It marked the second consecutive season that he failed to find victory lane, and he had the second fewest top 10 finishes in his career. He also set a new career low for laps led in a season.
Then, this season came around and Kevin Harvick seemingly rose from the dead. He spent much of the regular season as the runaway point leader. He has won three races and has already set a new career best with 22 top 10 finishes, and is one top five from tying his single-season high in that category as well.
While another choice for Harvick could have been the smiling face from Wal-Mart for his nickname of "Happy," I think that a zombie would be more appropriate for the way that he was able to revive his career over the course of this season.
2. Denny Hamlin
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The Costume - A Mummy
The Reason - Denny Hamlin struggled out of the gate this season. The effects of an off-season knee injury were quickly starting to show. Through five races, Hamlin sat 22nd in the point standings and had a best finish of just seventeenth which came at the opening race, Daytona.
Then, he finally changed his mind about getting knee surgery, and scheduled to have it the day after Martinsville. He went on to win at Martinsville, and then won four more times in the next nine races after his knee surgery.
He has gone on to win twice more in the latter part of the season, and currently finds himself second in the point standings, just six markers behind Jimmie Johnson.
So, the logic behind Hamlin dressing up as a mummy is pretty simple. If he was that good after just wrapping up his knee with bandages, imagine how good he could have been had he wrapped his entire body.
1. Jimmie Johnson
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The Costume - Superman
The Reason - Really? I need to explain this one? Jimmie Johnson just finds a way to turn up his performance when it really counts. Just when you thought this was definitely the year his championship run would end, he currently finds himself where he normally does: as the points leader.
After earning five victories in the first 17 races, Johnson hit a rough spell heading into the Chase. Over the final nine regular-season races, Johnson had just two top five finishes, and an amazing five finishes outside the top 20.
Then, in typical Jimmie Johnson fashion, when the Chase started he came to life. After struggling through Loudon, where he only finished 25th, Johnson has been red hot.
He has posted top five finishes in each of the last five races, including a win, and has parlayed that success into the points lead yet again.
So, it should come as no surprise that the perfect Halloween costume for Johnson would be that of the Man of Steel. Because when it comes to the Chase, Jimmie Johnson has some incredible super powers.