Season Sweep for Carl Edwards Cut's into Jimmie Johnson Lead
Typical Texas and Carl Edwards proved why Texas is his house.
Denny Hamlin: Typical Denny Hamlin in 2008; consistently inconsistent
Denny Hamlin scored two top fives in a row.Things were looking up, until Texas where he struggled all day long with handling. Struggled to stay on the lead lap and never recovered. Finishing in 17th and hoping to rally back into top 10 by Homestead.
Dale Earndhardt Jr.: Hendrick teammates tried to work together, but Jr. was the odd man out on Hendrick fuel gamble 2008
Jr.'s fuel gamble didn't pay off. Was anyone surprised? Now he sits one point outside the top 10 in the standings. Hendrick teammates all had similar set-ups at Texas and none of them worked. Junior is just looking for some momentum in what has been a disappointing season for a team with such high expectations.
Kyle Busch: Looked more like pre-chase Busch, except he didn't lead a lap.
Kyle Busch is looking for the luck and success he had early in the year. Coming into the chase it looked like he would threaten Jeff Gordon record for most wins in a season, now all he wants to do is make it to New York.
Struggling with handling all day, he did stay in the top 10. Coming home sixth on Sunday was a Joe Gibbs Racing team best.
Tony Stewart: Texas was just another example of another Smoke occurrence.
After a right rear tire blowing in practice, Smoke's back up car seemed to be better than his primary car. Until the green flag dropped where he climbed to mid-pack but handling issues plagued this team and he never was able to get his lap back. Finishing 16th. Stewart looking to leave JGR with some momentum.
Matt Kenseth: Late season surge just one to many races to late.
Kenseth looked like the Kenseth of old, but once again he couldn't capitalize. Running in the top 10 for most of the day wasn't enough as his teammate romped the field. Kenseth has to be looking to build on this momentum coming into tracks where he has done well. A ninth place finish isn't a really good example of good he actually was.
Kevin Harvick: Was picked as the dark horse, now he just looking for some more horsepower.
Harvick came into Texas hoping to notch his first win of the season. He never got higher than fifth on Sunday. Struggling with handling on his car for most of the day, the team salvaged a seventh place finish. Another driver, another disappointing season.
Clint Bowyer: Just a little to late in 2008.
Bowyer led laps, and was one of the few cars that ran strong for most of the day. Finishing well within the top 10. But like the rest of 2008, Bowyer has not been spectacular this chase. Coming home fourth was a good rebound from Atlanta.
Jeff Gordon: A second place finish is 41 places better than April at Texas, and for Gordon that's a victory.
Gordon started the weekend out strong winning the pole, but Saturday practices were a reality check for this team. Gordon led early but didn't lead the last lap. A fuel gamble gave them a better finish than there car actually was.
Second place finish is a positive sign.Gordon would be looking just for the slightest improvement at a track where he struggled early this year, if Sunday was any indication this team is finally figuring out this car. A little to late.
Jeff Burton: Can't figure out what happened since Lowes; oh yea The Jimmie and Carl Show began.
Burton was hoping Texas would be his shot in the arm he needed.But unfortunately he fell a lap down and never recovered. His championship hopes have ended and now he has to be wondering "what if?"
Greg Bifle: Still can't figure out how Carl Edwards Stretched his fuel and he couldn't.
Biffle looked confused and somewhat amused when he found out just how far Edwards stretched his fuel. For Biffle Sunday was average. He wasn't very dominant, but he wasn't awful. Biffle is hoping just to stay in touch with the top two coming into Homestead where he dominates. A fifth place finish wasn't something to call home about, but he wasn't alone in that feeling compared to Edwards.
Carl Edwards: When he won the race his first question where did Jimmie Johnson finish?
Edwards just plain dominated at Texas. It should have been expected though. Edwards has found his stride and maybe at the right time. Learning how to capitalize on other mistakes is what makes or breaks a championship season.Edwards led the most laps and clearly had the best car, but it took a major gamble on fuel to pull out this one and cut Johnson lead nearly in half.Maybe this fight isn't over just yet.
Jimmie Johnson: Texas pulled a Texas two step on this team.
Johnson was never a factor. You expected Johnson and team could rebound after the there remarkable Atlanta rebound. Texas was a whole different story. Finishing one lap down in 15th. Johnson realistically can clinch this weekend all he has to do is finish at least in the top seven. But he also can't afford another Texas misstep.
I have to give a heads up to Casey Mears with consecutive strong runs. Give this guy some stability and you might see some more wins. Also Jamie McMurray and David Ragan. These guys stayed on the lead lap and ran well within the top 15 for most of the day.
As the year winds down there is a lot of important racing left. Yes, the championship is on the line really it's a two man race. But their is also the fight to be on stage in New York. Kyle Busch owns the 10th place by just one point over Jr. There's the top 35 and the rookie race.
Many teams are still searching for primary sponsors and even secondary sponsors. Teams that are changing drivers. There is still a lot to be decided in 2008. So stay tuned.
One final thought..I am not a Kyle Busch fan but I thought it was a very classy and respectful thing that Kyle did donating $100,000 to Sam Ard's fund. After tying Ard's Nationwide series win record. He may not be your favorite driver but you got to respect the man for doing what he did.
Oh yes, we all know it's election day, so please go out and vote. No matter who you are voting for, this one counts!!
See you in the desert!!
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