Bank of America 500: Win Lose or Draw

Courtesy Associated Press

Courtesy Associated Press

The Bank of America 500 looked like a corporate race for about 400 miles Saturday night, with Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing dominating the field.

Those final 100 miles proved to shake things up a bit, enough to break things down Bert Convy style…

Win: Brad Keselowski

This seems awfully obvious, but every year a driver who fails to make the Chase runs well during the Chase and then makes a run the following year. Keselowski can string together wins and make things quite interesting for Chase contenders. Plus, he stuck it to Kyle Busch which has to feel great after the last few weeks.

Lose: Toyota

Matt Kenseth keeps his points lead. Kyle Busch can’t gain any ground. Plus three Chevy cars are within shouting distance as we enter the 2.66 mile wild card most call Talladega.

Then there’s Michael Waltrip Racing. The ownership situation is muddled. Maybe there’s a split. Maybe Jeff Burton brings some sanity back to the situation. Maybe Martin Truex Jr. stays in the Toyota family.

All any NASCAR fan knows is that Toyota has been supremely loyal to MWR since the beginning. The Richmond situation has thrown all of that up in the air.  The end result appears to be a new team forming, which may take years to develop and one team ready to fully blossom wilting under financial pressure. Who knew one spin could shake up so much? Maybe Joe Gibbs should add fourth team.

Draw: Hendrick Motorsports

On the plus side, Jimmie Johnson is within four points of first place.

On the down side, Jeff Gordon isn’t going to have a better chance to win a race. As good as Gordon and the car were Saturday night, the #24 lost ground to Kenseth and Johnson.

By the way, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. had great runs not reflected by finishing position. That’s not something fans of either team want to hear again.

The Bank of America 500 had its fair share of twists. Now let’s see how things turn at the biggest crapshoot in all of racing and what it all means for the 2013 Chase.