The Monster Mile is in the rearview mirror. So too are the Chase chances of 75% of the Chase field. While that number looks large (actually it is large) this is progress worthy of a breakdown, Bert Convy style.
Win: The Chase
A race with two horses now has three. Jimmie Johnson’s 953th win at Dover, three drivers have a chance to win the 2013 Sprint Cup. Add the Talladega pipe bomb to the mix, and we might be able to add another driver. More contenders are good for NASCAR, especially after the last month.
Lose: The Little Guy
Kurt Busch finished fourth in Chicago and gave NASCAR fans the slightest chance of an impossible dream. Reality hit…really hard. Even with four new pit crew members, Busch’s pit problems resulted in a finish that removes him from Chase contention.
As a result, the three likely contenders for this year’s 2013 Sprint Cup Championship are from the two alpha teams of NASCAR. If Michael Waltrip Racing loses a team because of RichmondGate, the chances of a little guy breaking through look more bleak than the Steelers’ playoff chances.
Draw: Richard Childress Racing
Kevin Harvick finds himself fourth in the points. Harvick runs big tracks well. Harvick runs fast tracks well. Harvick runs Homestead well.
Richard Childress Racing should be beyond excited about a chance to win a title. The problem is Kevin Harvick is leaving for Stewart Haas Racing next season. Everyone wants to win their sport’s pinnacle title. But what would it do to the team and sport for someone to win a title and then bail for a new team? Has it ever happened in this magnitude before?
The Monster mile opened some doors and crushed others. In a month where most the big news happened off the track, it was great to see a race make the headline.