With only nine races until the Chase for the Cup, NASCAR drivers outside the top ten need to make their move. Fifteen drivers are within striking distance of the two 'wild card' spots for the Chase, including Juan Pablo Montoya, Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin and Joey Logano. In order to get there, these drivers are going to need to break their winless slump to get into the Chase.
Every driver has a different method of busting slumps. Here's an inside peak at a few of the more unconventional slump busters in NASCAR.
Greg Biffle employs a classic slump busting move: shake up the routine. Biffle shakes up his routine by adding a baby to the mix. The sleepless nights and the dirty diapers should be just enough to push Greg Biffle to Victory Lane. If he doesn't win at Kentucky, he's likely to continue having babies every week via natural childbirth or adoption until he finally breaks his slump. The “new baby” buster is a dangerous gamble because with every new kid Biffle picks up, he's going to need that first place check even more to send his legion of potential children to college.
The slump buster of Mark Martin is befitting a man of his experience and stature. Mark Martin doesn't go for a playoff beard, a night of indiscriminate passion with a lucky lady or the burning of voodoo dolls; When Mark Martin wants to win a race, he just finishes 31st or higher the week before. It sounds counter-intuitive, but for Martin it's a guaranteed win the next week. He's clocked wins in 2009, 2004 and 1999 with this strategy. After his 33rd place finish last week at Daytona, the smart money is on Martin this week.
Paul Menard employs a classic reverse: He shaves his sideburns and soul patch (aka: his flavor saver, his cookie duster and Paul's chin mitten) to bust the slump. While Menard doesn't have a win to show for it, he has been on a tear with six top tens and an average starting position of seventh over the last five races. Many in Menard's native Wisconsin worried that shaving his flavor saver would have a Sampson-losing-his-hair effect. Luckily for Menard, his strength is stored in his dreamy brown eyes.
Marcus Ambrose over-thinks too much. Stewing over his winless streak, Ambrose realized he was putting too much pressure on himself and needed to take his mind off the slump. So Ambrose has hired an elite band of mercenaries to kidnap him in the days leading up to every race, put his life in mortal danger and then release him back to his family just minutes before the green flag drops every weekend. It makes it difficult to plan routine things like dinner dates and birthday parties, but it's taken Ambrose's mind off racing in between Cup starts.
Members of Joey Logano's team have implored him to break his two-year winless streak in the Cup series by currying the favor of a young lady for an evening of dirty dancing. Their requests have been refused as Logano insists he needs to remain true to his girlfriend who lives in Canada. Whenever someone asks, Logano brags about how his Canadian girlfriend (who no one has ever met) is really cool and totally hot and really into Joey even though she can't come to the race track because she's in this bogus outdoor science expedition to the Hudson Bay for six months where she can't call or write or send pictures of herself or fly to Charlotte. Logano insists that if it wasn't for his mysterious Canadian girlfriend, he would totally be into hooking up with some chicks.