After the winter many NASCAR fans had to endure, Spring Break and the sights and sounds that go with it have arrived at an ideal time.
For Sprint Cup teams, the timing is ideal as well when you consider all of the developments on. But even though your favorite Sprint Cup driver will spend time with friends and family this weekend, there are still some thoughts to simmer over this Saturday and Sunday related the next phase of the 2015 Sprint Cup season.
Odds Carl Edwards Wins Three Races in 2015: 4/1
Edwards is tied with Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick for the final Chase spots. I get it. It’s early.
But NASCAR fans should remember the daunting task of adding a fourth team. Richard Childress Racing tried it; everyone had a down year; they all bounced back when the team was reduced to three cars. What Joe Gibbs Racing did with the Edwards addition would be challenging under any circumstance, let alone adding the health challenges of JD Gibbs.
Edwards and Darian Grubb will get it working, but I don’t envision a Matt Kenseth career year with Edwards and his first rodeo with JGR.
Odds Ryan Newman Makes The Chase: 8/1
Newman is 43 points out of the final Chase spot with 20 races to catch up fully. He would also have to pass nine other drivers, assuming no wild car wins the Chase.
In 2014, three drivers would not have made the Chase had they not secured the win. So if 13 is the new 16, that puts Newman 56 points out of the final Chase spot.
Newman hasn’t won since the 2013 Brickyard 400; that is more than 50 Sprint Cup starts. Newman could generate enough points to qualify; the win obviously helps; both seem like an uphill climb based on the past data. Hopefully the appeal goes well.
Odds Driver Who Misses a Race Still Makes The Chase: 1/2
If you took these odds, you would have Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Regan Smith, Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch on your side.
Kurt Busch and Larson already passed six drivers who have run every race. I wouldn’t put anything past Kyle Busch upon his return. Regan Smith might even surprise someone. And with a lack of SAFER barriers at every track, it’s possible a concussion or other injury could keep a big name out for a week or two.
The new Chase rules continue to provide plenty of possibilities to make Sprint Cup fans ponder while lounging during the end of Spring Break. Enjoy the down time and holiday weekend; now insert a random catchphrase here.