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The Chase field is set, and here is where I think everyone will wind up when it all ends in Homestead:

 

1) Jimmie Johnson. He's been here before, and has shown quiet consistency all season long - he'll start out only 3 points behind Denny Hamlin to start out. I think he's still mad from last year and will do anything to get #6.

2) Matt Kenseth. He's a consistency powerhouse, and with this being his last year with Roush, he's going to want to close out his career there with a bang. As usual, he's been running up in the top 5 in points all year. If he can get a few wins, he could pull off his 2nd championship.

3) Denny Hamlin. He's the hottest driver in the sport, and those bonus points could pay dividends, but we all know how he cracks under pressure. Until the last few races, he's struggled with consistency and so far hasn't put 10 races together at any point this season.

4) Brad Keselowski. Brad had silently worked his way up to 6th in the overall points standings. Now, he finds himself tied for 2nd in points and with a golden opportunity to make a big move on Hamlin. If he can pull off an early win here in the Chase, at Chicago or Loudon, I think he could grab the points lead and maybe score an upset, but a top-5 points finish is still great.

5) Greg Biffle. He's been one of the most pleasant surprises of 2012, and held to points lead prior to Richmond. Compared to his 2011 season, the entire team has had a miraculous turnaround. I don't see him winning it all this season, but putting together more wins could surprise me and change all that in the Chase.

6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Again, like Biffle, Junior has been running well all season and is tied for the lead in top 10s with Johnson. He led the points for a large portion of this season, and in Hendrick equipment could be a serious threat if he gets on a hot streak. Nevertheless, he has only cracked victory lane once this year, and that will likely be his downfall in these last 10 races.

7) Kasey Kahne. He struggled mightily earlier this season getting accustomed to his new team, but throughout the summer he has gotten consistently better. It's gotten to the point where he has been outperforming the front runners regularly. However, I just don't see a first-year driver being that much of a threat, despite the momentum he has.

8) Martin Truex Jr. Yet another pleasant surprise for this year, he had made it up into the top 5 in points before Richmond. He's done virtually everything except get that streak-breaking victory. If he can somehow pull one off say, at, Chicago, then he could have a better shot, but I think he'll finish right about here.

9) Jeff Gordon. Perhaps one of the best comeback stories of 2012, he somehow came back from his bad luck early in the season and rallied to make the Chase. With 3 consecutive top 3 finishes, he could win it with those numbers. But he has yet to put 10 good races together this season, and I think that will likely be his downfall.

10) Tony Stewart. He could pull off another epic 2011 finish, but I seriously doubt them pulling off 2 in a row. Up to this point, he has been slightly better than last season, but still barely squeaked into the Chase. Like many others, he could use a momentum-changing win at Chicago to push him forward, but like Gordon hasn't put together 10 good races thus far.

11) Clint Bowyer. The second MWR car in the Chase this year, he has gone somewhat unnoticed so far this year. He has a pair of fuel-mileage wins to his credit, running out of gas after the checkers in both. He hasn't shown much consistency though this season, and overall hasn't been solid at all.

12) Kevin Harvick. Probably the quietest of all the 2012 Chase contenders, he hasn't won so far this year and has only 4 top fives to his credit. Enough said.

 

Where do you rank everyone?

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Comment by Duhhub on November 19, 2012 at 9:30am

At the end of the Chase, I wasn't even close on most of these guys. Well, there's always next year!

Comment by Duhhub on October 6, 2012 at 11:43am

Well, so far, the only two drivers I'm far off on are Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer.

Comment by Corey 4Champ on September 22, 2012 at 4:32pm

Just reading this now. glad somebody else noticed the lack of consistency the Denny has displayed this year. yes he started as top seed with 4 wins, but he also had 11 finishes of 20th or worse.

Comment by Brikim on September 22, 2012 at 3:16pm
I think Clint or maybe Tony! I love H's team espeacially Jr. But......:) then again I'm just a girl! LOL
Comment by Bootsy ♥♥ on September 14, 2012 at 7:55pm

thanks Duhhub...good read.

Comment by Tombo on September 12, 2012 at 10:34am

harvick made the chase without a win ahead of several drivers that had wins.wait a minute,didnt that happen before and the guy ended up winning the championship?sounds familiar.

 

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