Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jimmie Johnson takes points lead after 2nd place finish in Race 3 of the chase: The Top 6 NASCAR things learned from Kansas including Greg Biffle winning.

(Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to my weekly NASCAR column that features the top 6 things learned NASCAR Nationwide Series and Cup Series are racing in Kansas, while the Truck Series is off until Martinsville.

1. Greg Biffle makes a statement by winning at Kansas and Race 3 of the Chase. Kansas was anything but boring as Kansas has been the wild card race so far this season. But for Greg Biffle, they needed to come into this race and gain big time and they did. Congrats to Greg Biffle on a much needed win.

2. What a change in the chase for the Sprint Cup Series standings after Kansas, right now the top 9 are only separated by 101 points in the championship hunt heading into California next weekend.

Right now, Jimmie Johnson is the points leader by 8 points over Denny Hamlin. The good thing for Jimmie Johnson is that history is on his side as the points leader coming out of Kansas 4 out 6 times has gone on to win the Cup Series championship. Kevin Harvick is 3rd (after finishing 3rd) with Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon round out the top 5 (-58 points back from the leader). But even more, it’s good to see that after 3 races, the top 9 (Jeff Burton in 9th) are within 101 points of the leader. And Tony Stewart is still in it, in 10th, -127 points back.

And yes even Kyle Busch (after David Reutimann paid him back) came out with a decent points day as Busch is only -80 points back. It could have been worse.

However I would say that Matt Kenseth in 11th and Clint Bowyer in 12th are out of this one borrowing a surge. Of course, anything can happen with 7 races to go especially with Talladega on this horizon later this month.

3. David Reutimann pays back Kyle Busch after earlier race incident at Kansas – Go Reutimann. (Read more on my personal blog BrianVermette dot Com…)

And to Kyle Busch, it means more (gets the other drivers attention more) to take a driver out while that driver is in the thick of a chase fight. And just for the record, Reutimann's payback steams more than just the early race contact at Kansas, but no doubt, Busch deserved it especially after comments and contact last August at Bristol race.

4. Nationwide Series only drivers finding it hard to keep rides. Earlier this week, fans were very outspoken and voiced their displeasure to Michael Waltrip Racing after they announced the release of Trevor Bayne and that the Truex Brothers would share the #99 MWR Toyota for the remainder of the season. I wasn’t surprised that fans were upset especially on MWR’s Facebook page.

However for a talented driver like Trevor Bayne, it didn’t take long for another team, namely Roush-Fenway Racing to sign him not only for Kansas, but to a long term contract. On Thursday, it was announced that Bayne would drive the #17 at Kansas and more details would emerge soon. (Read More).

5. Joey Logano makes late race pass for the lead on Kyle Busch with Brad Keselowski’s help to win Kansas Nationwide Series race. It’s nice to see someone else win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but the fact still remains, the Nationwide series needs some major help, right now it’s the Cup Lite Series or the (Kyle) Busch Series.

6. Clint Bowyer continues to slide in the chase standings to 12th after losing appeal on 150 point penalty. Right now I would say that he is all but out of this chase for the Sprint Cup. Never in history (that I know of has) a driver made up a 250 point gap with 7 races to go in the Cup Series season. I also believe that even if Bowyer’s penalty is reduced (by winning last option appeal), he still is out of it.

Note: Starting next week, this weekly column will expand to a championship battle edition for all three of NASCAR's national series.