After 2009 shutout, Childress team places 3 in Chase
The big losers: Hendrick’s Mark Martin, whose chances at a title get smaller each year; and of course Dale Earnhardt Jr., who once again failed to live up to all the hype around him. Jamie McMurray missed, too, but his Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 trophies (and the cash that comes along with those wins) can console him.
The biggest turnaround was for Childress, who had no drivers in the Chase last year.
Even the competition, such as Jeff Gordon, said RCR has done a great job getting back to the top.
“I mean, Childress, they have been getting their butt kicked the past couple of years and they have ramped it up,” Gordon said. That's what happens, you get beat down and you go to work and start analyzing what your competition is doing and what you're missing and you realize that when you're an organization like Richard has there, you've got to make some big changes; and whether it's in their chassis, their simulation, I don't know what it is, but they have obviously found some things and they are much better.”
Clint Bowyer said he’s confident that RCR will have cars capable of winning the Chase, but circumstances have to go their way, too.
“I think it’s important that obviously we have run as well as we have, but it's also important to make it happen in the last ten weeks. This is the best we have ever been prepared and the best we have run up to this point,” he said. “I feel like we have the cars and the things in the shop and feel like we have a plan for everything that has happened and going to happen. But you can’t control the circumstances and everyone gets better and sometimes you hit it and sometimes you don’t. The things we can control, I believe we controlled them and we will just see what happens.”
Roush Chase roundup
Carl Edwards has been a roll for a while, and he almost ended up with his first win since Homestead of 2008 … contending most of the night, leading a lot of laps and finishing 10th, due to his inability to keep up on the long runs.
Still, he was happy after the race, saying: "I think we ran better here tonight that we have run in years, so that is good for our team. It is huge. It is still a top-10 and we are in the Chase. Now we need to go to Loudon and go for all the points we can get.”
Greg Biffle locked in his spot in the Chase, but in unspectacular fashion. He finished 32nd and was terrible all night. These kind of nights can’t happen if Biffle wants to contend in the Chase, and he knows it.
"That was pretty poor. Our cars keep breaking and we seem to have stuff wrong with them. I don't know. I thought a few weeks ago we had a shot at the Chase, but I don't know anymore."
Matt Kenseth, the third Roush driver in the Chase, will start the Chase in 12th position, and in true Kenseth fashion he wasn’t exactly jumping for joy.
"Not to be a Debbie Downer but 12th in points isn't that
spectacular,” he said. “You need to do something when you get there. The saving grace is that everybody is caught up and we are like 50 points out of the lead. We got that closed up and now we have to go perform."
Become a fan of the Facebook page NASCARBeyond