The Sprint Cup Series is back in Pocono for the second and final race at the track for the 2010 season. The Chase is just about here, but there is still room for changes. It seems that many drivers have now lost their chance at getting into the Chase, as the points continue to spread out. But never say never; anything can happen.
Here's what and who to watch for this weekend:
Denny has pretty much owned this place since he came into the Cup Series. Saying he will not be a threat for the win is like saying Danica Patrick will win the Nationwide point standings this year. He will be a contender.... Or will he? According to sources, Hamlin was penalized for making critical comments about NASCAR. Here is what he said that may have penalized him:
"There is always debris that they could throw a legitimate caution for, but I think that sometimes they just kinda let it go when maybe things are getting mixed up, and other times, when things are spread out, let's tighten it back up. You don't have to be so smart to realize that these things are just by chance."
Will this mess with his head? We'll see.
Newman was also supposedly the other driver who was penalized for making comments that were critical of the sport. Here is what he said about restrictor plate races that may have been the reason for the penalites:
"It is a lottery, racing for a championship shouldn't be a lottery. Harvick deserves a lot of credit for doing what [he] did to win. From there on back, I don't know. It is not about someone's car handling or motor being better. The cars might as well all be kit cars for these two races."
He is out of the Chase by about 150 points. With 6 races to go, it will be tough to get in, but as mentioned earlier, anything can happen.
Well, he's in 13th spot, but is 62 points out of the Chase. If he is to get into the playoffs, he will have to get top 5s from here on out, and at least one person in the top 12 will have to have some bad luck. It is possible however, just look at what his teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. did a few weeks ago; he gained about 100 points in only a few races.
Will a Ford finally reach victory lane? It was close last weekend with Greg Biffle at Indy battling for the win. However, he was not able to seal the deal. Pocono can be similar to Indy, so it will be fun to watch Greg Biffle or any other Ford this weekend.
This race tends to be a fuel mileage race at the end every now and again. Will it happen this weekend? With this in mind, just about everybody except a start and park could have a chance.
Winner: Denny Hamlin. Not picking him this weekend would be a bad move. I picked him last week at Indy, but it just didn't work out for him....or me. But this week, the series is at the track he dominates. I look for Hamlin to get his mojo back this weekend.
Changes in the top 12? I don't believe we will see any changes in the top 12 this weekend. I am leaning toward the possibility that there won't be any driver changes in the top 12 at all. Things are just too spread apart. Now, I'm not saying that nobody has a chance. I think the Hendrick Motorsports drivers of Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. still have a slim chance. But that's about as far back as I'm willing to go. But, this weekend, I don't expect too much to shuffle around in points.
The Chase is almost here. Six races to go, but not just any races; Watkins Glen, Bristol, and Richmond are in those six races. So what does this mean? Anything can happen.
Quotes from Yahoo Sports