Winners And Losers – Brickyard Edition
Posted by: Dave Thompson, follow @phillyfan17
July 31, 2012
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson put on a driving clinic on Sunday for his third win of the season and a record fourth victory at the Brickyard. He looked unstoppable in the second half of the race and easily pulled away from the field on the final restart. Johnson led 99 of the 160 laps and finished ahead of runner-up Kyle Busch by more than seven seconds.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Junior Nation was “amped” up this weekend, not for Earnhardt’s fourth-place finish, but in celebration of him taking over the points lead from Matt Kenseth. For the first time in nearly eight years, the fan favorite sits atop the Sprint Cup series standings. If he continues to finish consistently in the top-10, as he has most of the season, Earnhardt is going to be a serious threat for the title.
Dave Blaney – Blaney had a solid day at the Brickyard after starting 32nd and bringing home a 23rd-place finish. While the finish may not seem worthy of the “winner” tag, it marked just the fourth time this season he has finished on the lead lap. After he failed to finish three of the last four races, finishing all 160 laps and a top-25 finish is noteworthy.
Matt Kenseth – Kenseth’s day came to an abrupt end after Joey Logano lost control of his car and spun into Kenseth on Lap 134. His 35th-place finish, coupled with Earnhardt’s top-five, bumped him to second-place in the point standings. While Kenseth didn’t seem overly concern on losing the points lead, he is however concern about the team’s momentum as the Chase quickly approaches.
Carl Edwards – An engine problem spoiled the debut of new crew chief Chad Norris this weekend as Edwards’ hope of making the Chase continue to fade. This was the last thing this team needed with Edwards already outside the top-10 in points and no wins. Despite the rebound from engine problems, Edwards finished 29th and dropped to 12th in the standings. No more points racing for Edwards, this team needs wins if they have any hope remaining to make the Chase.
Jeff Burton – For the eleventh time this season, Burton finished outside the top-20 on Sunday. Richard Childress Racing as a whole as struggled this season, but Burton has clearly had a disappointing season. He currently sits 20th in the point standings heading to Pocono with just four top-10 finishes all year.