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‘Chase for the Chase’ under way in Sprint Cup
BROOKLYN, MICH. (AP) - Some of NASCAR’s biggest names are trying to keep their championship hopes alive and the Chase for the Sprint Cup is still about a month away.
Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon would all be on the outside looking in if the Chase started now. They have four races to change that, starting this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
“We don’t feel there is a better race track on the circuit to come to when we need a win than Michigan,” Edwards said. “We have had a lot of success here.”
Edwards has won twice at this track, and another victory Sunday would put him in great shape in what Gordon called the “chase for the Chase.” The top 10 drivers advance, along with the two with the most wins who are between 11th and 20th in the points standings.
Newman said he still doesn’t have any news on a new sponsor for next season, and missing the 10-race Chase would be tough to take this year.
“We’ve made it and we’ve not made it. When we don’t make it, it’s frustrating to go through those last 10 races,” Newman said. “In the past it hasn’t changed our perspective on the next season. But this year I think it’s a little bit different. It has weight but it doesn’t change the way I race, doesn’t change my mentality when I get in the racecar or when I get out of the racecar. It’s all about doing my job as a driver.”
Busch nearly picked up what would have been a huge victory last weekend at Watkins Glen, but he skidded wide coming out of a turn on the final lap on an oil-smeared track, and Marcos Ambrose won in a chaotic finish.
Ambrose is 17th in the standings, one spot ahead of Joey Logano. Both have a win this year, so they still have hope of reaching the Chase.
Edwards finished 11th at Michigan in June and has only two top-10 showings in his last 10 races. A victory this week suddenly puts him in better position for at least a wild card. That could bring about some interesting scenarios late in a race, when teams have to decide how aggressively they’re going to try to finish first.
“If you watch some of the restarts at this place, guys sometimes will get a run and it will be three or four or five wide into that first corner,” Edwards said. “I think you might see a lot of that. Those are the things we are willing to risk on more right now than we have in the past.”
“We’re just trying to race as hard as we possibly can for each position,” Gordon said. “I don’t get too far ahead. I really live in the moment.”
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