If Sprint Cup fans thought Jimmie Johnson’s collision with the wall and subsequent DNF eliminated him from the Championship Chase, Johnson did exactly what he needed to do to give himself a fighting chance sitting on the outside poll aside teammate Mark Martin for tomorrow’s Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega, and how about that, as fate would have it he has his drafting partner there too. Adding to the strategic possibilities or limitations, Jack Roush mandated that all Roush-Yates powered cars, in other words the entire Ford fleet, must partner with other Fords, giving his two title contenders Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth a whole lot of buddies on the field including the two Richard Petty rides that have been riding strong recently and Trevor Bayne, the young Daytona 500 star racing for the “legendary” Wood Brothers who starts 4th. For this week’s consideration of possible championship contenders, the driver must be with one race’s point total to still be considered viable with five races including
in consideration. Talladega
Here are the possible contenders in rank order and where they start tomorrow.
1- Carl Edwards, #17, Ford, starts 9th
2- Kevin Harvick, #29, Chevrolet, starts 13th (-5)
3- Matt Kenseth, #17, Ford, starts 11th (-7)
4- Kyle Busch, #18,
, starts 34th (-18) Toyota
5- Tony Stewart, #14, Chevrolet, starts 12th (-24)
6- Brad Keselowski, #2, Dodge, starts 16th (-25)
7- Kurt Busch, #22, Dodge, starts 14th (-27)
8- Jimmie Johnson, #48, Chevrolet, starts 2nd (-35)
The scramble continues next week at Martinsville, the diametric opposite of Talladega, but equally a blender race after which the shootout for the trophy will be lined up for the last three dates in the southern latitudes.