Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sprint Cup 2012: Race 20 - The Road to Championship - Brick by Brick

The 2012 Sprint Cup season begins the frantic dash to the Chase and then ten races later, the crowing of this year’s champion at Homestead, Florida. There will be no more weekends off, no byes, no mulligan’s. It’s time to put up or shut up for respectability in 2012. Jeff Gordon is gone – nothing short than incredible performance and at least two victories in the next seven races can save his season. Carl Edwards has a new crew chief demanding results now. Hovering near the top ten in points will not amount to anything without some wins and more consistent running. These are just two drivers in the hot seat in the hottest part of the season. Meanwhile, A.J. Allmendinger failed his second drug test and must complete a required rehab program to be reinstated. Sam Hornish will most likely continue in the #22 Shell/Penzoil Ford, but it will be interesting to see how Roger Penske resolves scheduling issues when the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series are not racing at the same venue. Hornish is a candidate for the Nationwide Championship.

Three drivers did not qualify, Reed Sorensen, Joe Nemechek, and Michael McDowell. Since these are fraudulent qualify and quit, start and park, or take the money and run entries, we can only say good riddance.  It would be refreshing to see a reduction in the number of teams cheating the sport out of purse money for occupying pace in the field. The day cannot come soon enough when NASCAR addresses this embarrassing insult to competitive sports.

Starting Lineup:
111Denny HamlinToyotaFedEx Express182.763
299Carl EdwardsFordFastenal181.984
320Joey LoganoToyotaDollar General181.756
443Aric AlmirolaFordEckrich181.679
516Greg BiffleFord3M181.532
648Jimmie JohnsonChevroletLowe's / Kobalt Tools181.357
718Kyle BuschToyotaM&M's181.046
827Paul MenardChevroletMenards / Nibco181.014
924Jeff GordonChevroletDrive to End Hunger180.952
1017Matt KensethFordFifth Third Bank180.654
1139Ryan NewmanChevroletQuicken Loans180.611
1242Juan MontoyaChevroletTarget180.516
1351Kurt BuschChevroletHendrickCars.com180.487
1478Regan SmithChevroletFurniture Row / Farm American180.473
155Kasey KahneChevroletFarmers Insurance180.447
161Jamie McMurrayChevroletBass Pro Shops / Tracker180.437
1756Martin Truex Jr.ToyotaNAPA Auto Parts180.433
1821Trevor BayneFordMotorcraft / Quick Lane 180.390
1955Mark MartinToyotaAaron's Dream Machine180.386
2088Dale Earnhardt Jr.ChevroletAMP Energy / National Guard180.245
2131Jeff BurtonChevroletRain-X180.177
222Brad KeselowskiDodgeMiller Lite180.148
239Marcos AmbroseFordDEWALT180.072
2422Sam Hornish Jr.DodgeShell / Pennzoil179.928
2513Casey MearsFordGEICO179.519
2630David StremmeToyotaInception Motorsports179.212
2729Kevin HarvickChevroletJimmy Johns178.894
2814Tony StewartChevroletMobil 1 / Office Depot178.862
2947Bobby LabonteToyotaScott Products178.816
3093Travis KvapilToyotaBurger King178.543
3138David GillilandFordBig Machine Records178.508
3236Dave BlaneyChevroletSealWrap178.486
3315Clint BowyerToyota5-hour Energy178.419
34195Scott SpeedFordLeavine Family Racing177.855
3526Josh Wise*ChevroletTaco Bell177.743
3634David RaganFordScorpion Coatings / Al's Liners177.630
3733Stephen Leicht*ChevroletLittle Joes Auto177.347
3883Landon CassillToyotaBurger King177.340
39179Mike SkinnerFordKoma Unwind176.894
4023Scott RiggsChevroletNorth Texas Pipe176.859
4110J.J. YeleyChevroletTommy Baldwin Racing176.523
4232Ken Schrader+FordSpecial Operations For America.org174.768
43119Mike BlissToyotaHumphrey Smith Racing176.180
Did Not Qualify
44191Reed SorensonFordHumphrey Smith Racing175.610
4587Joe NemechekToyotaAM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves175.142
4698Michael McDowellFordK-Love / Curb Records177.901