Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sprint Cup 2012: Race 36 -- And the Champion Shall Be....

Brad Keselowski starts 3rd to fire things up and hold off "Five Time" Jimmy Johnson who starts 10th in quest of the 2012 Sprint Cup Trophy. If the #2 Miller Lite Dodge finishes in 15th or better, team Penske wins its first Sprint Cup championship. The simple math is, without some substantial mishap, the race is totally in Keselowski's grasp. Johnson needs the #2 team to give something up and race a spectacular race to claim title #6.

Jimmie Johnson had the edge in round one practice charting the 16th best practice time while the "Blue Deuce" only managed to secure the 21st best time; however, if this were the end race results Sunday afternoon, Keselowski wins. Final second round "Happy Hour" practice is scheduled for 3:00 pm before the Nationwide series races for its championship with their race ready to go with a 4:30 pm green flag.

Joey Logano, who moves to Peneske next year, sits on the pole in his last race for Joe Gibbs Racing in the #20 Home Depot Toyota which will be Matt Kenseth's ride in 2013. Kenseth starts 11th.  The top 10 starters are loaded with drivers looking to salvage something from the 2012 season. Marcos Ambrose starts second once again trying to show he's got game on oval tracks. Carl Edwards is looking for some measure of pride for a dreadful, winless season starting 4th. Aric Almirola is racing for his contract for 201 in 5th.  Clint Bowyer, knocked out of 2012 championship contention by an angry Jeff Gordon starts 6th. Martin Truex Jr., the winless chaser, lines up 7th, while Kyle Busch enduring a horrible 2012 checks in at 8th. Meanwhile, on the opposite end, Denny Hamlin, who looked promising as the chase started starts in a horrible 41st position needing owners' points to make the field. Last year's champ, Tony Stewart, starts in a dreadful 35th spot. One additional ride to watch starts 27th, likely Nationwide champ, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. prepares for his sprint Cup rookie season. He'll be the 3rd Roush-Fenway driver next year.

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