Chase for the Sprint Cup championship: Week 3

Posted Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Chase standings
Pos. DriverChase winsSeason winsPtsLast week
1. Matt Kenseth272,1111
2. Kyle Busch042,0972
3. Jimmie Johnson042,0933
4. Greg Biffle012,07511
5. Kevin Harvick022,0734
6. Kurt Busch002,0726
7. Carl Edwards022,0715
8. Jeff Gordon002,0697
9. Ryan Newman012,0648
10. Clint Bowyer002,0639
11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.002,04913
12. Joey Logano012,04212
13. Kasey Kahne022,04010
Results, Schedule
RaceWinner
ChicagoMatt Kenseth
New HampshireMatt Kenseth
DateSiteTime, TV
Sept. 29Dover1 p.m., ESPN
Oct. 6Kansas1 p.m., ESPN
Oct. 12Charlotte6:30 p.m., WFAA/8
Oct. 20Talladega1 p.m., ESPN
Oct. 27Martinsville12:30 p.m., ESPN
Nov. 3TMS2 p.m., ESPN
Nov. 10Phoenix2 p.m., ESPN
Nov. 17Homestead-Miami2 p.m., ESPN

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The Chase is two races old, and Matt Kenseth has two wins. Can’t do better than that. Or can you? “I’ve felt all along that if you finish second every single Chase race, then you could have a really good shot at winning a championship,” said Kyle Busch, who so far has done just that — finished second in each Chase race so far. “I would certainly take that over a Chase win and then following that up by a DNF,” he said. The third race in the Chase is Sunday at Dover, with Kenseth, Busch and Jimmie Johnson already having gained some separation on the rest of the Chase field. “It’s going to be the guys who are up front each and every week, and certainly it might take a couple wins in this deal to win it,” Busch said. There are eight more chances to get those “couple wins in this deal.”

Stock up

You mean besides Matt Kenseth, right? Well, Jimmie Johnson, for one. It’s like that strange run of bad finishes just before the Chase never happened. And now he’s on a track where he’s won seven times.

Stock down

Kevin Harvick is coming off a 20th-place finish at New Hampshire that knocked him back to sixth in the standings. Now he has to rally on a track, Dover, where he has never won and only rarely come close.

Notable

Other 2-for-2s: Two other drivers have opened the Chase with two wins. Neither made it to three. Greg Biffle finished third at Kansas the following week in 2008, and Tony Stewart was 25th at Dover in 2011.

Good run: The win at Indianapolis this summer did Ryan Newman good. He has seven top-10s in 15 starts since.

Big three: Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson each have top-5s in the first two Chase races. Kenseth, of course, has two “top-1s.”

Quotable

“We hadn’t expected that Loudon would be particularly good for us. We were a little disappointed at Chicago, but I’m looking forward to going to Kansas, Charlotte, Texas and Homestead as we look at what I think are our strengths for the balance of the year. I feel that we almost dodged a bullet at Loudon and look forward at having the same kind of luck at Martinsville and Talladega.” — Car owner Jack Roush, on Carl Edwards’ 11th-place finish at Chicago and ninth-place finish at Loudon to start the Chase.

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