By HEATHER WILLIAMS
7:26 PM CDT, October 15, 2012
Welcome to the half-way point in the chase. It seems almost poetic that we will race at what is almost the half-way point in the country the Kansas Speedway this season and that the Chase field has been cut nearly in half.
Only six of the 12 drivers that qualified for the chase for the championship are with in the points you can make up in one race, with sixth place Greg Biffle 43 points back. (The most points you can make up in one race is 47, you win and lead the most laps and the leader finishes 43rd, 48-1 is 47).
Many think this is a three horse race between Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, and Denny Hamlin.
"I think we're probably at the halfway point now, to have us three this tight, the good, hard competitive racing, the respect for one another, I've had a lot of fun over these five races and I know the next five will be great, too," said Hamlin.
But Clint Bowyer made up 14 points with his win in Charlotte on Sunday, which means neither he nor Biffle are out of it by any means.
"To be back in victory lane, new life, new hope going into Kansas, there's a lot of races left," said Bowyer. "You know, I looked at it last week and going into this week, I still thought if one of those guys were to stub a toe, if Brad stubbed his toe, it really opened the door for about eight of us right back into the championship hunt. With a win here, it definitely gave us new life and new hope."
And new excitement. Because in my opinion, the chase went from a three man race to a six man one. Sure it would be more exciting if it was a 12 car chase. But I'm more of an optimist, and this is starting to get good.
"We're going for trophies," said Bowyer's crew chief Brian Pattie. "That's the only way you're going to beat the 2, the 48 and the 11. That mid-pack 4th, 5th and 6th in points were gapped a little bit from the leaders, so you had to do something special to get back into it, and this definitely helps."
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