Tony Stewart has shown us how it is done in the Chase for the Sprint Cup after the first two races in the Chase. There is nothing wrong with going two for two in those two races. I have to say that I am amazed at the fact that Smoke has taken the first two races. This is a guy that basically squeezed his way into the Chase. To come out in Chicago and New Hampshire to win two fuel mileage races shows a lot about the state of his team at this time. Will he and the team be able to carry the momentum the next eight races to claim the championship? I really cannot say yet. If they run strong this weekend at Dover, look out because Jimmie Johnson’s reign at the top could be over.
Dover could be the great equalizer this weekend to the Chase. Dover is a high banked track that self cleans when the wrecks occur. Each chaser this week is going to have to be careful when an incident happens in front of them. The Monster Mile has a habit of sucking you into the wreck when you really should not have been a part of it. Staying out of trouble becomes another element this week that really has not been too big a part of the first two Chase races.
Getting the tank full on every stop has become so important to each of these races and there is really no other way to describe it. If you happen to not believe that NASCAR is a team sport, just ask some of the drivers that have run out of fuel at the end of the races this year. It is not only the fuel man over the wall on a pit stop that is important, it is the crew chief and the rest of the crew getting a good read on how far the car will go on a full tank of fuel. If the fuel calculation is off, or the fuel man fails to get the tank full on a stop, you can look forward to your favorite driver coasting around the track as the announcers say he is out of fuel with a lap or so to go. Have that happen, it could be the end of your title hopes this season.
I think we will have a competitive race come Sunday. Qualifying is Saturday at Dover. We will intently be waiting to see where the Chasers are going to start on the grid. Getting a good starting spot at Dover is key with the tight walls that surround the track. Not only is the racing surface tight, but getting that good pit road selection is important as well. Dover has a tight pit road with small pit boxes. Danger lurks everywhere at Dover, and who will be bitten by the Monster on Sunday could go a long way to determine this year’s Sprint Cup Champion.