The NASCAR Sprint Cup series had a “home” game on Saturday night as the Chase and the rest of the field battled for bragging rights at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The weekend didn’t exactly start out as they hoped with a poor qualifying effort but the team worked on the car. They battled back for another top five finish for Kenseth in the Chase.
One of the fastest cars of the night and had nearly a flawless performance. A late caution for questionable debris eliminated his large lead. Johnson is within striking distance of Kenseth after his fifth top five finish of Chase. . (-4)
Harvick brought his winning car from Kansas but couldn’t quite make the magic needed to pull into victory lane. Sixth place finish keeps pace but he needed more to cut into the gap of him and the leaders. (-29)
After winning the pole, hopes were high for this team of a breakthrough performance. Their strong run in the Chase continued but they lost a few points to the leaders. A missed opportunity but he is still in this. (-36)
Busch needed a rebound week after a disastrous Kansas. Didn’t look good early after a miscommunication on pit road but they rallied for a top five finish. (-37)
After a strong qualifying effort the car and its handling got away from Biffle and his team. Long green flag runs didn’t help and limited chances to work on the car. They continued to lose ground to the leaders after finishing 16th. (-58)
Busch has been one of the best on the mile and half-tracks this season but Saturday night was a struggle. They never got the handle on this car to his liking and they struggled to a 14th place finish. (-59)
The Chase struggles continued for Bowyer as he had a top 10 car but engine woes in the final 75 laps saw Bowyer struggle to a 11th place finish. They had a good car but the power plant underneath barely made it to the finish. (-63)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
In the first half of the race Earnhardt had one of the best cars on the track. As the race wore on though something “broke” and the car was extremely tight. They never recovered and a gamble on pit road didn’t pay off. He finished 15th. (-66)
Just like his teammate in Biffle the expectation that they would run better was a bit of a letdown. They never challenged for the lead and while they finished 10th they were a non-factor. (-67)
Logano has been strong on tracks like Charlotte so his struggled Saturday night were all the more puzzling. They battled lack of track position and an ill handling race car all night. Getting lapped early he ended up finishing 18th. (-75)
Newman rebounded from Kansas with a solid eighth place finish. Car was good on the long runs and they were able to have a better handle on the car while many battled the tight condition. (-78)
What we saw on Saturday night was exactly what many expected from the beginning of the Chase for Kahne. They had the fastest car on the track for much of the night. A great battle for the lead late saw him bring it home second, his first top 10 of the Chase. (-81)