Quest for the Sprint Cup: Chase Thoughts after Phoenix

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Nine down, one to go. In just one more race we will crown the 2012 Sprint Cup Series Champion. The season has flown by and we could crown a first time champion next weekend. The standings were flipped after Phoenix. Coming into Phoenix, Jimmie Johnson had a decent sized lead over Brad Keselowski but after Phoenix, Keselowski has a very comfortable lead over Johnson. With Johnson’s misfortunes, Keselowski took over the points lead and he seized the opportunity exceptionally well.

With 78 laps remaining in the race, Johnson hit the turn four wall. Johnson then brought his No.48 Lowes Chevy behind the wall and he went 38 laps down. If Johnson doesn’t have a miraculous comeback next weekend at Homestead-Miami, his Phoenix wreck will be the reason he doesn’t bring home his sixth championship. Johnson lost 27 points total to Keselowski Sunday in Phoenix and Johnson will need to make up twenty points next weekend in Miami if he wants the championship. If Johnson wins the race, Keselowski will need to finish 16th or worst for Johnson to win the championship. Impossible? No. Will it be difficult? Yes. In all five championship seasons for Johnson, he has never had to make up a deficit in the final race this big. If Johnson pulls the feat off, he will be known as the best current driver. It won’t be easy but if one driver could do it, that driver would be Jimmie Johnson.  

A perfect race occurred in Phoenix for Brad Keselowski. Keselowski finished ahead of Johnson, he took over the points lead and he didn’t wreck. Keselowski ended up finishing sixth and he was involved in the last lap wreck. Keselowski was hit by Kurt Busch but Keselowski managed to cross the finish line without spinning out. Keselowski is now one top fifteen finish away from the championship. If Keselowski finishes fifteenth or better, he will win the championship regardless of what Jimmie Johnson does. The task at hand for Keselowski won’t be easy. This will be the first time Keselowski’s has been in this situation and he could handle this like a true champion and take home the championship trophy.

The whole season has come down to a two horse race. Five time champion Jimmie Johnson will be matched against young-gun Brad Keselowski. Johnson will need to have a clean and miraculous race if he wants to win the championship. Keselowski will just need to stay inside the top fifteen and he will be crowned champion. The quest for the sprint cup will wrap up next Sunday in Homestead; this race promises to be full of excitement. It all comes down to Homestead-Miami and this race will be one for the history-books.


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