April 18, 2012
By Chuck Abrams
After a statement making win, the question I have this week is can Greg Biffle back up that win with another good run?
Or will we see the return of Rollercoaster Greg as he lays an egg?
Last week, I said “Joe Gibbs Racing needs to do way better this weekend.” While it wasn’t a great weekend, it wasn’t a disaster either. Both Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch moved up in the standing while Joey Logano didn’t make a move on the track -- or in the points. I look for more of the same this week, but Hamlin is on my watch out for him list. He could resurrect conversation with a top 3 this week.
Jeff Gordon needed a good race on Saturday and he got one. But as you can see, he rose four places in the standing -- all the way to 17th. He needs to do that every week to get back into the thick of things. I look for another top 10 for him this week.
Carl Edwards was never a threat on Saturday and he may not be again on Sunday. He has a good record at Kansas but he has yet to get his rear in gear, this year. Could Kansas be the place? Sure, but it could also be a day where he finishes in the top 10 after running mid-pack all day. But the finishing position is all that counts. I am going to go out on a small limb and say he gains a top 10 finish.
Juan Pablo Montoya started in the top 25, which is about where I placed him. But he managed to get a 16th place finish out of that. Yawn. Kansas was almost good to him last year. He started on the front row and managed a
mid-teen finish. Same ol’ same ol’.
Kasey Kahne got a good run in the Sprint Cup car at Texas -- and the Rock in the Truck Series. If he can keep the mechanical gremlins at bay, he could get another top 10 finish Sunday at Kansas.
Smoke (Tony Stewart) and Ryan Newman had a really bad day at Texas. I missed that one entirely. This week will show us if they were just having a bad day or if they are having some problems. Look for a top 12 run from Smoke.
Kurt Busch needs another good run. And that’s just to keep sponsorship for his car. Finch has alluded that they are borderline to run the entire year. He got his top 15 run at Texas and should be able to do it again at Kansas.
Martin Truex, Jr. got his top 10 -- heck he got a top 5 finish at Texas. Kansas has not been that kind to Truex, so this week he will need to step it up big time. But the way MWR cars are running right now, another top 10 wouldn’t surprise me, although I am leaning to a top 15 run.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn’t get a strong finish but he managed a top 10. He started this race deep in the field last year and wound up second. A little redemption wouldn’t be out of the question. Top 5 this week.
“Greg Biffle may need a top 5 run to stay on top. He might be the dark horse of the Roush stable this weekend.” Nostradamus? Like I said, Biffle has been good here. I don’t think he’ll post another win, but he will have a top 10 at this bad boy and stay on top of the points.
Brad Keselowski had mechanical issues that cost him dearly. But he won at Kansas last year and he can be a streaky driver. I think he’ll rebound for a top 5 finish this week.
Other notables -- Matt Kenseth is Mr. Consistent again this year. He could win this race. Look for a top 5 from him, again. Kevin Harvick has not been all that consistent but he should finish with a top 10 in this race. Clint Bowyer could be the MWR car of the weekend if Mark Martin doesn’t show him up again.
What would surprise me: Another bad race for Keselowski and a top 5 run for Kyle Busch.
That’s my take. How will your favorite driver fare this weekend?
Lemme know your thoughts.
Drive fast, turn left and keep the shiny side up.
The thoughts and ideas expressed by this writer or any other writer on Insider Racing News, are not necessarily the views of the staff and/or management of IRN.