Race: Bank of America 500
Date: Saturday October 11, 2008
Track: Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Time: 7pm ET
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com
Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the home of Jimmie Johnsonwell, theoretically anyway. This weekend is set up for none other than Johnson to extend his lead over second place Carl Edwards in the Chase for the Championship. Lowe’s Motor Speedway is a 1.5 mile quad-oval track with 24 degree banking in the turns and 5 degree banking in the straights. The frontstretch boasts 1980 feet with the backstretch holding out a 1500 foot racing surface.
Although this is an intermediate track, no one but Jimmie Johnson has shown such domination at one particular venue. Johnson has five wins here, with an unprecedented 4-win streak from 2004-2005. Kasey Kahne has quite a record here as well, but no one has the consistency in top-5 and top-10 finishes that Johnson has.
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Besides Johnson, you would think that Roush would have some luck at this track, being that it is an intermediate track, but no such luck. There has not been a recent Roush winner here. In fact, Roush almost seems to struggle at this track. I would have a hard time believing that these guys would struggle so much here this year, though. Between Edwards, Biffle, and Kenseth, they are all consistently strong. With the exception of Edwards’ bad judgment call at Talladega this weekend, the Roush guys have proven they have what it takes to be potential champions again. I’d say we’re going to see some strong runs from all these guys as Edwards and Biffle are 2nd and 3rd in the points, respectively, with Matt Kenseth sitting pretty in 9th place.
Choosing the winner this weekend, though, is not going to be a hard decision. Call me a bandwagon jumper, but Johnson is in the points lead, where he’s been for the last 2 years, and he maintains a consistent and strong team. Going to a track that he dominates, it just makes sense to see him in victory lane. The Lowe’s car in the Lowe’s circle is not bran surgery after all.
Here’s a recap of your current top 12 Chase contenders:
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Carl Edwards
3. Greg Biffle
4. Jeff Burton
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Tony Stewart
8. Jeff Gordon
9. Matt Kenseth
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
11. Kyle Busch
12. Denny Hamlin
With a strong run (before being involved in the ‘big one’) at Talladega, Kasey Kahne is another potential winner here, but Lowe’s has been known for creating some pretty bad wrecks for guys too. I’m going to go with Johnson as the winner with the other Chase drivers in tow.