This is an important weekend for Clint Bowyer, who will be making his 200th career start at New Hampshire. After a disappointing finish at Kentucky, the Kansas native dropped to 12th in the point standings and with this season’s new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format, that puts Bowyer on the outside looking in at the Chase with no wins in the 2011 season.
But New Hampshire is a good place for Bowyer to turn his season around. He has two wins at the speedway, along with one pole, two top fives and four top 10s.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back out there in front of another packed house at ‘The Magic Mile’ next week,” said Bowyer. “We have showed in the past how strong these RCR Chevrolets are up there and it couldn’t come at a better time on the schedule as we need a strong run to enhance our chances of qualifying for this year’s Chase.”
Two-time Kansas winner Greg Biffle, has a new crew chief this weekend – Matt Puccia, who has been a part of Roush Fenway Racing as a crew chief in the Nationwide and Truck Series. Biffle is hoping that Puccia will be the key to turning his season around. He is currently 14th in the point standings and in need of a win to put him into the Chase.
With eight races remaining until the Chase begins, the Chase Wild Card spots are some drivers only hope for a spot in the Chase. This season, NASCAR implemented a new Chase format that locks in the top ten drivers in the point standings and two Wild Card spots will determine the final two spots in the Chase. The Wild Card spots are given to two drivers outside of the top 10 and inside the top 20 with the most wins in the 2011 season. Currently David Ragan would hold the first Wild Card spot and Tony Stewart, who is currently 11th in the standings would grab spot No. 2 despite his winless season. But fans should watch Brad Keselowski, who is closing in fast on the top 20, which would secure him, not Stewart, the second Wild Card spot with his win at Kansas in June.
Kyle Busch picked up his 98th and 99th career NASCAR victories last weekend in Kentucky, and should he make it to victory lane again at Loudon on Saturday in the Nationwide Series, he would reach two NASCAR milestones. First, he would reach his 100th NASCAR victory and second, he would tie Mark Martin for the all time Nationwide Series record for wins at 49. Martin collected 49 wins in 235 Nationwide starts, Busch will be making his 216th start.
It is shaping up to be an exciting weekend in New Hampshire on the road to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Chase will begin in eight races and Kansas Speedway will host the fourth race of the Chase with the the Hollywood Casino 400 on October 9. Tickets are on sale now for all remaining races at Kansas Speedway and may be purchased by visiting www.kansasspeedway.com or by calling 866.460.RACE (7223).