Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 9/12/12
What happens now for the NASCAR drivers who were in the running, but did not make the Chase for the Sprint Cup? It's probably easier for Carl Edwards to move on than it is for Kyle Busch, because Edwards didn't really even come close, to be honest. But I think for Edwards, Busch, Joey Logano -- and he's moving on in an even bigger way once the checkered flag waves at Homestead -- Marcos Ambrose, Ryan Newman and all the drivers who came so close this year, most of them know all they needed was one more win. All Kyle Busch, somewhere in those 26 races, needed was three more finishing positions somewhere. Still, I think there's probably going to be a sense of relief that the field is set. I know as a broadcaster, I'm feeling a sense of relief that we don't have to talk about it for a long time. Now we can just talk about a straight-up battle for the championship. There are no more scenarios. We know who our 12 drivers are, and we know what's in store for these next 10 weeks and these next 10 races. If you look at our first three Chase races, they are at three totally different racetracks and offer three different chances. Chicago is a mile-and-a-half oval, New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a flat mile and then Dover, a high-banked mile concrete track. These guys have three completely different obstacles staring at them to get this Chase segment of the season started. Honestly, I think for Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch and all those others, the focus is on the fact that you can win some more races. Does that heal the wound of not making the Chase this year? I don't know. But winning is winning. A win right now for Carl Edwards - and trust me, we're only about 12 races from two years since he last had one - would be huge.
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