Charlotte, NC- After the first three Chase races, it looked like it was going to be a three man race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch, and five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson were on a roll as the trio combined to have a 3.1 average finish with three wins and eight top fives to start off the Chase.
After this past Sunday’s race in Kansas though it looks like Busch could be close to being eliminated.
Busch wrecked in practice on Saturday morning and was forced to start last in a backup car. In the race he wrecked two more times and came home 34th. It was his third consecutive race in Kansas that he was involved in an accident. Now, Busch is 35 points behind Matt Kenseth in the championship as he fell from third to fifth in the standings.
That puts him in a make or break mode this weekend at Charlotte.
Both Kenseth and Johnson are very good at Charlotte as is third place in the standings Kevin Harvick. The trio has won a combined 10 times including Harvick winning the Coca-Cola 600 this past May. Kenseth has won 1/2 of the 1.5-mile tracks this year as these three look to extend their lead over the rest of the contenders this weekend.
Busch has to do better than his result here in May. He finished 38th in the 600 after a freak incident when a television cable hit his car.
You can tell his disappointment is growing by the week as he’s getting more and more frustrated that his JGR teammate is winning so much while he’s finishing right behind him and the bad weekend at Kansas took a lot out of him. How well he rebounds this weekend will determine the success of the rest of his season.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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