Found November 14, 2012 on
We've got a lot of storylines heading into this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Something tells me that Clint Bowyer falling to fourth in points and now being 52 points out after his crash with Jeff Gordon Sunday will have an effect. Maybe he will calm down over the next four to five days, but something tells me he's going to make Jeff Gordon live hard at Homestead. Hopefully not, but something tells me he will.
Brad Keselowski, he has all these storylines going in there, but he doesn't need to race like he just needs to finish 15th or better. He needs to race like he ran Sunday at Phoenix, like he ran 10 races ago. Just be smart with what you do.
Then you think about all the drivers that are still trying to win a race this year. You look at Mark Martin, still trying to win a race. You look at Kyle Busch, trying to end this season with a win. Carl Edwards, trying to win a race. Look at all the drivers that have not won a race in 2012 who get one more shot.
As I said also, it's an unknown going there. We've been going there since 1999, but it's a track we only go to once a year. We know a lot changes over the course of a year with cars, with setups, with rules and certainly with the racetrack losing grip.
I know this deal is not over with yet, we've still got 400 miles next Sunday to run, but it's almost like as of late, leading the points coming to Phoenix has been the kiss of death.
Denny Hamlin was leading the points coming here in 2010 and lost the championship. Carl Edwards was leading the points coming into Phoenix last year, lost the championship. And obviously Jimmie Johnson was leading the points coming into Phoenix Sunday, and he certainly took a huge, huge hit.
Jimmie Johnson and his team were a head-scratcher at Phoenix. Did they make gains on it over the course of the weekend and over the course of the race? Certainly. But they were searching for speed from the time they unloaded on Friday. They qualified 24th and were seemingly searching in practice and for most of the race, except through the transitional green-flag pit stops, they were those five, six, seven spots behind Brad Keselowski all day long.
If that tire had not given Jimmie Johnson and his team a problem, we'd basically be going to Homestead with it heads up, it's who beats who.
All it takes is just one little something happening to Brad and things will be even again this week.
He hasn't really had anything happen to him in this Chase. I said before this Chase, I felt like whoever would win this championship would have an all-but-flawless 10 races. I felt like that's what it was going to take.
Right now he has eight top-10 finishes. The only finish that was outside the top 10 was an 11th at Charlotte in a race where they had a very dominant car.
But I think we'll just have to get down there and see what happens.
BEST OF MAXIM
I'm a big believer in the basic theory -- don't get off your gameplan in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship race. Don't get off of what got you here the first 35 races.
I'm living proof that getting off your gameplan will cost you a championship. We went to Atlanta the final race of the year in 1992 with Davey Allison, Robert Yates Racing and the No. 28 car and we...
Brad Keselowski became an instant social media darling for hopping on Twitter during a lengthy delay in the Daytona 500.
The tweets made Keselowski the center of attention. NASCAR seemed trendy and hip - a description its executives surely adored.
Turns out, tweeting from the car isn't that cool with NASCAR: Keselowski was fined $25,000 on Monday for tweeting during the red...
Brad Keselowski became a social media darling after hopping on Twitter during a lengthy delay in the Daytona 500.
Keselowski was the center of attention, and NASCAR seemed trendy and hip - a description its executives surely adored.
Turns out, tweeting from the car isn't cool with NASCAR.
Keselowski was fined $25,000 on Monday for tweeting during the red flag at Phoenix International...
Five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson is the king of mind games and he doesn't mind reminding Brad Keselowski what's at stake at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend.
Keselowski takes a 20-point lead over Johnson into Sunday's finale. He needs only to finish 15th or better to win his first Sprint Cup title.
Johnson opened Thursday's news conference talking about...
For Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus, this week is business as usual.
Although they lost the NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead in Sunday's race at Phoenix and enter this weekend 20 points behind leader Brad Keselowski, they don't need to change their approach this week. There's nothing Jimmie and Chad can do that's any different than they did last week than they...
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), finished sixth in the AdvoCare 500 – the second-to-last race in the 2012 Chase for the Championship – at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) on Sunday afternoon. Keselowski looked to have a car capable of contending for the race win, but was...
Many would consider the 20-point cushion for Brad Keselowski enough to go ahead and crown him the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.
And with the way he’s running this year and turning in strong finishes at tracks he usually struggles at, why wouldn’t you etch his name on the trophy?
He’s been clutch and running like a champion each week. All he has to do Sunday is finish 17th...
Brad Keselowski's worst finish in the Chase is 11th...
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, sits second in points, 20 behind leader Brad Keselowski going into the final race at the Homeestead-Miami Speedway. Johnson talked to the media on the eve of the race weekend and below is the transcript of that meeting.
I know there’s so many people trying to downplay the mind games, but are you just trying to plant a seed in...
As cliche as it sounds, what a difference a week makes.
Last Monday morning, Jimmie Johnson held a slim but steady seven-point lead with two races remaining. Now, thanks largely to a blown tire, and Brad Keselowski's ability to avoid catastrophe, he's staring at a formidable 20-point deficit as the Sprint Cup heads to South Beach.
Keselowski continued his impressive run...
Jeff Gordon was fined $100,000 by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer that led to a brawl between their crews Sunday during the AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Speedway.
Gordon was not suspended for the season's last race, just fined $100,000 and docked 25 Sprint Cup Series championship points. Gordon's crew chief Alan Gustafson was placed on probation...
Frequent heartburn sufferer and comedian, Larry the Cable Guy jokes with NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon at the Phoenix International Raceway before the race to promote new Prilosec OTC Wildberry and encourage fans to enter the Wild American Flavor Sweepstakes at www.WildberryFlavor.comon Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
*Editor’s Note: This Phoenix race...