As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has nine races remaining in its regular season, the stakes are getting higher each week to see who can qualify for the Chase for the Championship, which will include the top 10 in the points standings, and the next two drivers with the most wins who are in the top 20 in the points standings.
For the first time in 10 years the Sprint Cup Series will race on a new track, the Kentucky Speedway. It's hosted other NASCAR events, but not a Sprint Cup event. It's probably long overdue for Kentucky to get a Sprint Cup race because it's a true grassroots NASCAR region, even though it's not located near a big market like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago.
So, trying to make picks heading into Kentucky can be a little different because there is no Sprint Cup history at this track. But here we go.
1) Jimmie Johnson - A new place is going to favor the bigger teams who have a bit of technological edge on how to adjust.
2) Jeff Gordon - Won the initial Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis, California and Kansas. Why not Kentucky? One more win would give him 85 and put him sole possession of third place on all-time win list.
3) Greg Biffle - Has had success in Nationwide and Truck races at Kentucky, so at least that's something to go on.
4) Kyle Busch - He can drive fast in any type of car on any kind of track. So this probably is not a big adjustment for him.
5) Tony Stewart - He's won twice at Chicagoland, which some say is similar to Kentucky. And he needs a win really bad to help his Chase chances.
Until next time