Can he make it three in a row? After going winless in the first 26 races of the season, Tony Stewart has started the Chase for the Sprint Cup with back to back victories. Just a month ago there was some doubt whether Tony would even make the 12-driver field for the championship. He even wrote himself off after an awful race at Bristol August 27th, but boy he’s been on fire since then with top-seven finishes at Richmond and Atlanta to get himself in the running for the title.
After starting ninth in the standings, Stewart now is in the lead with a seven-point advantage over 2nd place Kevin Harvick. Stewart joins Greg Biffle as the only drivers who have won the first two races in the Chase since NASCAR began its playoff format in 2004.
Round three in the Chase takes place on Sunday at Dover International Speedway. Stewart scored a season-sweep at Dover in 2000 but hasn’t won there since.
Brad Keselowski is another red-hot driver. He’s third in the standings just 11 points back of Stewart. Keselowski has finished lower than 12th in the last nine races.
And how about the defending Sprint Cup champion. Jimmie Johnson is all the way back in 10th place after two races. That’s the lowest he’s ever been. He’s 29 points out of the lead, but Dover is one of Johnson’s best tracks. He has six victories there – that’s the most of any active driver. He even calls it his favorite race track.
Another poor run for Denny Hamlin will likely mean he’s out of the running this year. He’s finished 29th and 31st in the first two races and stands 66 points behind Stewart. He’s finished in the top 10 just four times in 11 races there.
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