Only two races into the Chase and the drama has been intense. It all started with who was in, who was out, and became who got booted out and who got added in.
It took a long time for everyone to put the difficult week following Richmond behind them, in fact it took nearly two weeks to really do so. Now after NASCAR ran it's second Chase race at New Hampshire, one driver fell to the back and had everyone wondering about his well-being following a rather bizarre interview. But the big story was the domination of one driver through two Chase races, and really through the season.
Now, NASCAR heads to the country's first state, and NASCAR is going to have a monster of a weekend. Miles is extremely hungry after having to wait for months to see the top stars return. The concrete corners will eat drivers alive, and certainly will have an effect on the standings.
Welcome to Dover, better known as the "Monster Mile." Another unique track, and another opportunity to make gains.
The writers know this, and are locked in for yet another week of battles. Here's who they decided to pick for victory in the AAA 400:
Misan Akuya: Jimmie Johnson
I am picking him for the same reasons everyone else is. Unless he or his team screws up, it's his race to lose.
Rob Blount: Jimmie Johnson
Is there really any other pick to make here? He has seven wins at Dover, tied for most all time. Not most all time among active drivers, just most all time.
James Broomhead: Carl Edwards
Kelly Crandall: Kyle Busch
The way he's running lately, it's hard not to pull the trigger on him.
Billy Fellin: Jimmie Johnson
Dude just owns the Monster Mile. Kenseth is probably going to be a trendy pick, but I don't know if he can make it 3 for 3. So, I'll take the 48.
Michael Hirshbein: Brad Keselowski
Kara Martin: Matt Kenseth
Why not? He's winning everything else!!
Ryan O'Hara: Jimmie Johnson
Dustin Parks: Kyle Busch
I am so tempted to take Kenseth, but it's so hard anymore to do three in a row, so couldn't do that. It would also be so tempting to go with Johnson because of his dominance here, but I have him saved for another week.
Instead, I'm going with the guy who's tired of finishing second to his teammate. Time to get a little Rowdy!!
Patti Rodisch: Greg Biffle
Sal Sigala Jr: Kyle Busch
Rob Tiongson: Jimmie Johnson
Want to know how to spell redemption? Yes, I've used this unoriginal line a few times, but it's spelled "J-i-m-m-i-e J-o-h-n-s-o-n."
Expect him to win on Sunday and make the Gibbs boys a bit nervous at Dover and beyond!
Standings following New Hampshire:
Michael Hirshbein (2085) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th (3)
Sal Sigala Jr. (2079) Brad Keselowski finished 11th (1)
Rob Tiongson (2078) Jeff Gordon finished 15th (2)
Kelly Crandall (2073) Clint Bowyer finished 17th (1)
Misan Akuya (2071) Ryan Newman finished 16th (1)
Patti Rodisch (2069) Joey Logano finished 14th (0)
Dustin Parks (2069) Ryan Newman finished 16th (0)
Rob Blount (2066) Kurt Busch finished 13th (1)
James Broomhead (2066) Clint Bowyer finished 17th (2)
Ryan O'Hara (2062) Jeff Gordon finished 15th (0)
Billy Fellin (2060) Kurt Busch finished 13th (1)
Kara Martin (2050) Kasey Kahne finished 37th (1)
Final Thoughts: Over the years Dover has provided moments where the Chase has changed, or become more interesting. The hardest part is to avoid being caught up in accidents, as this place will tear cars up like a big wreck at Daytona, and will crush dreams just as quickly. There have been many big names that have gone to the top of the list and have shown their dominance at the Monster Mile.
Miles is hungry, and his presence is well recognized to fans and teams when they enter this track. Who's going to tame him?
Find out at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Summary of Picks: