NASCAR

Busch, Edwards out of Race to the Chase

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Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.

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Although I hate to say a driver is down and out, I've got to believe that Carl Edwards' year will be next year, not this year. He had a good run at Indianapolis, but as far behind as he is, it's going to be too little too late for him to make the Chase for the Nextel Cup.

It's too late even for Kurt Busch. He's going to have his hands full making up ground. The No. 2 team is getting better each week, but I just don't expect Busch and Edwards to gain enough points this weekend to make a difference. I thought that Greg Biffle could rally back, but he hasn't run well at Watkins Glen so you've got to wonder whether or not he, too, may be in a little bit of trouble without enough time to rally back. He's led 15 of 21 races and looked really strong, but he didn't need Watkins Glen jumping in front of him right now. At Indianapolis, I felt for Jeff Burton and the No. 31 team because they had a great race car. They got behind on adjustments and couldn't catch up when it counted. Robby Gordon was running in the top 15 for the first 100 laps. Then they made an air pressure adjustment that took him back through the pack. At the end, he was racing three-wide and got caught up in a wreck.

Speed Mail Jeff
The race track kept changing, and 250 people were treated for heat stroke at Indianapolis so the temperatures got pretty high on Sunday. As the rubber went down on the race track, it kept changing. As the setup went away from Burton and Gordon, it came around for Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and others, who did a good job of keeping up with everything. You've got to tip your hat to the entire No. 48 operation. Johnson drove the car masterfully, and crew chief Chad Knaus made all the right calls. Their engineering group and pit crew peaked at the right time and did a super job on pit road. Johnson and Kyle Busch carried the banner for Hendrick Motorsports. Busch's crew chief, Alan Gustafson, made a gutsy call and got a top-10 finish. Even the No. 24 team rebounded and moved up in points, salvaging what could have been a disastrous day.


FOX race analyst Jeff Hammond led Darrell Waltrip to two of DW's three Winston Cup championships as his crew chief. They also teamed to win the 1989 Daytona 500.

For autographed copies of Jeff Hammond's book "Real Men Work in the Pits" plus magnets, hats and more, check out www.dwstore.com.

For photos and appearances, visit Jeff's web site www.jeffhammond.com.

Tagged: Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle

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