Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards are Chase Championship 4 surprises
You have to tip your hat to everyone involved in a long day and night at Texas Motor Speedway.
Joey Logano looked like he was going to win, but Carl Edwards pulled it off. Edwards came from last place in the Round of 8 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings to punch his ticket into the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks.
You have always heard me say that I am not a big fan of repaving tracks. I kept saying that up until I saw what Kentucky Speedway did this year with their repaving project.
I think it’s time that Texas Motor Speedway join them and put a new surface down. I mean taking six hours to dry a race track that didn’t get that much rain is definitely over the top. You simply can’t take that amount of time drying a race track, especially with the technology we have available today.
Unfortunately, Texas is in a little bit of a box when it comes to repaving the track based on how both their races are scheduled. They are not like Loudon or Kansas, as is Texas race No. 6 and then race No. 34 on the schedule.
Regardless, they definitely need to look at repaving the place.
Sunday probably wasn’t one of the better Texas races, but when you add the whole Chase elimination deal and how tight the competition is, it made for some drama.
Also, you heard me talk about it last week, but once again, pit road was the difference maker.
It cost Logano the lead when he pitted one lap after Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. did. You wouldn’t think it would make a difference, but we literally saw it. It cost Logano big time, allowing Edwards to roll into Victory Lane.
Another real difference maker was not only Edwards, but also his crew chief Dave Rodgers and that entire No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing team.
When Edwards saw Truex commit to pit road for that green-flag stop on Lap 223, he made the quick decision to hit pit road as well, making up a ton of ground getting onto pit road as he literally wound up right on Truex’s bumper.
To no one’s surprise, a Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew won the battle off pit road. Then Edwards, as he has done may times at worn-out race tracks where cars are sliding around, got up on that wheel and got the job done.
To me, the funny thing is as we head to the final race of this round, if everyone was truly honest when they filled out their Chase brackets before the first race back at Chicago, I seriously doubt very many of them have Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards in their Championship 4.
Based on their performance of the summer months, I simply don’t think those are two names that anyone thought would be vying for the championship at Homestead.