Hammond: Chase tightens after Talladega points swing

We had somewhat of a crazy finish last weekend at Talladega. Jimmie Johnson, while having taken over the points lead from Matt Kenseth, had the chance to push Matt farther down, but it slipped through his fingers. The question becomes can Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon, who are in third, fourth and fifth spots make their way back into this thing.

It’s been something like six years that we’ve seen a points swing coming out of Talladega and while it wasn’t a lot of points, it did move Jimmie to the front, Matt back to second and now Kyle Busch has recovered and is back in third spot. Even though they actually lost positions, still the spread got tighter and brought Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon back into the mix.

Now they have to take advantage of it. The irony of it is that all five of those drivers qualified in the Top 10 for Sunday’s race at Martinsville. Jimmie is on the outside pole. Kyle is third while Jeff will be starting fourth tomorrow. Jeff and Kevin round out things sitting in ninth and tenth spot respectively.