Three drivers with legitimate championship hopes leaving Chicagoland Speedway stumbled in Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race No. 2 at New Hampshire. But hope is not lost.
Kevin Harvick’s title aspirations took a major blow, thanks to a 20th-place finish that knocked him from fourth to sixth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.
At Chicagoland, Kurt Busch chipped in his third consecutive top five finish, only to stumble at NHMS with a 13th to fall from sixth to seventh.
And Jeff Gordon finished 15th at New Hampshire to drop from seventh to eighth.
All three drivers finished in the top six in Chicago to open the Chase, but saw their championship hopes deflate on the flat one miler in Loudon.
But, none of the three need to fret … yet. Harvick is 39 points behind standings leader Matt Kenseth; Busch is 40 points back; Gordon is 42 points out.
Daunting? Yes. Impossible to overcome? Not yet. The mulligans, however, are over. Wins are paramount.
And Gordon and Busch know exactly how. Gordon has four wins – the last of which came in 2001. Busch has one Dover victory, while racing for Penske Racing in 2011. Harvick is still looking for his first Dover win, but has scored three top 10s in the last four races at the one-mile concrete oval.