Saturday, October 8, 2011

Has the Sleeping Giant Been Awoken at Kansas?

Johnson had a GREAT Practice at Kansas
The sleeping giant may have been awoken. When I looked at Jimmie Johnson’s practice times from Saturday at Kansas, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how he used to do it. We haven’t seen Johnson this good in practice on a 1.5-mile track this season, places that he used to dominate, both in practice and the race. But with seven races remaining in the Chase, Johnson now looks pretty scary with some of his old flashes of greatness returning.

In both of Saturday’s practices, Johnson found himself with within the top four in single lap speeds. He was third in both sessions in the 10-consecutive lap average category. He’s already got a 2008 Kansas win tucked away, and he looks like he has the best chance to get another on Sunday.

The Roush trio, or actually quartet, all looked strong Saturday during practice. Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards all look ready to equal of better their best efforts at Kansas. David Ragan had the top 10-consecutive average lap times in the first practice to make him someone to consider as well.

Even though Clint Bowyer had the fastest single lap during happy Hour and great average speeds, I still like Kevin Harvick more. Bowyer has been a let down all year despite good practices and just knowing he‘s a lame duck driver doesn’t boost my confidence in him. Why would Richard Childress do anything to help him out, and he surely doesn’t want Bowyer to be his 100th career victory as an owner.

Kurt Busch had awful practice times. I had high hopes for him in this race after he dominated the June race. But when I look at the practice times from June, they aren’t too far off from this week. The only major difference is that Busch started on the pole. Because of his poor practice times, I will be looking to play Busch in quite a few match-ups at plus-money.

Tony Stewart is another one who didn’t practice well but should show up on race day with a strong performance. I love the chassis he’s using and can’t forget the images of that car losing at Vegas on pit road and chasing down Jeff Gordon at Atlanta. The two-time Kansas winner should be equally strong this week.

No comments: