As New England’s premier racing event, the Sylvania 300, draws closer, now less than a week away, the buzz has begun. This past weekend saw Brad Keselowski take the Chicagoland race with an impressive pit stop late in the race. Will he be able to repeat this weekend? It’s entirely possible based on last year’s second place finish behind veteran Tony Stewart at the Sylvania 300, run in Loudon, NH on a beautiful fall weekend.
Here are the current Sprint Cup standings:
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Tony Stewart
4. Denny Hamlin
4. Kasey Kahne
4. Clint Bowyer
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
8. Greg Biffle
9. Martin Truex Jr.
10. Kevin Harvick
11. Matt Kenseth
12. Jeff Gordon
Forty seven points separate Keselowski in first place with Jeff Gordon in twelfth after the first race for the championship. Only three of the drivers currently racing for the championship finished in the top 10 at last year’s Sylvania 300. What will this year bring?
Most of the Chase drivers have proven in years past that they can compete at The Magic Mile. Perennial favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. hopes to place higher than the 8th position he took at Chicagoland last weekend. After a slip with the shifter during qualifying that resulted in a bent valve, he was able to turn a back-of-the-field start into a decent showing. He knows however that he can’t just finish in the top 10 every race to win the championship – he has to arrive at the checkered flag much closer to first place if he wants to stay in contention for his first championship.
After a rough start, last year’s Sylvania 300 winner and 2011 Sprint Cup Champion, Tony Stewart gained the top 10 finishing 6th in the first race for the 2012 championship. Stewart fans will be watching on Sunday to see if he can repeat last year and close the gap towards a second consecutive championship. Will the Magic Mile be magic for Tony again? His fan hope so!
Then there is Jeff Gordon. Gordon seems to have little or no luck this season, yet has a knack for pulling off what seems impossible. After a disappointing crash in the Chicago race, he hopes to at least pull off a finish similar to last year’s 4th place at Loudon. In reality, he needs to win the race this weekend to renew hope that he can still grab a championship this year. Since the inception of the Sylvania 300 Gordon hasn’t finished better than 2nd place (2007).
Can Jimmie Johnson wiggle his way into another championship after a relatively quiet season? He is Jimmie Johnson after all and his second place finish this past weekend in the mid-West gave his fans every reason to believe he can. Johnson wasn’t happy with getting beat off pit lane by Keselowski on the final pit stop, yet he later admitted it probably wouldn’t have made a difference in the end result of the race. Johnson has won at Loudon before, and will be a strong contender this coming Sunday.
If you live in New England and have never been to a NASCAR race…go! Get your tickets HERE.
Click HERE to see a slideshow from last year’s race!
It will be an event that you will want to return to again and again! Just taking in the sights is a blast, let alone feeling the thunder rumble through your chest as the cars chase each other in circles hoping to be the first one to reach the checkered flag.
If you’re a fan who never misses the Sylvania 300…have fun and I hope to see you there!
As always I can be reached for questions or comments by clicking HERE.