The Good Sam 500 proved to be just as crazy as Las Vegas was as far as engine and driving malfunctions are concerned. Pit stops and cautions were key in certain points of the race, which manipulated momentum for some drivers. You have to admit though that the finish towards the end was indeed the most memorable, and really continued to change the outcome of the points race. Four drivers are now in the Chase, and now it is time to see if they are one of the hottest drivers right now. Kevin Harvick: Okay maybe it seems like I left Happy Harvick off the list a little prematurely, but once again dominating Phoenix in closer style form has to put him back on. Leading the most laps and already holding the most wins there makes him look like a contender once again. Not only that, Harvick is once again competing with teammate Kurt Busch as one of the best at Stewart-Haas Racing.
Most importantly, he is tied with defending champion Kyle Busch for the points lead. Kyle Busch: Once again his chance of sweeping another weekend was foiled early thanks to an early pit stop mistake, but nevertheless he still comes out with a top five finish. Even without a win, Kyle is still the clear leader for Joe Gibbs Racing. No win for the defending champion has to be building up inside him right now, and just being tied for the points lead isn’t enough. We all know eventually he will score a win, it’s just a matter of when and where. Kurt Busch: Big brother Kurt is rising in the standings and it’s not because of finishes. Kurt has started in the top five in the last three races and scoring in the top 10 in all four, two of those starts winning the pole. Not much can be said for Kurt, only that he has found a way to potentially set a record for most poles if he continues to land some top five starts. Even with Tony Stewart’s absense, Danica Patrick’s struggles and the move to Ford next season, it’s not slowing either him or Harvick down. Carl Edwards: Carl had wanted another shot at winning at Phoenix after the Fall race was rained out. It was mostly due to where he finished that kept him from advancing to Homestead in the Championship Four.
Thanks to his close call with Harvick on the final lap, Carl now has something to fall back on once he gets into the Chase. His second place finish now puts him back in the top five in points and is now an early contender for JGR. Austin Dillon: When bad luck came down on Ryan Newman and Paul Menard, Dillon wanted to be sure to keep a cool head this time and stay on track. So far he appears to be the leader for Richard Childress Racing now that he has finished in the top 10 the last two races. From what it looks like, it’s turning out to be a rising star leading the charge instead of a hardened veteran like Newman. Being eighth in points is sure to give him enough confidence to stay positive. Looks as if Team Penske took a break this week with Joey Logano’s finish in 18th and Brad Keselowski 29th due to a blown tire. Dale Earnhardt Jr finished fifth and Chase Elliott eighth, which still made a good day for Hendrick Motorsports. Time to close out the West Coast tour at Fontana to see if Keselowski can defend his title there.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Bryan Law