The second race of the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup is now finished and that means it's time for just one thing: checking out the progress of the Chase field, FanHouse style.
Last week, I put Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick into the "Winners" list while Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Busch made the "Losers" list.
Well, another week in means it's time to update those rankings, and this time around we're throwing in another category because some of these guys improved their positions slightly above "Losers" with their runs at Dover. As a result, they are going to get the classification of "Tweeners" for their in-between status.
First, for the winners:
Round 2 Chase Winners
Greg Biffle (Finished 1st) - Does it get anymore obvious than 2 wins in-a-row to start the Chase? One word: impressive.
Carl Edwards (Finished 3rd) - Carl's consistency has proven more valuable in the points standings than Biffle's two wins. That's championship-caliber work.
Jimmie Johnson (Finished 5th) - Can you ever rule a guy out that's not only getting top-5s but also going for his third title?
Kevin Harvick (Finished 6th) - Lurking in the shadows is keeping Harvick in contact with the leaders, but it won't win a title.
Jeff Burton (Finished 9th) - Honestly, raise your hand if you saw Jeff Burton on screen for more than 5 laps on Sunday.
Round 1 Chase 'Tweeners
Matt Kenseth (Finished 2nd) - Quite an improvement over a week ago at Loudon. Will he be able to overcome his deficit with more great finishes?
Jeff Gordon (Finished 7th) - If this team ever figures out how to adjust a car during a race, they will contend. I just don't see that happening in 2008. He's still hanging around, though.
Clint Bowyer (Finished 8th) - Unfortunately, Bowyer's good run on Sunday didn't get him very far in points.
Tony Stewart (Finished 11th) - I'd say Stewart got lucky to find 11th-spot after the way he ran Sunday for most of the race. He, though, isn't the biggest disappointment so far for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Round 2 Chase Losers
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Finished 24th) - Two straight weeks of tire problems has been Earnhardt Jr.'s demise in the Chase standings. He's not out of it, but needs to get aggressive immediately.
Denny Hamlin (Finished 38th) - I certainly didn't expect a collapse like this from Hamlin after bad fuel mileage hurt him at Loudon and a broken drive shaft at Dover dropped him to near Kyle Busch lows in the Chase. The difference? Hamlin is still positive about gaining ground.
Kyle Busch (Finished 43rd) - I made the case that Kyle is in still within legitimate shot of a points title if he puts his head down and picks up some 'W's, but his post-race submissive attitude doesn't lend well to that.