17 November 2011

2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup: Will Carl Edwards or Tony Stewart Win the Title?

The Chase for the Sprint Cup that NASCAR wanted when they revamped the point system has come about this year with a very tight battle with one race to go between Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart. Edwards leads Stewart by three points as the season is about to culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway. One of these two drivers will be crowned champions of NASCAR, for Edwards it will be his first and for Stewart his third. Who will it be?
Well if you look at both driver's statistics at Homestead, you would think they're equally good there as both have a pair of victories. But Stewart won the first two races at HMS in 1999 and 2000, so long ago he was driving Pontiacs and he hasn't had a top five at MHS since 2004. Edwards has won two of the last three in South Florida, has never finished worse than 14th (his first race) there and hasn't finished worse than eighth since eighth since 2005. 
What's amazing of the remarkable consistency of Edwards in this Chase is that Stewart has finished better than Edwards in five of the nine races of the Chase thus far. That usually doesn't happen. But it speaks volumes about how consistent Edwards has been all year. He only has one win as compared to four to Stewart but he has four more top tens than anyone else (Edwards has 25, Stewart has 18) and four more top fives than anyone else (Edwards has 18, Stewart has 8). When you are that remarkably consistent over the stretch of a season, you will be tough to beat, even in the Chase format.
So if you put a gun to my head, I'd say Carl Edwards wins his first title. Should be a great race thus Sunday.

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