Carl Edwards won’t beat Tony Stewart. It’s that simple.
And when NASCAR’s Chase For The Championship is over Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it will be Stewart and his No. 14 team celebrating with the championship trophy.
Throw all the numbers out there you want, whether it’s Edwards’ impressive average finishing position in the Chase (5.2), his stout average finishing position at Homestead (5.7) or the fact that he has a three-point lead heading into the season-ending event.
It doesn’t matter. Carl Edwards won’t beat Tony Stewart, and it’s that simple. The Ford 400 will confirm the fact.
The only place numbers make a difference in NASCAR is in the win column, and that’s where Stewart and the Darian Grubb-led team stand head-and-shoulders above Edwards and his Roush Fenway Racing organization.
In the nine-race battle that’s gotten the series to this point, Stewart has held the upper hand. He’s won. And won again. And again and again.
Edwards has not. Not since Las Vegas, in fact, a stretch of 32 races. And in the meantime, he’s seen Stewart chip away at his points lead until only the slimmest of margins separate the two.
Stewart can win on any given weekend, and has proven as much during this year’s Chase. His four victories have come on a variety of tracks, from the high-banked, high-speed 1.5-milers at Chicago and Texas to the slower, flatter circuits of New Hampshire and Martinsville.
A win by Stewart would guarantee him the title, and based on this year’s Chase results, few would be surprised if that’s where he ended up.
Edwards’ consistency has been impressive, but his ability to put the competition away has not. Winning isn’t something that has come easy, or often, for his team in 2011.
But perhaps Stewart’s biggest advantage heading into Sunday’s showdown is championship experience. He’s been there, in the heat of the battle, and come out on top.
In 2002, he rallied from a 118-point deficit with 10 races remaining to clinch his first title. Three years later, he trailed by 23 with eight races remaining before taking control en route to winning his second title.
Those experiences have continued to pay dividends for the co-owner/driver as he and his team have marched through this year’s Chase.
There are several points scenarios that could play a part in determining the champion this weekend – each involving bonus points paid out for leading at least one lap as well as leading the most laps.
In most cases, Stewart holds the advantage there as well.
Edwards has the lead, but he doesn’t have the edge.
Stewart’s on a roll. And he won’t stop until he’s standing with the trophy Sunday.
http://www.scenedaily.com/blogs/kennybr ... nning.html
NW: 7, 31, 3, 11, 60, 88, 12
Trucks: 9, 88, 3, 7, 17, 31
IRL: 10, 11, 12, 26, 3, 38, 27
RIP Dan Wheldon
"Fight for Four"- Annalee
You got to have a big gigantic drum kit.