NASCAR Panel: Kansas

Published 12:33 am Saturday, October 8, 2011

Clint Bowyer is expected to announce he’s signing with MWR. Good or

bad career move?

Ken Mays: I think if you can get a ride this day and time its a good thing. From the looks of the crowds the last few weeks, the sport is starting to fade with the economy.

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Jason Cannon: I think it’s a step backwards as far as team talent but you’ve got to go where the ride and the cash is. I’m not sure how smooth a transition he can expect coming from a Chevy to a Toyota though.

Mark Trest: I cannot make myself believe that Clint Bowyer is crazy enough to leave Richard Childress Racing and move to Michael Waltrip’s team. No disrespect to MWR, but they are not even considered amongst the elite teams in the sport at this time. I guess I have to respect Bowyers decision to think that he can go to that team and help build it up to contender status. Bad move in my eyes.

After finishing 25th at Dover, Tony Stewart fell to fourth in the standings. Will he bounce back at Kansas?

Ken Mays: He seems to always run good at this track and I can see him staying within striking distance of winning The Chase.

Jason Cannon: Stewart has been “hot or not” all year. The burst out of the gate early in the Chase may have been all he has to offer.

Mark Trest: Never, ever count Tony Stewart out. Even when he appears done, he finds a way. He is a racer down to the core. I questioned his chances coming into this Chase, and I knew better, and look what he did the first two races.

Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards all made up big ground in the standings after Dover. Of the three, whose “comeback” impressed you the most?

Ken Mays: Carl Edwards is the biggest comeback to me. He has been right at the edge of having a bad year all year long and for him to be where he is at now says a lot about him.

Jason Cannon: I’ve been impressed with Jimmie Johnson all season. He’s been in the hunt all year and only won one race. He’s showing he does whatever it takes to win the Championship, even if that doesn’t include winning a bunch of races.

Mark Trest: I’d say Kurt only because he drives for the lesser of the teams

mentioned. Lets face it. While Penske Racing has been around the sport

for many years, it has not enjoyed the success of the Superteams of

Hendrick and Roush. As long as Edwards and Johnson drive for those two teams, nothing they do will every surprise me.

In your opinion, has anyone eliminated themselves from the Chase for the Cup yet?

Ken Mays: As bad as I hate it, it looks like Dale Jr. is pretty much out of it.

Jason Cannon: I think Denny Hamlin is done and Ryan Newman is close. Hamlin has to go on an almost unreal tear to climb back into contention and I

don’t think that’s reasonable.

Mark Trest: The Junior Earnhardt nation will want my head on a platter for

this, but even with his good early showing in the Chase, I never really considered Lil E a serious threat to win. I am happy for what he’s accomplished, I will always be a fan, but I also know the reality of the situation. He will not beat Johnson or several others in The Chase.

Who is your pick to win this week?

Ken Mays: Look for Smoke to win this one. He is in a “all in’ mode right now.

Jason Cannon: I like Cousin Carl this week. No contract worries and no sponsor worries. Just pin it and win it.

Mark Trest: Gotta go with the King still holding the throne, and that’s Johnson. He always shows up at Chase time, and based on what I saw Sunday, that hasn’t changed. He is still the man to beat, any track, any day.