From Challengers to Contenders

skid marks, jason hildebrand, beaverdamusa.comWell, Hendrick Motorsports did it again.  Jeff Gordon won for the 5th time in his illustrious career at Dover International Speedway, also known as the Monster Mile.

Gordon led 94 of the 400 laps at the Delaware track this past Sunday.  Kevin Harvick led the most laps of the race, leading 223 of the 400, but had an issue with the front drivers side tire going down, due to a bad valve stem, causing him to finish 13th.  Since his win at Darlington earlier this year, Harvick has led the most laps on 5 different occasions, not winning any of those races.

This was a typical Dover race.  Not many cautions, lots of green flag racing, and many naps being taken by folks at home.  There were 5 caution flags thrown during the race; 3 for debris on the track and 2 for accidents.  Finishing behind Gordon were Brad Keselowski in 2nd, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex, Jr, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, and Kyle Busch rounding out the top 10.

On a side note, Joey Logano has an average finish of 3 in the first 3 races of the Sprint Cup Chase, the Challenger round. Now, on to round 2 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the Contender round.

Of the 16 original drivers in the Chase, 12 are advancing.  Those drivers will all have 3000 points and they are Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Jr, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, and Kasey Kahne.

They will race the next 3 weeks to see which 8 will advance to the next round.  This should be some fun racing to watch with the Kansas race kicking things off this weekend, then in 2 more weeks, we have Talladega.  The great equalizer.  What a way to finish up a segment of the chase with a 43 car pack running at speeds of close to 200 miles per hour!

Since my predictions of winners this year has been so bad, I think I will just keep my thoughts to myself this week, to save myself the embarrassment.

About Jason Hildebrand

Jason Hildebrand was born in Cleveland, Tenn. and has lived his entire life in Bradley County. Jason started playing baseball at a very early age and went on to play at Cleveland High School where he graduated from in 1992. After graduation, Jason attended The University of Tennessee at Knoxville before graduating from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
An avid sports fan, Jason’s is a season ticket holder at the The University of Alabama. He has been fortunate enough to be a part of the last two Crimson Tide National Championships (’09 BCS game in Pasadena, CA and ’11 BCS game in New Orleans, LA). Though he primarily cheers, “Roll Tide Roll!,” he keeps up with all Collegiate football, regionally and nationally.
He is currently a co-host on the Sports Drive and the sideline reporter for Cleveland High School. He has been blogging for since 2014.
In Jason’s spare time he enjoys playing golf and cooking (outdoors). Jason is the son of Terry and Diane Hildebrand, from Cleveland, TN. His birthday is October 3rd , and he is also the husband of Emily Beaty.

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