By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
In a sport where 43 cars wage a war at speeds of excess 150 miles-per-hour from week to week, it can be pretty hard to always correctly predict how it will all turn out.
My current position in NASCAR’s celebrity and media chase tracker game is all the proof you need that I’m not the ‘NASCAR Nostradomus’. However I digress.
Here are five things I think you should keep an eye on this week in the 400-mile race at Kansas Speedway.
1. Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards Start Deep In The Field, Looking For Home Cooking
Clint Bowyer an Emporia, Kansas native and Carl Edwards who grew up just down the road in Missouri, each come into this race wanting to take the checkered flag in front of their friends and family.
During his media availability Friday Edwards even said that a win at Kansas would mean more to him than a win in the Daytona 500. That’s a bold statment, but he sounded like he genuinely meant it.
Bowyer also mentioned how big of a deal it would be if he could reign supreme at his home track.
However after qualifying Friday each of them have a lot of work to do, if they are going to get it done on Sunday. Bowyer will start back in 27th while Edwards will be fighting from the 31st position.
Keep an eye on these two on their path to the front.
2. Will Jimmie Johnson Begin To Establish His Chase Dominance?
Jimmie Johnson last week at Dover got his sixth victory of the 2010 season, and launched himself to second in the point standings. It is no doubt that he has to be in every Chase Contender’s mind, considering he has won the title for the past four seasons. If he wins again this week will it be the start of another Jimmie runaway?
3. The Fords Have Been Strong So Far In Kansas, Can They Seal The Deal?
Richard Petty Motorsports teammates Kasey Kahne and Paul Menard have swept the front row in their Fords for Sunday’s race. However that’s not where the dominance ended for Ford in qualifying.
In all three of the top-five starters, and seven of the top-15 starters overall will be piloting Ford Fusions.
Carl Edwards was talking up just how strong these Ford engines are all of a sudden. Can the blue ovals get their second victory of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season?
4.Who Will Be The Next Chaser, Who’s Championship Hopes Are Over?
Clint Bowyer Friday came out and basically conceded that he will not be hoisting the Sprint Cup trophy at season’s end. At 235 points back with just eight races remaining, he is a huge long shot to say the very least.
So who else will be joining Bowyer in the same category?
Well Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, and Matt Kenseth are on the verge of doing just that. One more bad run and they could be saying the same thing in a press conference very soon.
For Stewart it’s gotta feel strange, because he was a lap away from victory in New Hampshire only to finish 24th when his gas tank came up empty. Now he is in the bottom half of the Chase heap.
5. Breast Cancer Awareness
Two cars in the field for Sunday’s Price Chopper 400, will be running special pink paint schemes in honor of the Susan G. Komen ‘Race for the Cure’.
Elliott Sadler and Martin Truex Jr. will each have the pink accents on their cars, heck Sadler has gone as far as getting a pink firesuit and hat to match. Truex and NAPA Auto Parts also have hats available for purchase for $3.99.
Richard Petty, whose wife Linda was diagnosed with brain cancer not long ago, was also in full pink clothing Friday. According to Petty he will be auctioning off his latest cowboy hat, that has pink accents at the end of the month.
Proceeds from the auction of Petty’s hat, and sales of Truex’s hats will go to the fight against breast cancer.
If you or anyone you know has ever suffered from breast cancer, deep down inside you should be pulling for each of these cars to pull in to victory lane.