The Hot 20 over the past 10 – While Harvick and Stewart are on the rise, the sun is setting on Martin

Kevin Harvick won at Michigan, locked his place in the Chase, and has moved to within 20 bonus points of Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin when they reset things next month. All in all, the boy has got some pretty good reason to be…er…well, Happy.

Harvick is also our hottest driver over the past ten events, with a pair of wins, but Tony Stewart has almost matched him in points. In fact, over the span Smoke has managed a top ten in all but one, with the lone exception of that 25th place finish at Daytona in July.

When it comes to hot drivers, Carl Edwards does not come to mind, but there he is. Six straight top tens can do that for you. Appearing out of nowhere, or so it seemed, to finish third at Michigan is just one example of why he is a bonafide contender.

While some are going up, others are taking a plunge the other direction. Mark Martin has dived behind Clint Bowyer for that last playoff spot and there doesn’t seem to be any water left in his pool. If you are hoping the likes of David Reutimann, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jamie McMurray or Ryan Newman might make the Chase, I wouldn’t be holding my breath. A Top Ten in Bristol might help save the day or at least delay things. Better yet, maybe a top five. Kyle Busch should make the Chase, but right now he has all the momentum of a ball and chain.

Here is a look at our hottest 20 drivers over the past 10 races…

1 (2) Kevin Harvick – 1502 pts – 2 wins, 7 Top Fives, 7 Top Tens

Whose a Happy boy? Whose a Happy boy?

2 (1) Tony Stewart – 1500 pts – 5 Top Fives, 9 Top Tens
A top ten in nine of the past ten.

3 (5) Carl Edwards – 1384 pts – 4 Top Fives, 6 Top Tens
Showed up like Rosie Ruiz to claim third at Michigan.

4 (3) Jeff Gordon – 1347 pts – 5 Top Fives, 7 Top Tens

Race was all cute and cuddly until he checked the diaper.

5 (6) Jeff Burton – 1329 pts – 2 Top Fives, 6 Top Tens

Pit crew might be walking funny this week.

6 (9) Jimmie Johnson – 1320 pts – 3 Top Fives, 5 Top Tens
Slump will end when the Chase begins.

7 (8) Denny Hamlin – 1315 pts – 2 Wins, 4 Top Fives, 5 Top Tens

Eight races without a win. Oh, the humanity!

8 (7) Kasey Kahne – 1265 pts – 3 Top Fives, 4 Top Tens

Captain Hook isn’t the only one hearing the clock ticking.

8 (17) Greg Biffle – 1265 pts – 1 Win, 3 Top Fives, 5 Top Tens
Like Batman, Biff, bam, boom and he’s back.

10 (10) Clint Bowyer – 1212 pts – 2 Top Fives, 4 Top Tens
A Chase place is his, for now.

11 (21) Juan Pablo Montoya – 1211 pts – 1 Wins, 1 Top Five, 4 Top Tens
This team has come to love the Juan their with.

12 (4) Kurt Busch – 1209 pts – 3 Top Fives, 5 Top Tens
Having a wall banger before the race is bad, doing one during it is worse.

13 (16) Matt Kenseth – 1180 pts – 1 Top Five, 1 Top Ten
Jack returns and so does his boys.

14 (13) A.J. Allmendinger – 1176 pts – 1 Top Five, 3 Top Tens
Two single digit finishes doesn’t get the job done.

15 (11) David Reutimann – 1168 pts – 1 Win, 1 Top Five, 1 Top Ten

Chicago was a dream, the last four were reality.

16 (19) Dale Earnhardt Jr – 1133 pts – 1 Top Five, 3 Top Tens
While he might not be good, you can always find someone worse

17 (12) Jamie McMurray – 1129 pts – 1 Win, 2 Top Fives, 3 Top Tens

Won the 500 and the Brickyard, what more do you want?

18 (14) Kyle Busch – 1106 pts – 1 Top Five, 2 Top Tens

Bristol might be the medicine the doctor ordered.

19 (18) Ryan Newman – 1105 pts – 1 Top Ten

When  push comes to shove, Logano is there for you.

20 (15) Mark Martin – 1085 pts – 1 Top Ten

On your Mark, get set, Gone!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


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