Jonathan Birchfield holds off South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for 2011 Celebrity Chase Tracker Title

As Tony Stewart held off a hard charging Carl Edwards in the Ford 400 to win his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship, musician Jonathan Birchfield scored a vital 10 points in Chase Tracker at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Birchfield’s ten points was good enough for a total 103 points after all ten races. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley outscored all Chase Tracker participants at Homestead with a weekly record 50 points.

Haley made a dramatic late title push but eventually fell one point shy of Birchfield’s 103 points. After three impressive weeks in Chase Tracker Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks fell one strike short of winning the title with just ten points at Homestead. Danks finished seventh overall with a total of 96 points. United States Congressman (FL) Bill Posey continued his strong run with 30 points at Homestead, but would eventually have to settle with fifth overall.

Along with Posey, world-renowned chef Emeril Lagasse also made a late surge into the top-ten with a 30 point effort at Homestead. Lagasse jumped from 21st to sixth overall and is among six celebrities to finish in the top-ten. Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon continued her consistent form and remained in the top ten after six weeks in a row finishing eighth overall.

After Homestead celebrities claimed six top-ten spots: Jonathan Birchfield (2), Nikki Haley (3), Bill Posey (5), Emeril Lagasse (6), John Danks (7) and KimCoon (8).

Jonathan Birchfield beat all celebrities in Chase Tracker but the overall winner among media members was Ed Coombs (Gater Photo Racing News/ Speedway Media). Coombs’ 30 points at Homestead gave him a total of 104 points good enough to claim the 2011 Chase Tracker title. Chris Despain of Rubbingsracing.com finished fourth overall after scoring ten points at Homestead. Brian Nelson had a great week in Miami jumping from 17th to ninth overall after scoring 20 points on Sunday. The final media member among the top-ten overall was Karah Leigh Hancock of The Valdosta Daily Times. Hancock was first overall two weeks ago and will be disappointed she could not hang on to the title, but she was able to steal a solid top-ten finish overall. Farah Kaye made a late push to get into the top ten with 30 points at Homestead, however even after jumping 20 spots in the standings she finished 12th overall.

The Chase Tracker is a fantasy game in which contestants predict each week’s Chase standings and race winners. Like a “March Madness” grid, a Chase Tracker entry must be completely filled out (all 10 weeks) before the Chase begins. Points are awarded for each correct prediction, with the amount increasing each week. One point is earned for each correct Chicagoland pick, two for each New Hampshire pick, up to 10 points for each right Homestead pick. Correctly predicting the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion earns a contestant 20 points. Five bonus points can be earned each week for properly predicting the race winner.

See below for a complete list of celebrities’ participating in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Celebrity Chase Tracker as well as the final standings.

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup CelebrityChase Tracker Participants

Rodney Atkins                Country Music Artist … 2006 ACM Top New Male Vocalist
Steve Beshear               Governor of Kentucky
Jonathan Birchfield       Musician … “Saturday Night Shootout” appears on ESPN race broadcasts
Jason Michael Carroll   Country Music Artist … New Album “Numbers” available at Cracker Barrel
Carrot Top                      Comedian … Headlines at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas
Jeff Carter                      Columbus Blue Jackets Center … 6-yr NHL veteran; 2009 NHL All-Star
Kim Coon                       Miss Sprint Cup
John Danks                    Chicago White Sox Pitcher … 5-yr MLB veteran;1st-rd draft pick in 2003
Gavin DeGraw               Platinum Recording Artist … Album “Sweeter” debuted at #8 on the charts
Tim Duggar                     Country Music Artist … Will sing National Anthem at Kansas Speedway
John Erskine                 Washington Capitals Defenseman … 10-yr NHL veteran
Anthony Foxx                 Mayor of Charlotte
Kenny Gattison              Atlanta Hawks Asst. Coach … 1986 Sun Belt Conference POY
Nikki Haley                     Governor of South Carolina
Kelly Hansen                  Foreigner Lead Singer … Band has sold over 70 million albums worldwide
Chris Jericho                 Fozzy Lead Singer/WWE champion … Record 9-time Intercontinental Champion
Emeril Lagasse             World-Renowned Chef … Hosts new show “Emeril’s Table”
Charles Latibeaudiere   Co-Executive Producer, TMZ … Also appears on TMZ on TV           
Jerod Mayo                    New England Patriots Linebacker … 4-yr NFL veteran; 2008 NFL Def ROY
Bob McDonnell              Governor of Virginia
Patrick McHenry            United States Congressman (North Carolina 10th District)
John Ondrasik               Musician … “Five for Fighting” lead has three Top-40 songs
Monica Palumbo            Miss Sprint Cup
John Payne                    Pennsylvania State Representative … Head of Penn. Motorsports Caucus
Bill Posey                       United States Congressman (Florida 15th District)
Brandon Rhyder             Country Music Artist … Two No. 1 singles on Texas Country Music Chart
Jaclyn Roney                 Miss Sprint Cup
Rick Scott                      Governor of Florida
David Spade                  Actor … Star of CBS sitcom “Rules of Engagement”
Danny Wiseman             Professional Bowler … Ranked on PBA list of “50 Greatest Players”
Vince Wilfork                 New England Patriots D-Line … 8-yr NFL veteran; 3-time Pro Bowler


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

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