Hot 20 over the past 10 – Brad is steaming as Tony chills heading to Talladega

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Be it 29 races or the past ten, the cream still rises to the top. Brad Keselowski has been hot over the past ten races, picking up a couple of wins and finishing in the Top Ten in nine of them. Only a 30th place result in Bristol keeps him among the mere mortals.

Jeff Gordon has been very warm over the same amount of time, but his disaster in Chicago came in a Chase race. That leaves him not only needing to continue to do very well, but hoping bad things happen to the leaders so he might make up some ground. An opening lap Big One, however, might be too much to hope for.

Only ten Chasers continue to average more than 30 points per race as of late. Though it is probably too late for Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart can still get back into things if he can start getting results worthy of a contender instead of a pretender. He has shown not much smoke thus far in this Chase, with his results more like ice fog.

With Talladega slated for this Sunday and the spectra of the Big One always lurking, those who are hot could have things go for not with just a single miscue from someone out there. Pretend you are a politician and tell your neighbors that NASCAR is always as exciting as it promises to be this weekend. I’m sure they will eventually forgive you.

Meanwhile, here are our hot 20 drivers after the past 10 events…

(1) – Position in the official standings —  
(0-0-0) – Wins, Top Fives, and Top Tens over the past 10 races

1 (1) Brad Keselowski – 388 pts (2-6-9)
If not for Bristol, he would be perfection.

2 (4) Clint Bowyer – 355 pts (1-3-8)
A Talladega fall three-peat would be sweet.

3 (2) Jimmie Johnson – 352 pts (1-6-6)
Dear Brad: I want my horseshoe back.

4 (10) Jeff Gordon – 347 pts (1-7-7)
Chicago is not his kind of town.

5 (6) Kasey Kahne – 347 pts (0-4-5)
A Talladega tester during the week, another ‘dega win on the weekend?

6 (8) Martin Truex Jr – 345 pts (0-2-7)
Hoping to avoid rough seas, or his ship will sink in Alabama.

7 (3) Denny Hamlin – 336 pts (3-3-5)
It is a good thing that Pocono and the Glen don’t count in the Chase.

8 (11) Greg Biffle – 332 pts (1-2-4)
After Dover rant he could be an American Idol judge.

9 (13) Kyle Busch – 325 pts (0-1-6)
His ideas to change the point system about as good as his title hopes.

10 (9) Kevin Harvick – 315 pts (0-1-2)
Smoke has already goosed Delana; Happy is next.

11 (7) Dale Earnhardt Jr – 311 pts (0-2-4)
Winning hardware at Talladega is a family tradition…

12 (16) Paul Menard – 305 pts (0-0-3)
…owning a hardware store is another.

13 (17) Marcos Ambrose – 303 pts (1-3-4)
Maybe they would like to rethink that crew swap idea.

14 (15) Ryan Newman – 294 pts (0-1-5)
Newman figures the best way to win on Sunday might be to come from the back.

15 (5) Tony Stewart – 293 pts (0-2-5)
Thus far, this contender is just a pretender.

16 (14) Carl Edwards – 269 pts (0-1-3)
Has no chance to win the crown this year; kind of like it is for Kenseth and Biffle

17 (12) Matt Kenseth – 257 pts (0-1-3)
If the big one takes out Brad, Jimmie, Denny, Clint, Tony, and both Juniors early and he wins…

18 (23) Regan Smith – 254 pts (0-0-2)
He is on this list while Furniture Row’s soon to be savior is not.  Time will tell.

19 (18) Joey Logano – 252 pts (0-0-4)
Best damn Nationwide driver in Sprint Cup.

20 (25) Mark Martin – 222 pts (0-2-3)
Averaging more than 31 points per race. Maybe he should drive for Furniture Row.

22 (19) Jeff Burton – 220 pts (0-1-1)
Still loved by RCR, but will the love last beyond his current contract?

24 (20) Jamie McMurray – 216 pts (0-0-0)
15 straight outside the Top Ten and losing a primary sponsor.

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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