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From the Marbles

State of the Teams ’11: Richard Childress Racing

From The Marbles

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As we draw within sight of the Chase, let's take a look back at how the season has gone so far for NASCAR's top teams. We continue with Richard Childress Racing, where drama is never in short supply.

Drivers: Kevin Harvick (currently 3rd in the standings), Clint Bowyer (currently 12th), Paul Menard (currently 14th), Jeff Burton (currently 23rd).

Wins: 4 (Harvick @ Fontana, Martinsville and Charlotte; Menard @ Indy).

Overall accolades: Zero poles, 4 wins, 13 top-5s, 24 top-10s, 10 DNFs.

High point: The one-two punch of Harvick early in the season, and no, we're not talking about the way he treated Kyle Busch. The Vulture has snagged win after win at the last second, but hey, a win is a win, right? Also high on the list: Menard's stunning win at Indy last week. We still don't believe that happened, but it's true.

Low point: Anything involving Jeff Burton. It's been a tough year for The Senator, who hasn't even reached the top 10 yet. Nothing's clicking like it should.  And what started out as a promising year for Bowyer has turned sour, as the team is now looking at hard work just to make the Chase.

Outlook for the Chase and beyond: Harvick is legit; the way he can close in any race should keep him close all Chase long. But Bowyer is on the outside looking in, and his astounding 4 DNFs don't bode well for his chances. Menard could sneak in, but expecting him to repeat his run at Indy is asking an awful lot. And the only way Burton's going to the champions' banquet at Vegas is if he's someone's date. Still, a Harvick win would make this strange Childress season all worthwhile.

Recent notable posts:
Harvick punches Busch as Busch wrecks Harvick's car
Report: Richard Childress in altercation with Kyle Busch
Brickyard win makes Menard more than a hardware chain
Chad Ochocinco gets a taste of the NASCAR life with Jeff Burton
Clint Bowyer wins Prelude to the Dream

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