On Sunday, July 15, 2012, the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers raced in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This was the 19th race in the 2012 season. Denny Hamlin had been running well until a botched pit stop sent him out of the top 10. During the last laps of the race, Hamlin managed to make up most of the difference to get to second place. Unfortunately for Hamilton, he ran out of time to make it to the lead. Kasey Kahne ended up taking the victory. Hamilton took second. Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five. It was a very important victory for Kahne.
With the victory, Kahne is getting closer to securing a slot in the Chase for the Cup. Although he is not currently in the top 10 in the points, he does have the most wins of those who are not in the top 10. With the current wild card slots, NASCAR officials will give the final two slots for the championship to the two drivers in the top 20 who have the most wins. Last year, Kahne just missed out on the Chase for the Cup and he managed to do well in several of the final races of that season. He may have been a contender if he had secured one final win last season. Fortunately, this year he seems to be making up for any potential disappointment last year.
I had been hoping that Kahne would be able to make the Chase for the Cup given how well he had done last season. With the new job with Hendrick Motorsports, he had great equipment to work with this season, but it was more a matter of his skills and his luck. So far, it appears that both his skills and his luck have held out well. It looks like there will be some great drivers in the Chase for the Cup and it will certainly be interesting to see who makes it and who doesn't. If the racing keeps up the way it has, the Chase for the Cup should be a wild one this year.
Kristin Watt has been a NASCAR Winston Cup, now Sprint Cup, fan for as long as she can remember starting way back when she was a little girl and her mother would sit on the couch with her every Sunday during the season to watch the races. Back then, they were fans of Bill Elliott and newcomer Davey Allison.