Earlier today, thinking the fallout from the Richmond situations was over, I published my picks, 1-12, for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Now, Jeff Gordon has been added to the Chase after NASCAR decided has chances had been damaged by the actions of multiple race teams to manipulate the outcome of the Richmond race last Saturday.
I really don’t know where to put Gordon in the power rankings. Consistency is the issue. At times this year, he and his team have looked like championship contenders. The 24 car hasn’t visited victory lane this year, but has come close and has two 2nds and three 3rds on the year. He also has six finishes of 30th or worse, which explains why a 4-time Cup champion in Hendrick equipment was on the Chase bubble to start with. This is Gordon’s ninth appearance in the ten-year history of the Chase, and he’s had good years and bad years in the Chase format. He has a 2nd, two 3rds, a 6th, a 7th, an 8th, a 9th, and a 10th. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he won the championship (he does have four, after all) or if he finished 13th in this unique 13-car Chase. I do know that the team, while lacking a huge amount of momentum, should be inspired after being given a big-time second chance. I’ll rank Gordon 7th (right in the middle), because his title shot may be the biggest toss-up.