Who has edge in Charlotte showdown?

Ryan Newman (left) hopes to upset Chase field, including teammate Tony Stewart.
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Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.


Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway is almost like racing at Talladega in the sense that everybody is playing in their backyard this weekend. There’s a lot of potential for a lot of teams to step up.

You’ve got to feel that Kasey Kahne, after winning Charlotte in the spring, would love to go back and win again. He and his Hendrick Motorsports team probably have a pretty solid package.

We know that the Hendrick Motorsports cars, across the board, will be solid at Charlotte.

I think the big thing is, can Brad Keselowski keep close enough and not give up a chunk of points to force this re-racking of the Chase for the Sprint Cup itself? Once again, he’s going to have his hands full against some really tough competition, which includes Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart.

The deeper we get into this Chase, the more it’s going to become that kind of dogfight with these Chasers.

We’re sitting there focusing on 12 guys beating each other up and there’s still a handful of non-Chasers that could upset the applecart, from Ryan Newman to Kyle Busch, most notably, that would just love to stink up the show. Their main mission right now is, “The heck with the rest of y’all, I’m worrying about how I look during the offseason and how I present myself over the next six races.”

We’ve got a continuation of what we were looking to have when they created this Chase scenario.

We’ve got still too many landmines out there, we’ve got way too many people out there that are party poopers – I’m talking about people that are not in the Chase – that would love to be a factor in the outcome of what happens in Homestead later this year.

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