Bump Bowyer their battle cry

McMurray, Martin have 2 races left to join Chase field

September 01, 2010

There are only two races left before the Chase field is set Sept. 11 at Richmond. Here are some pertinent details to consider: Only Clint Bowyer is within one race of dropping out of the top 12, and nine drivers could clinch this week at Atlanta.

Bowyer is 100 points ahead of bubble boy Jamie McMurray, and 101 ahead of Mark Martin.

McMurray and Martin are in a tough spot but not an impossible one.

Kasey Kahne was 90 points behind the cutoff spot for the Chase with two races to go in 2006, but he won at California and then finished third at Richmond to squeeze into the Chase.

Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon already have clinched spots this season.

And even though Jimmie Johnson is ninth in the points standings, he is still a 7-2 favorite to win the Cup yet again, based on the wisdom of oddsmakers in Las Vegas.

Johnson has some work to do if he is going to win his fifth consecutive title. He has finished 22nd or worse in five of the last seven races and has dropped seven spots in the standings.

Focus on youngsters: It's not going to have the salty twang of HBO's "Hard Knocks," but a new NASCAR reality show should provide an entertaining look at young drivers trying to establish themselves on the circuit.

The first episode of "Changing Lanes" (women and minorities chasing their NASCAR dream) airs Wednesday night on BET. The show will feature 10 NASCAR Drive for Diversity drivers, including Mackena Bell (Carson City, Nev.), Michael Cherry (Valrico, Fla.) and Jason Romero (Cameron Park, Calif.).

Narrated by rapper and actor Ludacris, the show chronicles the search for the next generation of minority and female racecar drivers vying for a spot on Max Siegel's NASCAR Revolution Racing team. All of the drivers lived in the same house for three weeks during the course of shooting the series.

Last call for Atlanta: The Cup tour moves to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for the second time this season, but the dynamics will change next time around. This will be the last time Atlanta plays host to two races in a season, breaking a run that dates to 1960 and boasts 103 races.

Speedway Motorsports Inc. is moving one of its Atlanta dates to its Kentucky facility in 2011 as part of the scheduling tweaks announced recently. Kentucky is a 400-mile race, compared to Atlanta's 500.

— George Diaz

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