Edwards among biggest losers at Brickyard 0
The Dean of Speed’s 5 Biggest Losers in The Brickyard 400.
1: Carl Edwards — At this time last season, Carl Edwards was leading the Sprint Cup championship in the No. 99 Roush Fenway Ford and fought right to the final lap at Homestead Miami Speedway with eventual-champion Tony Stewart before losing it in a tie-breaker.
Sunday at the Brickyard was microcosm of Edward’s lost 2012 season.
The race was only 10 laps in when the motor of the No. 99 Ford lost power. The problem was never found and Edwards continued but never did get back to full power resulting in a 29th-place finish.
Without a win this season and sitting back in 12th spot, it will take a Herculean effort for Edwards to get into NASCAR’s version of the post-season.
2: Joey Logano — The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has been on the bubble all season, with increasing speculation that he will not be back in the high-profile Home Depot car next season.
His lone win at Pocono appeared to kick-start his season, but he has reverted to form over the past half-dozen races.
Logano has a couple of wins in the second tier Nationwide series this season but those don’t count in the top loop.
While Joe Gibbs has said he still has faith in the 22-year-old Logano, there are a number of drivers who would love that ride.
Logano’s wreck on Sunday at Indianapolis may have sealed his fate.
3: Juan Pablo Montoya — When Montoya defected to NASCAR from Formula One in what seems like a lifetime ago — it was 2006 — it was thought that he would be fighting for a championship by this time.
Instead, the Colombian driver of the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet is having a miserable season and Sunday at the Brickyard his 21st-place finish could be the signal that his career as a top contender is over.
There is talk that team owner Chip Ganassi is losing patience with Montoya, who appears to have lost the passion that made him an Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series champion.
4: Jeff Gordon — It is hard to say that Gordon is a loser after a Top 10 finish at the Brickyard — he finished seventh — but he sits 15th in the championship without a win so far this season.
Even Gordon himself was saying that he needed a win at Indianapolis — where he has won four times — to save his season.
And with only six races left before the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, there is precious little time left for him to make it into playoff contention.
5: Clint Bowyer — When Bowyer moved to the No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota this season from the No. 33 Chevrolet at Richard Childress Racing there were lots of questions about the wisdom of that move.
Some early success at MWR — plus his win at Sonoma — quelled much of that talk but Sunday’s wreck at the Brickyard and his subsequent 15th-place finish puts Bowyer in danger of missing the Chase even with the Sonoma win.
He needed a Top 10 finish Sunday and didn’t get it.