Roger Diez
For the Nevada Appeal

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August 31, 2012
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Wild finish expected in Atlanta

With only two races left to secure a spot in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Chase to the Championship, there is a chase for the two wildcard spots.

When the green flag drops at Atlanta on Sunday, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch have the spots, but when the checkered flag flies it could be someone else. Kahne could replace Tony Stewart in the top 10, because he is only 16 points behind. If that happens, Stewart's three wins guarantee a wildcard slot, but he loses his bonus points for the wins. Edwards is 12th in points going into Atlanta, desperately needs a win to get into the Chase. Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, or Marcos Ambrose could lock down a wildcard berth with a second win. Ambrose has momentum with his win at Watkins Glen and more points scored in the last four races than any other driver. No matter what, we'll see some pretty desperate driving tomorrow night.


Formula One is back in action at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium after their summer hiatus. Spa is one of the oldest and fastest tracks on the F1 schedule. Friday's practice was run in a deluge of pouring rain, which meant that the teams didn't get much chance to test all the new technical tricks they came up with during the month-long break. Drivers didn't get a lot of practice time in, either. Hopefully, that won't lead to problems during the race, because as Speed TV commentator Steve Matchett pointed out during Friday practice, there are no small accidents at Spa.


The IndyCar series runs the next to last race of the season Sunday on the Baltimore street circuit. Josef Newgarden will not compete due to surgery on his injured index finger. If you saw the crash he had with Sebastian Bourdais at Sonoma last weekend, it's a wonder his finger was all that got broken. Four drivers are in contention for the championship with only Baltimore and Auto Club Speedway remaining on the 2012 schedule. Will this finally be Penske driver Will Power's year? Power has a lead of 36 points over second-place Ryan Hunter Reay who drives for Andretti Autosport. Another five points in arrears is the second Penske car of Helio Castroneves, who has won three Indy 500 races, but never the championship. Former champ Scott Dixon is also in the hunt but a long shot, 13 points behind Castroneves and 54 behind Power.


Tonight will have some choices for motorsports fans. The NASCAR Nationwide series is on ESPN, but for those who prefer their racing live, up close, and personal, Fernley 95A Speedway is racing with six racing divisions plus box stock Outlaw Karts. The track has been getting excellent car counts, with 85 entries in the pits two weeks ago. Spectator gates open at 3 pm, racing starts at 6 pm. General adult admission is only $8, with reduced admission prices for seniors, kids, disabled, and military personnel.


And although it's not close enough to drive to, Carson City's own Mackena Bell will be racing tonight at Hickory Speedway's Bobby Isaac Memorial race, the only female in the 36 car field. Go, Mackena!

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Aug 31, 2012 08:59PM Published Aug 31, 2012 08:40PM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.