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The verdict is in.
Are Carl Edwards' Chase chances history?
Apparently they are. Of the 2,800-plus readers who voted in our SportsNation poll as of 2 a.m. ET Thursday, 67 percent declared that Edwards' playoff hopes were dashed. The remaining 33 percent believe the 2011 Sprint Cup runner-up still has a shot to make NASCAR's playoff.
Perhaps the minority were banking on Tuesday's news that Chad Norris had replaced Bob Osborne as crew chief on the No. 99 Roush Fenway Ford. Looking at the overall Chase picture, it won't be easy.
Our experts had their opportunity to break down the Edwards situation in the weekly Turn 4 debate.
Now, it's Your Turn ...
His chase chances are slim to nothing. Like Jeff Gordon, he needs a miracle win to get back in the hunt. Don't think he will #ESPNYourTurn.— Brandon Butler (@butlerb92) July 17, 2012
Agreed but he wouldn't have made it with Bob either. RT @Bedgood5 Are Carl Edwards Chase chances history? My answer -- Yes. #ESPNYourTurn— Awalker28 (@Awalker28) July 17, 2012
I think Bowyer is going to fall out of the top 10. Edwards and the 99 team are just to strong for them to keep running bad. #ESPNYourTurn— Steve Zukowski (@scubazuke72) July 17, 2012
Are Carl Edwards Chase chances history? My answer -- Yes. #ESPNYourTurn— Allen Bedgood (@Bedgood5) July 17, 2012
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• rbartus88 -- He still has a decent chance. Even if he doesn't get 1 win in the next 7 races, one top 5 accompanied by a Martin Truex Jr. DNF and Carl's within roughly 15 points. Roush Fenway has the equipment in place for Carl to average a 5-8th place finish over the next 7 races which will really put the pressure on Truex unless he can get a victory.
• oldelpaso8 -- He has to make up 47 spots in 7 races. If you play the averages, he'll have to finish on average 7 spots a race better than one of the guys ahead of him positioned 7-10. Unless one of those guys has a complete, and I mean complete meltdown, like DNF 3 or 4 of these 7 races, he's not going to surpass them. I said earlier if he found a way to win 2 races he might crack the top 10, and after thinking about it and looking at numbers, even if he does win 2 races, I don't think he makes the top 10. It's a steep hill to climb for sure.
• BigBlueCat89 -- I voted no. His chances at making the top 10 in points are all but gone, but he's still very much in the wild card race. He's currently 22 points ahead of Kyle Busch, the highest ranked wildcard with only one win( only Kahne has 2 at the moment). Even though he hasn't been that fast, there's a lot of tracks coming up where fuel mileage has been a factor many times before (Michigan, Pocono, Watkins Glen). If he can win one of those races whether by speed or by strategy, it's not at all unreasonable to think that he can maintain his gap on the other drivers with one win.
• andrewjohn329 -- Winning a race is his only shot, but honestly how many times has that team contended for a win this year?
• txtechjmacattack -- There's just seems to be way too big of a gap between Carl Edwards and the top ten drivers, both in the point standings and how they're currently running from week-to-week. Couple that with the fact that the drivers he's racing with for the Wild Card (Kahne, Busch, and Gordon as the most notable) all have shown to be fast enough to reel off a win or two in the next couple of months, it just doesn't seem like replacing a crew chief he had really good chemistry with is a strong enough move to lift him into the Chase.
• Trident60 -- I think Carl is out. The guys in the top ten are showing a lot more speed. Add in all the wild card drivers right now and it doesn't seem like it's going to happen, imo. I've been thinking Carl was going to make it. I've been waiting for him and team to run better. I've been waiting for them to work their way towards the front of these races and every race... They simply don't. New Hampshire was the last straw on me believing they had a shot to make the chase. I didn't see them have one problem at NHMS and they weren't able to do anything.
• STLFordFan -- Carl didn't forget how to drive and Roush Fenway is a good organization. Carl is in a position quite frankly where if he can win one race from Indianapolis to Richmond he probably gets in as long as he is 11th in points. The way that the rest of the Wild Card drivers have performed and/or have had bad luck leaves the door for Carl. This situation seems a lot like last year when Matt Puccia took over the 16 team, from the R and D side to being the crew chief on the team. Not sure if Carl makes the Chase but believe this will help the 99 team for 2013 at the very least.
• bowtie KD -- I think Carl will make it. I think he can get into the top ten and not need a win.
• KieranDaly83 -- Carl Edwards, last year's Cup champion (sans 1 point), will miss the Chase, at this point he may as well call this season one of rebuilding. By the time Carl's new crew chief, Norris, gets up to speed and they work out the communication groove, the chase will be well underway, his name is Chad Norris, not Chuck Norris after all.
• Phoenix2012-102 -- I voted that he's done for the Chase. That team has not had the speed to compete for wins, except at Richmond. You can't win races without leading -- and for a team that last year was up front all the time, leading only 1 lap aside from the race you practically had won and then threw it away is not going to turn into wins. Is it possible? [Yes] it's still possible for someone to go out and win the next 7 races and move from outside the Top 20 into a Wild Card spot. Doesn't mean though that it's going to happen. Carl's team has looked lost all year, and I don't think a new crew chief will magically fix things.
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