Musical Chairs

Jul 19 2011 - 4:06pm

The first two dominoes have fallen in the great run-up to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Greg Erwin was let go as crew chief for Greg Biffle last week and today, Brian Pattie was bus-chucked at Earnhardt-Ganassi, where he directed the No. 42 for Juan Pablo Montoya.

Erwin landed with RPM yesterday, at the helm of the iconic No. 43 Ford of AJ Allmendinger. Pattie will have the weekend off, then latch on with another team in short order.

Why? Well, there's the fact that both Erwin and Pattie are top-level crew chiefs. And, with everyone on the outside of the Chase desperately seeking an elusive victory to make the wild card, it's wise to have an ace somewhere in the hole.

That's what the season has boiled down to. The chase for winning a single race to make the wild-card. Top 10 lock in, the next two are in the top 20 in points with a victory. It's probably going to take two wins to lock in, as it stands now. Only David Ragan is wild-card eligible right now, and if Brad Keselowski or Regan Smith is to have a shot, they're going to have a tough row to hoe.

BK is 23rd in points, 25 out, with seven races left. Smith is 27th and fading fast.

That's why Montoya and Biffle are clamoring for a win; they're already in the top 20.

Get used to it. It's going to be wild from here on out.