By admin | March 22, 2012
By Richard Allen
Brad Keselowskiâ€™s win in a Dodge last Sunday at the Bristol Motor Speedway caused somewhat of an oddity. So far in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season each of the four auto manufacturers involved in this form of racing have scored a win after the first four races.
Ford got out of the box with a win in the season opening Daytona 500 as Matt Kenseth drove his â€˜Blue Ovalâ€™ to victory in a rain delayed Monday night special event. It was Kensethâ€™s second win in â€˜The Great American Raceâ€™ and it provided his manufacturer with early season bragging rights for claiming the first crown jewel event of the year.
Greg Biffle, on the strength of three 3rd place finishes in four races, leads the Sprint Cup standings for Ford. His Roush Fenway Racing teammate Kenseth joins him in the top-12 as he currently sits in the 3rd overall spot.
Toyota made its way into the winnerâ€™s column when Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag in the seasonâ€™s second race at the Phoenix International Raceway. This win coming after his Joe Gibbs Racing team completed a switch at the end of last season from their own engines to those provided by Toyota Racing Development.
Hamlin, Martin Truex, Jr., Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano rank in the top-12 of the standings at the present time for the Japanese auto giant.
Chevrolet was third of the four manufacturers to score a win when Tony Stewart cashed his chips in at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The defending Sprint Cup champion has not always been known as an early season front runner but new crew chief Steve Addington plotted the strategy that earned the win for the â€˜Bowtieâ€™ brand.
Chevy has the most drivers placed in the top-12 of the standings at this early stage. Along with Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Paul Menard, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton currently reside in those all important spots.
Keselowskiâ€™s win for Dodge might have seemed to be the least likely of all the manufacturers. Not only does that auto maker have only one team with two cars in Penske Racing as its only serious contenders, but that organization has already announced it will switch to Ford next season.
There are no Dodge drivers ranked in the top-12 at this time.
Four races and four different winners representing each of the auto manufacturers so far in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Whoever wins this weekend at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California will make that manufacturer the first to claim two wins this year.
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