The 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship starts this Sunday with the Geico 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway. Top-seeded Denny Hemlin is the nominal favorite going into the Chase, but it could be weeks before a clear pecking order presents itself. Last year’s Cup winner Tony Stewart won the 2011 Geico 400, which jumpstarted his run to the overall title. Stewart enters this year’s Chase sitting third in the standings.
Hemlin has won two of his last three Sprint Cup races, taking the checkered flags at Bristol and Atlanta before finishing 18th in Richmond last weekend. He won four Spring Cup races total during the 2012 season. Hemlin spoke to reporters as part of Media Day and rated his chances of winning the Sprint Cup Championship at “8.5 or 9” out of 10.
Qualifying kicks off at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and can be seen on the Speed Network. ESPN will broadcast the Geico 400 at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Check out our SB Nation NASCAR hub for more auto racing.