You know when the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars pull out on to the track at Bristol that tempers are going to flare. But with the new points system, do any of the contenders have a chance to get the job done?

Jimmy Johnson's #48 team has been mediocre at best this season. Probably one of the worst starts I have seen them get off to. Sure you can say he finished last in Daytona and went on to win a championship, but that was the old points system.  JJ has used all his mulligans fro the beginning of the season with this new system.

He is barely holding 12th in the points, tied with Kasey Kahne and a point ahead of Kyle Busch and a bad finish could easily drop him back to 20th or worse.  Busch is point and fact as he was leading the points before the last race.

Kevin Harvick sits in 20th and is on the edge of kissing his chances goodbye as well.  Denny Hamlin is the only one of last years top three to be in the top ten in points.

Now, don't jump the gun and say I am shooting these guys and the new point system down.  I am actually diggin' the new system. Why???  Because the teams that dominated last year are now kept on their toes.  I would bet Chad Knaus and Jimmy Johnson are more worried than they have ever been before.  Harvick and RCR were talking championship during Speed Weeks.

All I am saying is that under this new system, teams can only afford a couple of bad finishes. Bristol is always a tough track. Sure Jimmy won last year, but I doubt he will again. I may be wrong. The bottom line is the Jeff Byrd 500 this weekend is going to be a pivotal race and if any of these former front runners have any kind of bad luck, we may see Paul Menard and AJ Allmendinger solidifying their championship hopes this season.