Found November 01, 2012 on
NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup is now definitely no more than a four-horse race. My gut tells me it's a two-horse race and that's the two guys at the top separated by only two points.
Everyone keeps waiting for one of those guys to have a really bad race. So far, the only blemish that points leader Jimmie Johnson has had was the 17th-place finish after the crash at Talladega on the last lap. The only blemish that second-running Brad Keselowski has had is the 11th-place finish at Charlotte where they ran out of fuel.
I personally don't see them both having a bad race in these final three. I don't know if I see either one of them having one. It's going to come down to the closing laps of the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway between these two guys to see who's going to win this championship.
With that said, Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne now, who are third and fourth, are in striking distance. Clint is 26 points back and Kasey is 29.
Those two guys had top-five finishes Sunday at Martinsville Speedway and Clint lost a point and Kasey only gained one and that's the problem. When you get to the position that they are in, you are dependent on two things. First, the good performance of you and your race team and second, you're also relying on the lack of performance of now Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson.
Now all Kahne and Bowyer can do is not worry about the points, keep their heads down, keep clicking these top fives off, try to do what Clint did at Charlotte, maybe win the race and see if those other two guys have a bad race. If both of them do, absolutely the series will be sitting there with a four-horse race.
With these guys, even though it's three racetracks that we've raced at several times and we've been already once in 2012 to two of them, anything can happen.
It's been six-and-a-half months since we raced at Texas. A lot of water goes under the bridge in six-and-a-half months.
We've had some rule changes. Bowyer and his team, they're a totally different race team than they were six-and-a-half months ago when we went there. They were a brand-new race team.
Then at Phoenix, we only have two races on this current track configuration.
Then Homestead, it's been a year since we raced there.
So I still see a lot of unknowns and a lot of things that are not a given in these final three races with our two guys at the top of the points.
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Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
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