By Tom Jensen
It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out the NASCAR Sprint Cup stretch run.
With two races left in the Chase for the Sprint Cup and just seven points separating leader Jimmie Johnson from second-place Matt Kenseth, the championship could well come down to mistakes. Specifically, who makes a mistake and who doesnt, or makes the worst mistake.
In 2010, Denny Hamlin came into the AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway with what seemed like a comfortable points lead over Johnson. But two critical gaffes -- having to make an extra pit stop for fuel at Phoenix, and early-race contact at Homestead-Miami Speedway -- cost Hamlin the title.
Last year, the normally bulletproof No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team lost the Chase in the final two races, just as Hamlin did in 10. Johnson had a seven-point lead over Brad Keselowski -- same as he has over Kenseth now -- but cut a tire in Phoenix and went into the wall and then had a rear-gear failure at Homestead. Two mi...