I think I’m finally ready to join the motorsport media masses and declare the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup a three-man race. Technically, it is a 13-man race, as 13 drivers are in the Chase and will be considered Chase drivers throughout the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup NASCAR post-season that still has seven more races to go. All 13 of those drivers still have a mathematical shot at this year’s Sprint Cup, but mathematical doesn’t always translate into realistic.
There are five drivers who are within a race’s worth of points of leader Matt Kenseth, with two of those being Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon, who are tied for fourth, 39 points back. I consider anyone more than a race’s worth of points out of it, considering the large sum of points have to be made up on the likes of Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch.
The thirty-nine point deficits for Harvickand Gordon aren’t yet to the point of being equal to a full race, but they’re getting there. Before this Chase started, I picked Kenseth to win it all this year. And despite my lackluster prediction history with my proverbial beyond cloudy crystal ball, I felt pretty good about my pick. And I must stay, that pick of mine is still looking pretty good. No, I’m not gloating, but whatever it is, I’m going to stop it before I jynx myself.
The last time I wrote about the Chase, I declared Greg Biffle as out and Carl Edwards as just barely in. Biffle is still hanging in there by a thread within a race of Kenseth, but just barely. I’m still going to go ahead and consider him out of it. After all, I’m already ready to count the two drivers immediately above him — Harvick and Gordon — out.
As for Edwards, he went from possibly having a remote, outside shot to just being completely out of it. After Dover, Edwards fell to 11th in points, making his chances equivalent to a “snowball’s chance in you know where.”
I’m still going with Kenseth. But I wouldn’t be surprised at all by a takeover of the top by Johnson or Busch. But someone else dethroning Kenseth at this point in time? I highly doubt it.
What’s your take on the contenders and disappointers in this year’s Chase, so far? Let us know on Twitter (@AutoRacingDaily) or on Facebook (Facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner.