NASCAR Sprint Cup: Defining Races of the Regular Season for the 12 Chasers

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NASCAR Sprint Cup: Defining Races of the Regular Season for the 12 Chasers
Jerry Markland/Getty Images
These 12 men will compete for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in 2012

We've finally made it.

The 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup is finally upon us. Twelve of NASCAR's brightest stars are prepared to compete over the next 10 races for the crown jewel of stock car racing, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.

But before we begin NASCAR's version of the playoffs this Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, it's time to take a look back on the regular season and show you why the 12 drivers who made the Chase still have their eyes on that Sprint Cup trophy.

Over the course of the first 26 races, each of our Chase drivers had at least one defining race that let us know he was going to be a contender here in 2012.

My job was to pick through these races and find one for each driver in the Chase for the Sprint Cup; your job is to simply read through it and reflect.

Hold on tight as we take a ride into the past and see which races in 2012 allowed these drivers to be where they are today.

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