NASCAR: 5 Lessons We Learned from Chase Opener at Chicago

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NASCAR: 5 Lessons We Learned from Chase Opener at Chicago
Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Many observers are calling this year's 12-driver field the strongest in Chase history.

The 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup got underway this past Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.

The kickoff to NASCAR's marquee event included all the elements that make up a good Chase: excitement (plenty of dicing for position), drama (the way Brad Keselowski pulled out in front of Jimmie Johnson on the racetrack after his final pit stop), pathos (Jeff Gordon crashed head-on into the wall when the throttle on his race car stuck, resulting in a terrible start for Gordon and his new mustache) and a nearly full house and great TV numbers.

Let's reflect back upon five of the biggest outcomes of Sunday's race and how they potentially could impact the remaining nine races of the Chase. 

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