The NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup is down to simple math: Three races remaining, 144 potential points with only one of the top four Chase leaders likely to take the prized No. 1 NSCS trophy. Two drivers are perched on peak, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski just two points apart.
As with all great sports the math keeps adding up. This Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway drivers will wheel their stock cars at an average speed of 145 mph or more for 500 miles or 334 laps on the 1.5-mile quad-oval with 24 degree banking. Fans without tickets for one of the 122,377 seats can tune into ESPN at 2 p.m. ET.
But the math that counts is two and four. That fast sum could be a simple total of six, but the real reckoning is between one and two and then three and four.
Jimmie Johnson takes on Brad Keselowski with a two point buffer. Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne take on each other and the top two as well. Essentially it’s a four driver and team race to the championship.
NASCAR Chase points are tough to secure and that makes the four driver frenzy for the most numbers a real race.
It’s very unlikely that all four at the top will drop at the same time and four more move up, so NASCAR fans you are looking at four contenders that will sort out to one winner by the time the checkered flag drops in Miami.
All four drivers shared their thoughts going after the numbers that count at Texas.
Jimmie Johnson (NO. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports)
“I expect us to be really strong this weekend at Texas,” Johnson said. “I love that race track. We were very good there in the spring. Our 1.5-mile stuff has been really fast. I’m thinking we are going to be really strong.”
Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Dodge, Penske Racing)
“When you have a team like we have on the Miller Lite Dodge, it’s easy to stay calm in the face of adversity,” Keselowksi said. “We all have each other’s back. We like our role is in this Chase. While we aren’t being overlooked by any means, there are many who think that we are still too young of a team to seriously challenge the 48 team. We like it that way. In reality, we are a very good race team that is primed to take this fight right down to the last lap at Homestead-Miami Speedway next month. I’m very confident in our abilities at Texas this weekend. The mile-and-a-half tracks have been really good to us this year. We had an awesome car in April at Texas – probably the best car I’ve ever had there – but fuel issues kept us from challenging for the win. This weekend, I’m expecting to challenge for the win.”
Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing)
“It would be unbelievable to think about being champions together our first year together,” Bowyer said. “I’m very proud of the job that Brian Pattie (crew chief) has done creating a great environment around me -- assembled a great team. Certainly is a lot of fun week in and week out.”
Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports)
“We got our first top-10 of the year at Texas, and it started a great streak for the team,” Kahne said. “I always love coming to this track. It’s fast with a lot of room to move around and race. I think that really fits my style and gives us a good chance to win.”
The points are skinny and the speed is a must. Just a trio of races to go.
FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of topics by Dwight Drum at Racetake.com. Unless otherwise noted, information and all quotes were obtained from personal interviews or official release materials provided by sanction and team representatives.