The nature of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase format is akin to that of whittling down wood. Each week, contenders are either whittled away into nothing or carve themselves into stronger contenders.
After eight races, only two drivers have any strong odds to win. Still, with only two drivers mathematically eliminated, there are some long shots to win.
But, barring some unforeseen and unlikely circumstances, Texas proved to solidify the notion that only Chase leader Jimmie Johnson or Brad Keselowski have a legitimate shot to win the Sprint Cup in 2012.