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Let's get ready to rumble, gentlemen!
One of the top scenarios we can definitely envision is Brad Keselowski winning the Cup championship at Homestead. Some might say he'll steal it away, but no matter how you say it, Keselowski has a great chance of depriving Jimmie Johnson from his sixth career Cup crown.
But there's a big "if" in the way—if Keselowski can get through Phoenix and not lose any ground to Johnson. Better yet, if Keselowski can cut off a few points from the current seven-point margin between Johnson and himself, all the better.
If the Polish Rocket can go into Homestead within five or less points of Johnson, he has a great chance to be the third champion in as many years who came into Homestead in second place in the standings, only to leave there a few hours later as the season champ.
Tony Stewart was second to Carl Edwards heading into Homestead last year and won the crown (albeit by tiebreaker, having more overall wins in the season than Edwards).
In 2010, Johnson went into Homestead ranked second to Denny Hamlin, 33 points behind, but still managed to eek out a come-from-behind championship run.
Don't forget, too, that was under a different points structure than the one we have today.
With the new points system that was instituted last season, Keselowski is fairly safe if he can go into Homestead with less than 10 points separating him and Johnson.
But if Keselowski has a bad race at Phoenix, it'll be next to impossible to catch Johnson at Homestead unless the five-time champ suffers mechanical failure or gets wrecked—neither of which he suffered en route to any of his previous five straight title runs.