As the 2013 Sprint Cup season inches ever closer to its version of the playoffs, some drivers have clearly cemented themselves as favorites to win the title.
Drivers like Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth have dominated the first half of the season and will head into the Chase as drivers seeded near the top of the standings. They will be expected to be in the running for the championship right up until the final checkered flag of the season.
Then there are other drivers who may not have grabbed as many early-season headlines as some of their peers but should not be counted out of championship battle.
I am going to take a look at five drivers who may not be considered the favorites to win the title but should definitely not be overlooked as serious contenders. For some of these drivers, they can feel confident that their positions in the Chase are all but guaranteed, and for some there is still a little work left to be done just to get into the playoffs.