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Kenseth's lead has slipped to four points with five races remaining.
After beginning the Chase with back-to-back wins, Kenseth and the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota emerged as the team to beat in the Chase. They were matched only by JGR teammate Kyle Busch, but even then it looked like the No. 18 would have trouble keeping up with Kenseth's crew.
However, the title hunt looks like it is beginning to fade for the Jason Ratcliff team, and what looks worse is that second-place Jimmie Johnson looks to be closing in. After posting his two Chase-opening wins, Kenseth's finishes have been a seventh, 11th and a third. Johnson's have been much better. After posting a fifth and a fourth, he has a win, a sixth and a fourth.
Kenseth has been fortunate enough to maintain his lead, and if there was ever a race where he could expand his lead on Johnson, Talladega would be it. He dominated there in the spring, leading 142 of 192 laps. He also won there last fall, so if he's able to stay out of trouble, he should be okay.