JOILET, ILLINOIS :: All the controversy following last Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway has caused most fans to look away from the important subject, the chase. Matt Kenseth comes into the chase as the points leader due to having the most wins in the regular season. Kenseth comes in to another 1.5 mile track where he's had the most success at this year. Kenseth has four wins at over 1.0 miles tracks, Kansas, Las Vegas, Darlington and Kentucky. But does that make him a true contender for the Championship or will 5-time champ Jimmie Johnson regain momentum?
Despite coming in on a DNF streak 5-time champion Jimmie Johnson always puts on his game face when the chase comes around. He started the 2013 season off with a boom by winning the Daytona 500 in February over Dale Jr. his Hendrick teammate. But as of late we haven't been seeing the No. 48 Chevrolet up front, it's been Kyle and Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards. Jimmie will come in the chase 2nd in points just 3 off of Matt Kenseth and if he can put the last few weeks behind him he will be a contender for the title like he always is.
Last week's winner in Richmond, Carl Edwards also has a little fire under his tail as of late. He captured the flag in Phoenix earlier in the year and hasn't won since until Richmond last weekend. Carl is looking to do even more back flips come the chase this weekend. Edwards driver of the No. 99 Ford has never won the elusive gold at the end of the season, but this year if he can have a little luck he could easily win it all.
He was in the news early this week "funny man" Clint Bowyer for manipulating the outcome at Richmond. He's over that though and he looks to improve one spot in the standings from last year come Homestead. Bowyer doesn't have a win through in 2013 and that sets him back 15 points to start the chase. 15 points doesn't seem like a lot, but he'd have to average 1.5 spots ahead of Matt Kenseth each chase race to take the lead. Bowyer now has something to prove though because he's the only MWR Toyota in the chase.
We can try to predicte who will win the championship all day long, but racing is racing and a blown tire and engine failure in this competition could ruin your entire season in a jiffy. Catch the first race of the chase in Chicagoland on Sunday September 15th on ESPN.