With seven races remaining before the Chase, a few things have become clear through the tire smoke of an action-filled season.
The Cup title is Jimmie Johnson's to lose.
How dominating has the five-time champion (top) been? He could sit out a race and still maintain the points lead over Clint Bowyer.
Matt Kenseth has a shot.
If the 2003 champ, who is tied with Johnson for most wins (four), can find some consistency, he could make a run at Five Time. Kenseth (center), who is sixth in the standings, has five finishes of 25th or worse.
Kyle Busch remains a wild card.
Since '07, while winning 22 races, Busch (bottom) has wound up no better than eighth in the Chase. But this season on intermediate tracks (between one and two miles), he has finished sixth or higher seven of nine times, winning twice. And remember: Six of the 10 playoff races are on intermediates.