With both Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson surviving the two toughest tracks in the Sprint Cup Chase for the title, it now appears the champion won’t be crowned until the final race of the year.
Kenseth, and his Joe Gibbs Racing team, turned it up a notch at Martinsville Speedway last weekend and almost left with a victory. Jeff Gordon’s late-race charge gave the former Indiana resident his first win of the year and kept him mathematically eligible for the title.
Kenseth and Johnson led the most laps at Martinsville with the Wisconsin driver finishing second, holding off Clint Bowyer on the final lap as Johnson came home in fifth.
Entering the race at Texas, the two point leaders, Kenseth and Johnson, are tied at the top of the leader board. Gordon, Harvick and Kyle Busch are between 27 to 36 points back.
Johnson won the Texas race last November from the pole position and Busch won from the pole last April.
With the last two races won from the pole position it appears that qualifying will be at a premium on the 1.5 mile oval.
A bad day for either Kenseth or Johnson, or both, could allow Gordon, Harvick and Busch to gain ground on the two leaders. That is not likely to take place.
It should be an interesting three weeks until the 2013 champion is crowned.
In other racing news: For the fans that missed the triple header of 100-lap races last weekend at Anderson Speedway, you missed some excellent racing.
The drivers in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models, NASH-FM Thunder Cars and Front Wheel Drive Oval Division all put their skills on display.
There were only six caution flags in the Late Model feature, five in the Thunder Car race and four in the Front Wheel Drive action.