Several NASCAR writers believe five drivers still have a real chance to win the 2013 Sprint Cup. But with three races left, those making the odds seem to think it’s a three-horse race. Here’s how it might impact how fans watch the Texas 500 this weekend.
The Jimmie and Matt Show
There are three drivers within shouting distance of Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth. Oddsmakers aren’t hearing those shouts too loudly.
Kenseth and Johnson have numbers twice as tight at Jeff Gordon. Those numbers are three times as tight at Kevin Harvick. Just what Kevin Harvick needs, another reason to be upset.
Maybe Kyle Busch Can Contend
Nobody knows if Kyle Busch can come back from a 36-point hole with three races to go. Oddsmakers seem to think so, placing Busch at 5/1, slightly below Johnson and Kenseth. Nobody has led more laps at Texas over the last five years. Busch has also won once in this stretch.
Busch has struggled in previous Chase attempts. A win Sunday might erase those playoff jitters columns for good.
Is Anyone Else Racing This Weekend?
Over the last five years, Kenseth, Johnson and Hamlin have three of the top five average finishes at Texas. Greg Biffle leads the field, but Roush Fenway Racing has had a terrible Chase. Denny Hamlin is also in this mix but apparently has been cursed this year. Hamlin and Biffle are 20/1 this weekend.
The only other drivers who have led more than 100 laps at Texas in the last five years are Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch. Stewart isn’t running, and Kurt Busch has one foot out the door to Tony Stewart’s team. No wonder 88 percent of the field is 10/1 or over going into Sunday’s race.
This number should be higher. Kasey Kahne is 8/1. The same Kasey Kahne who disappeared this Chase. The same Kahne who has the 13th best average finish at Texas over the last five years. This doesn’t make sense to me either.
People in Texas like to say everything is bigger in Texas. After Sunday, we’ll find how just how big the Chase field is for the final two races of the 2013 Sprint Cup season.