Out of turn 2

Steve & Evan Davies - Special to Speedway Digest Monday, Oct 20 1777

With Keselowski having won the last restricter plate race of the season at Talladega, Kahne, Johnson, Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt,Jr., are now officially out of the Chase. That leaves just Logano, Harvick, Newman, Hamlin, Kenesth, Edwards, Gordon and Keselowski.

The odds of someone getting their first title looks to be pretty good, as only Kenseth, Gordon and Keselowski have won a championship. Gordon has four wins with Kenseth and Keselowski having one each.

So who has an advantage, with the last four races going back and forth between short tracks and intermediate? If past history is any indication, Gordon has done well on short tracks, while Hamlin, Logano and Newman have not won a single one.

First up is Martinsville, a short track where Jeff Gordon has won eight times. The all-time record for that track is fifteen, by Richard Petty followed up by Darrell Waltrip with eleven. Texas, an intermediate size track, is next. Again, Jeff Gordon seems to have an advantage with two wins there while Carl Edwards leads all drives with three wins.

Phoenix, the last track before the championship race, is another short track with both Harvick and Gordon having at least one win each.

Once the final four drivers are eliminated, the remaining four will battle at Homestead for the championship with both Edwards and Gordon having won there.

Is there a dark horse? Perhaps it is Carl Edwards. With a win at one of the first three tracks and a good record at the final race track, his odds might go up. As it is his last season at Rausch, it would be a great way to go out.