The thirteen-man Sprint Cup Championship chase rambled out of New England Sunday with another driver piled up in a heap.  A check of the guide would indicate that Kasey Kahne’s wreck in the Sylvania 300 knocks him out of the title hunt.

Win: Awesome
Positions 2-5 Great
Positions 6-10 Adequate
Positions 11-15 Worrisome
Positions 15-25 Trouble
Positions 26+ See Ya!

Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski proved it last year and Matt Kenseth reinforces that wins during the chase are vital to winning the title under NASCAR’s single point per position system.  As much as the sport would like to hype the “potential of that last weekend with five guys in contention,” it’s a pipe dream.  Two weeks in and Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson have breathing room on the rest of the gang because all three of them have of two straight runs in the top five.

Drivers in the 4-10 spots still hold their fate in their hands, but they NEED to win at Dover.  According to the three chase drivers with the best average finish at the Monster Mile are Carl Edwards (1 win), Johnson (7 wins) and Jeff Gordon (4 wins).  Others in the chase who have taken the checkered flag at Dover International Speedway include Ryan Newman (3), Kyle Busch (2), Kenseth (2), Greg Biffle (2), Kurt Busch (1), and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (1).

Additional dirt to throw on top of Kahne is this:  in 19 starts at Dover, 6 Did Not Finishes.  More evidence of separation at the top is this:  Johnson and Kyle Busch have led the most laps there over the last 5 races and Kenseth has 3 top 5 finishes over that same span.  If not for a blown engine back in June 2013, it would have been 4 top 5's.  Kenseth also has the distinction of one of the more memorable crashes at Dover.

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