The Backstretch Blog: Is it over if you lose at Dover?

Published On: Oct 29 2013 11:24:41 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 30 2013 10:08:12 AM CDT

Getty Images for NASCAR

After the race last week in New Hampshire, it really looks like the Chase for the Championship is a three team race, with everyone trying to catch Matt Kenseth.

So I'll the question, for everyone other than Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson...Is it over if you don't win at Dover?

It's a legitimate question. Busch is 14 points behind Kenseth, Johnson 18. Then there is a 36 point gap back to forth place Carl Edwards. Under the current point system 36 point is a lot of ground to make up in eight races. Thirteenth place Kasey Kahne is 71 points back. That is nearly two races worth of points.

"We're only two races into the 'Chase' and a lot of races remain, and a lot of things can happen between now and the final race of the season," said Jeff Gordon. "A lot can happen in one race. We'll just focus on getting as many points as we can this weekend and see what happens."

And Gordon brings up a good point. We really are just a Talladega 'big one' or a penalty away from bunching this field right up. But if I'm Kahne, Joey Logano or Dale Earnhart, Jr I wouldn't want to  let the leaders get too far away.

The bad news is Kenseth, Johnson and the younger Busch have all won at the mile long track they call the Monster Mile. Johnson has won there seve times.

"It is one of my favorite tracks," said Johnson. "We were close there last time, lead a bunch of laps and were in position there toward the end for a win. This Lowe's team has had a consistent start to the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) and I expect more of the same this weekend in Dover."

The good news is lots of other Chasers have won at the Monster Mile including Junior, Gordon, Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch and Edwards.

"We've had a pretty solid start to our Chase and we are hoping for great things at Dover," said Edwards. "We've had a lot of success there as a team. We'd love to get in victory lane and close that gap on Matt Kenseth and those guys in the top three positions; they've done a great job so far. Eight races to go, a lot of racing left."