DOVER, Del. -- Don't tell NASCAR's Greg Biffle the Chase for the Sprint Cup is just a three-man race.
Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson may have separated themselves from the pack, but Biffle can still see Kenseth from fifth place in the standings.
"The Chase, from what I understand, is made up of 10 races," Biffle said heading into today's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, "and to be two races into the Chase and say it's a three-man race already, to me, seems silly.
"I can't imagine with eight races to go that somebody would be willing to say, 'Oh, this is a three-man race.' Take for instance last week, we finished third and moved up six spots in the points to fifth. Now, if Kenseth goes on and wins the title, does that mean it's a three-man race or does that mean it's a one-man race? I don't know. I just think there are more than three cars in this thing right now."
Kenseth, in his first year with Joe Gibbs Racing, has won a series-most seven races this season, including the first two races in the Chase. He's also won the last two races at Kansas Speedway, site of next week's fourth stop in the Chase.
Kenseth's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch, winner of four races this season, has finished second the last two weeks and trails Kenseth by 14 points. Johnson, a five-time Cup champion, is four points behind Busch. Carl Edwards is in fourth, 36 points out of first and two points ahead of Biffle, his Roush-Fenway Racing teammate.
"I wouldn't count out Carl Edwards or any of those other guys that are right there in the hunt," Biffle said. "Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, I wouldn't be counting those guys out just yet is all I am saying."
The three leaders like the positions they're in, but agree with Biffle, that eight races are a long way to go.
"There's so much racing to do," said Kenseth, the 2003 Sprint Cup champion who will start on the outside of the front row next to pole-sitter Dale Earnhardt Jr. today. "I don't know if you know who your main competition is going to be or if you're going to be part of it when you really get down to it."
Both Johnson, who will start eighth, and Busch, who qualified 14th, aren't writing anyone off just yet either.
"I think it's too early, but also I'm not paying attention to the points," Busch said. "We're just with the mind-set to continue on the path that we have all year long, and that's to continue to run consistently and to get good finishes and if we can win, we try to win. But right now, it's going to be the guys who are up front each and every week -- and certainly it may take a couple wins in this deal to win it -- but I've also felt all along that if you finish second every single Chase race, then you could have a really good shot at winning a championship that way."
Johnson said: "I'm not putting my guard down. We still have Talladega, and a lot of these tracks can take out multiple cars. You have that risk here if something happens, you usually take a car or two with you. There are only two guys I'm paying attention to right now, so in that mind-set, sure you can call it a three-man race. It's still way too early to count many out yet."
FIVE TO WATCH
1 Carl Edwards: In 18 career starts at Dover, Edwards has one win, eight top-fives and 12 top-10s. He's 36 points back in the standings and can ill-afford much slippage.
2 Jimmie Johnson: A win would make him the all-time winner at Dover, breaking the track record of seven victories he shares currently with Bobby Allison and Richard Petty.
3 Kyle Busch: He owns two victories here and eight top-five finishes in 17 career starts. He could use a win from a strategic standpoint: Next is Kansas, a place he's fared poorly.
4 Matt Kenseth: He qualified with the second-fastest time and has a solid record at Dover that includes two wins and 13 top-five finishes in 29 career Cup starts.
5 Brad Keselowski: He won this race a year ago on the way to his championship, and he had the fastest car in Saturday's final practice. He'd love to beat the Chase contenders.
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