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Keselowski a Chase contender?

Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. was one lap away from extending his dream start to the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Then he ran out of gas. Enter Brad Keselowski, the 2012 champion who missed out on the Chase last season, but who seems to have roared back this time around. With his win at Las Vegas, Keselowski now trails Junior by one point in the standings and -- because of the new win-and-you're-basically-in rule -- can start making plans for the Chase once again. Is he a serious title contender? What is Earnhardt's outlook? Cast your votes below!

  • What chance do you give Brad Keselowski of winning another Sprint Cup championship?

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      49%
    •  
      51%

    Discuss (Total votes: 38,025)

  • Which 2014 race winner will fare best in the Chase?

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      63%
    •  
      17%
    •  
      20%

    Discuss (Total votes: 20,031)

  • How many races will Dale Earnhardt Jr. win in 2014?

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      9%
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      31%
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      43%
    •  
      17%

    Discuss (Total votes: 3,183)

  • Which of these driver's early-season struggles have been most surprising?

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      12%
    •  
      60%
    •  
      28%

    Discuss (Total votes: 3,120)

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Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Earnhardt Jr. wins Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won zero races in 2013. His crew chief, Steve Letarte, is in his final season before becoming a broadcaster. So naturally, the sport's most popular driver cruised -- at least as much as you can in a restrictor-plate race -- to victory in the rain-delayed 2014 Daytona 500. It is Junior's second win in NASCAR's biggest race; he won it 10 years earlier, too. Under the new rules, he's virtually locked into the Chase; does this mean a big season is in store for the man who finished fifth in last year's standings?

  • How many races will Dale Earnhardt Jr. win in 2014?

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      17%
    •  
      39%
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      31%
    •  
      13%

    Discuss (Total votes: 38,523)

  • Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. make the Chase's final four (field is cut to four after the ninth race of the Chase)?

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      72%
    •  
      28%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,907)

  • How many Daytona 500 wins will Dale Earnhardt Jr. retire with?

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      31%
    •  
      55%
    •  
      14%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,057)

  • Who will win the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship?

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      37%
    •  
      63%

    Discuss (Total votes: 47,451)

  • Did you watch any of the Daytona 500?

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      65%
    •  
      35%

    Discuss (Total votes: 9,840)

  • How do you feel about all the wrecks at restrictor-plate races?

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      73%
    •  
      27%

    Discuss (Total votes: 9,419)

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Big changes for the Chase

NASCAR is making some significant changes to its Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. It's getting simpler in that it eschews a complicated points system in favor of an emphasis on winning -- a victory in the regular season probably will get you a berth in the Chase. Once the 16-driver field is set, it'll be winnowed by four every three Chase races. Once four drivers remain, they'll compete in a winner-take-all final race in which the first driver to cross the finish line will be crowned the champion. Opinion is split among at least two top-tier drivers; Jimmie Johnson is in favor of the overhaul, while Carl Edwards opposes it.

What do you make of NASCAR expanding the Chase to 16 with drivers ousted at three-race intervals until four remain for a winner-take-all final race?

  •  
    53%
  •  
    47%

Discuss (Total votes: 17,653)

  • Should the Chase have a prime emphasis on winning races as opposed to placing well in them?

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      67%
    •  
      33%

    Discuss (Total votes: 2,400)

  • Who will win this season's Chase?

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      40%
    •  
      60%

    Discuss (Total votes: 2,374)

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Jimmie Johnson wins sixth title

Jimmie Johnson's sixth title in eight years has brought up comparisons to Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, and why not? Johnson trails them by just a single title, and Petty himself thinks Johnson might end up with eight or 10. Johnson will be hosting the 6 p.m. ET "SportsCenter" on Tuesday, so we'll get a firsthand account of what Johnson thinks his chances are of becoming the greatest NASCAR driver of all time.

  • Who is the greatest NASCAR driver ever?

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      33%
    •  
      25%
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      31%
    •  
      8%
    •  
      3%

    Discuss (Total votes: 6,391)

  • Richard Petty says Jimmie Johnson is ''liable to go to eight or 10'' Sprint Cup titles. How many will Johnson win in his career?

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      18%
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      35%
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      25%
    •  
      12%
    •  
      10%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,852)

  • Are you rooting for Jimmie Johnson to break the NASCAR championship record set by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt?

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      61%
    •  
      39%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,806)

  • Is Jimmie Johnson's domination good or bad for NASCAR?

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      64%
    •  
      36%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,812)

  • Who is most dominant right now in his respective sport?

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      49%
    •  
      29%
    •  
      8%
    •  
      14%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,899)

  • Would you call Jimmie Johnson an athlete?

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      41%
    •  
      59%

    Discuss (Total votes: 39,259)

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