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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!
pollcenter:category=5106+keselowskiachasecontender?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?
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.
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.