With Jimmie Johnson's Drive for Five now in a bit of jeopardy, we broaden our look this weekend to include all the past Chases. And lo and behold, it's rarely been closer after 34 races than it is right now. Let's look onward, shall we?
2009: After the infamous Texas wreck where he stayed in his car and willed his team to keep him in the race, Johnson held a 73-point lead over Mark Martin heading into the final two races.
2007: With the charge nearly finished, Johnson was 30 up on regular-season dominator Jeff Gordon. The writing was on the wall.
2005: In the closest parallel to 2010, numerically speaking, eventual champion Tony Stewart was 38 up on Johnson and 77 on Edwards.
2004: In the first Chase, Kurt Busch led at this point, with Jeff Gordon 41 points, Earnhardt 47 back, Johnson 48 (ha!) behind, and Martin 102 back. And it turned out to be a race that came down to the final lap at Homestead. We can hope, can't we?
There you go. The past seems to indicate that Hamlin will hold on, but we know not to rely too much on that. Your take?