No flukes here, folks. Our final four drivers in the NASCAR World Cup are four of the best in the Sprint Cup Series. And as a reflection of the current microtrend in the Cup Series, none of those four are Hendrick drivers, though Tony Stewart is in Hendrick equipment.
We've got two Chevrolets in Stewart and Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch's Toyota and Carl Edwards' Ford. Plus, all four drivers have won at Atlanta Motor Speedway, home of this week's semifinals, so this could be one of the most even rounds yet.
The Matchups: Kyle Busch vs. Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart vs. Kevin Harvick
Edwards -- On overall talent, Kyle gets the nod, but in terms of consistency--and strength at Atlanta--I'm giving the nod to Carl. Wish these two knew what was at stake here; I'd love to see 'em turn each other going for the WC finals!
Harvick -- In most years, I'd say Stewart in a landslide, but this year, Harvick is the more consistent driver. This one's going to be a tight battle--both in the top 10, at worst--but in the end, I'm thinking Harvick has the edge, setting up a fine Harvick v. Edwards brawl to settle it all!
Busch -- No, I'm not being contrarian for the sake of it, but I can't pick against Busch right now. How crazy would it be to see him win both races this weekend? Book it. Busch wins the Nationwide race Saturday night and the Cup race on Sunday.
Stewart -- We anointed Group B as our Group of Death before the contest started, and it's only fitting that two of the four drivers are in the semifinals and I think that they'll meet each other at Richmond for the title. If Stewart's leading late in the race, he and crew chief Darian Grubb are going to make the decision to come get tires this time and beat Harvick by a few positions.