"We're 13 weeks from me being able to answer (that)," Busch said of whether he could unseat Johnson after gaining his series-best fourth win. "Certainly, I'd like to give ourselves a lot of credit that we can do that, that we have the ability to do that.
"I feel like it's anybody's game right now still. Although (Carl Edwards) had problems today, they can still come back. They're still in the Chase (and are) going to be tough. (Johnson) is going to be tough. (Kevin Harvick) is going to be good. Hopefully, we can get our teammate in there and he'll be good, too."
Hopefully in regards to Hamlin, perhaps as revealing as anything else Busch said on Sunday.
Hamlin, who has qualified for the Chase in each of his five full-time seasons, fell to 14th in the driver standings, but his perch seems far more tentative than that. Though Hamlin's one victory this season put him in possession of the second wild card spot, he is very much in peril. It's also of great interest to Mark Martin (eight points behind Hamlin, no wins), Kasey Kahne (12, no wins), and Paul Menard (18, one win), who can seemingly snatch a postseason berth. "It just seems like we've been very fortunate that the guys around us either haven't won a race or on days we struggle they have a bad race," Hamlin said. "Any other circumstances and we'd be in big trouble right now, but I'm still glad to be in our spot than anyone else's at this point. We just need to figure out how to finish races and that carries on my shoulders as much as it carries on anyone's."