"When all the chips are on the table, it's usually championship experience that usually wins out. On Sunday at Homestead, the experienced Jimmie Johnson will celebrate a fifth consecutive championship."
2 of 12Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR
"If you think about it, it is actually really simple for Hamlin and his team this Sunday. All they have to focus on is finishing Sunday ahead of Johnson and Harvick and the championship is theirs. Don't listen to the media. Don't worry about statistics. Have your guys rested and ready to go because you need their A-game now more than ever."
3 of 12Jason Smith/Getty Images
"What I think is interesting is that we haven't seen the very best from Kevin Harvick, but we're going to. I'm absolutely convinced of that. This is his best track, roughly an eighth-place average. If he can take the lead early, and make it very clear to Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin, 'Look, don't forget about me,' it changes the whole dynamic of this thing."
4 of 12Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR
"Well, now we find out if we're looking at Denny Hamlin, the championship-level driver, or if it's Denny Hamlin, a guy who could win an admirable eight races, but couldn't outduel the best when the cards were all on the table."
5 of 12Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
"There figures to be a Roush Fenway driver impeding the way, and that could complicate matters for all three title contenders. Roush had won five Homestead races consecutively -- and six of seven -- until Hamlin's victory last fall. Carl Edwards, the 2009 winner who broke a 70-race winless streak at Phoenix, might be particularly pesky."
6 of 12Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
"I think Jimmie ultimately is a better race car driver than both of those two are. I'm not saying he's always going to beat them on the race track, but I think, week in and week out, Jimmie does a better job of racing than the other guys do as far as passing cars and whatnot."
7 of 12Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
"If Jimmie Johnson's Drive for Five is successful, a come-from-behind, last-race of the season title would elevate the Hendrick Motorsports star as the greatest driver of his era, if not of all time."
8 of 12Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
"It bothers me that we're down 46 points, don't get me wrong. But if they're not talking about us constantly, that's OK. If we win the championship, everybody will have a lot to talk about."
9 of 12Chris Trotman/Getty Images
"I can't say a new champion would be a cure all for what ails NASCAR, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. This year's Chase has not been lacking for drama, but if it ends with more of the same -- another championship for Johnson -- casual fans have to be thinking, 'what's the point?'"
10 of 12Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR
"This duo's shocking rise from the dead was one of the most surprising developments all season. It was the equivalent to a prizefighter getting a punch in the face, panicking, falling to the mat and enduring a nine-second count before bouncing up to hit his opponent with a surprise left jab in the 10th."
11 of 12John Harrelson/Getty Images
"Watching all the racing championships unfold this year it's like no one who has been leading the close ones has gone on to win in the end."
12 of 12Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR
"We've added Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick to the list of individuals who have experienced what it takes to go all the way down to the end, have a shot at the championship -- to have the restless nights, to have the endless thoughts of how to make the car better or how to drive it out on the race track to stay out of trouble."
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