A look at how far we've come in 2009
If the Chase for the Sprint Cup were to start today, the contenders would have a unique complexion compared to seasons past.
Sure, the Sprint Cup tour is just four races into the 2009 season. But the twists and turns have established early frontrunners and sent some Chase regulars spinning into oblivion on the track and in the point standings.
That four of the top six drivers in the point standings — Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart — are former champions is no surprise. Clint Bowyer (second) and Carl Edwards (fourth) have the potential to be champions. Ditto Kyle Busch (seventh), who won at Las Vegas but dropped one position after a horrific race at Atlanta, as well as Kevin Harvick (eighth), particularly after exhibiting such resilience after fighting back from two laps down to finish fourth in the Kobalt Tools 500.