Hot 20 – For some it comes down to a Texas sized win or hoping for a Big Three free fall

We have our Big Four. Finally. Joey Logano will join Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. racing for the championship at Homestead. That is, unless someone takes one of those spots away either this weekend or next. To be frank (and who wouldn’t want to be Frank?), unless one of the latter trio decides to give it away, one of those four boys below them in the standings is in adios country without a victory.

Texas will be the first of just two opportunities to do just that. Based on past history, Chase Elliott might have a shot. No wins, but four Top Tens in five attempts must mean something. Busch has won three, Harvick one, while Truex might be winless but like Elliott, he shows up to be one of the best on race day. The sibling, Kurt Busch, can be a threat and even has a win on the track. Maybe it is his time to rise and shine in Texas. Maybe. Clint Bowyer is decent there, but he will need to be more than just a pretty face on Sunday coming in with just three Top Fives in 25 outings. As for Aric Almirola, forget about it. That is not happening.

Maybe none of the principles will win on Sunday. Jimmie Johnson has seven wins on that track. Does the team of Jimmie and Chad have one more magic moment left between them? Denny Hamlin is another driver hoping to keep a yearly win string going, and the two-time Texas troubadour has been strong lately.

Not that any among our Big Four would mind too terribly if Texas was taken by one of those boys. Just as long as they are close and the pretenders are far behind coming to the checkered flag. That would give them all a Yosemite Sam-like moment for celebration.

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Now, who wants a set of six-guns?

1. JOEY LOGANO – 1 ROUND WIN (4074 Pts, 2 Wins)
Will he find a championship at Homestead or a Truex inspired heartbreak?

2. KYLE BUSCH – 4104 POINTS (7 Wins)
Just needs a really good day at Texas, not even a great one, to get his ticket punched.

3. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 4083 POINTS (4 Wins)
Do not allow the guy you are racing to do the hitting…do the hitting yourself.

4. KEVIN HARVICK – 4083 POINTS (7 Wins)
When Newman started driving his car as wide as his neck, Harvick could not find room past him.

5. KURT BUSCH – 4058 POINTS (1 Win)
Needs to drive Sunday like it is 2009.

6. CHASE ELLIOTT – 4052 POINTS (3 Wins)
Prior to Watkins Glen, he had not won anywhere. Why not add Texas to his newly growing list?

7. CLINT BOWYER – 4041 POINTS (2 Wins)
Might not have dressed like Rowdy for Halloween, but driving like him at Texas isn’t a bad idea.

8. ARIC ALMIROLA – 4033 POINTS (1 Win)
A win. Anything less is just losing at this point.

9. RYAN BLANEY – 2232 POINTS (1 Win)
Popular driver with a popular NASCAR sanctioned podcast.

10. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 2227 POINTS (3 Wins)
One unsecured lug nut and Paul Wolfe is $10,000 lighter. As for the tire changer…

11. DENNY HAMLIN – 2213 POINTS
Was wishing Logano and Truex would have hit a lot harder last week.

12. KYLE LARSON – 2179 POINTS
Has Larson replaced Danica and Jeff Gordon as NASCAR’s prettiest Cup driver?

13. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 2173 POINTS
Lowe’s is about to leave, but Ally’s Financial is preparing to arrive in a big way.

14. ALEX BOWMAN – 2164 POINTS
Might be soon able to drive the Jimmy himself all the way to Cow Town.

15. ERIK JONES – 2159 POINTS (1 Win)
At Atlanta, while brother was testing, sister Lindsey was taping for a school project.

16. AUSTIN DILLON – 2157 POINTS (1 Win)
The highlight of the season was eight months ago.

17. RYAN NEWMAN – 702 POINTS
A wide neck? I guess he has one. Here I thought he had to wear his ties dangling from his chin.

18. DANIEL SUAREZ – 655 POINTS
Hoy es un gran día para agradecer a los fans !!

19. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 650 POINTS
Like the rest of us, he discovered that a World Series game could turn out to be an all-nighter.

20. PAUL MENARD – 645 POINTS
Had as many Top Fives in 2014 as he has enjoyed since. He does have a reliable sponsor, though.

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