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Keselowski a Chase contender?
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. was one lap away from extending his dream start to the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Then he ran out of gas. Enter Brad Keselowski, the 2012 champion who missed out on the Chase last season, but who seems to have roared back this time around. With his win at Las Vegas, Keselowski now trails Junior by one point in the standings and -- because of the new win-and-you're-basically-in rule -- can start making plans for the Chase once again. Is he a serious title contender? What is Earnhardt's outlook? Cast your votes below!
pollcenter:category=5106+keselowskiachasecontender?Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Earnhardt Jr. wins Daytona 500
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won zero races in 2013. His crew chief, Steve Letarte, is in his final season before becoming a broadcaster. So naturally, the sport's most popular driver cruised -- at least as much as you can in a restrictor-plate race -- to victory in the rain-delayed 2014 Daytona 500. It is Junior's second win in NASCAR's biggest race; he won it 10 years earlier, too. Under the new rules, he's virtually locked into the Chase; does this mean a big season is in store for the man who finished fifth in last year's standings?
NASCAR predictions for 2014?
It's here. The 2014 NASCAR season is underway, with front-row qualifying complete for the Feb. 23 Daytona 500. On the pole: rookie Austin Dillon, who is driving the No. 3 made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt. Meanwhile, defending champion Jimmie Johnson -- who is aiming for his seventh title, which would tie Earnhardt and Richard Petty -- must wait for his place on the opening-day grid (the rest of the field will be set Thursday). How will J.J. fare this season? What do you make of all the changes? Cast your votes below!
Tony Stewart is on the record as defending sprint car racing as relatively safe, but that was before he broke his leg racing in one. Stewart will miss this weekend's race at Watkins Glen as a result of the injury, placing his position in the Chase in jeopardy. He's in 11th place right now, holding on to one of the two wild-card spots with Martin Truex Jr., and a no-show at Watkins Glen could make the last four races of the regular season incredibly important for him.
Sprint Cup odds?
Stewart's moonlighting in a sprint car race could end up costing him dearly in terms of making the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Here's a sampling of what readers had to say in our Facebook conversation on the story: