2. Matt Kenseth -- He starts the Chase as the championship favorite, with four wins and three of the last six.
3. Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus -- They've been the masters of the Chase format but are struggling for speed.
5. Kyle Busch -- He qualified for the Chase despite missing a big part of the season due to leg injuries suffered at Daytona. A Cup title would be one of sport's all-time greatest comebacks.
6. Mark Miles -- Hulman & Co. CEO says he's going to take a more hands-on role with the IndyCar series.
7. Jack Beckman -- NHRA's Countdown starts this weekend at Charlotte and the cancer survivor's very fast Funny Car makes him the title favorite in that nitro class.
8. Rob Kauffman -- When Michael Waltrip Racing liquidates after this season, the assets that are the No. 15 and the No. 55 points likely will go to the highest bidder. Richard Childress for Ty Dillon? The Wood Brothers for Ryan Blaney?
9. Dave Moody -- It's time for NASCAR's playoffs and fans will talk about it passionately with the SiriusXM Channel 90 afternoon host.
10. Levi Jones -- The winner in every USAC series named the sanction's new national midget racing director.
[ more next week . . . ]