History is possibly repeating itself this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is coming to PIR on Sunday and the AdvoCare 500 is the second to last race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Jimmie Johnson is the current leader in the Chase and has a seven-point lead over Matt Kenseth.
Last November it was the same situation but replace Kenseth with Brad Keselowski. Going in to the 2012 AdvoCare 500 at PIR Johnson had a seven-point lead in the Chase over Keselowski. A strong finish and he would likely claim his sixth career championship in the final race the following week.
Unfortunately for the Lowes 48 Nation, Johnson blew a tire and finished 32nd. Keselowski won the title the following week at the series finale at Miami-Homestead. Johnson fell all the way to third in the final standings, with Clint Bowyer taking second.
To assume that Johnson has his sixth championship wrapped up is a foolish notion but the driver of the 48 Chevrolet is optimistic.
“I feel better about Phoenix, honestly, than I did last year leaving here,” Johnson said in a November 4th SportingNews.com report. “Then last year we did not test at Homestead and we just came back (this week) from Homestead, and that test went really well. So I'm optimistic. I feel good.”
Kenseth trails Johnson by seven-points in the championship standings. Kenseth is no stranger to pressure as he chases his second NSCS championship, he won the 2003 series title, and is confident going in to Phoenix.
"We're right in it. As good as my team is, if we can hit everything right, we can have days like he (Johnson) had today (winning at Texas)," Kenseth said in a recent NASCAR.com report. "We've had them this year. I still feel good. I'm confident and looking forward to getting to Phoenix."