|Charlotte is the halfway mark of the Chase (Getty)|
Talladega sure lived up to the billing as being the one race in the Chase to shuffle the deck as 24 cars were involved in a last lap melee, that included several Chase drivers. Brad Keselowski was one of the beneficiaries of the 'big one' as he increased his lead over Jimmie Johnson from five to 14 points. Denny Hamlin slid back from 16 points coming in, to now being 23 points behind.
Only six races remain and it's starting to look like Keselowski has some traction. We all keep trying to find reasons why he won't win a Championship or why a number of others drivers will win it, but the races are diminishing and he's still there on top and increasing his lead.
"Having a 14-point lead heading into Charlotte is pretty big, for sure," said Keselowski, who is 5-to-2 to win the Championship. "Once we are done at Charlotte, we'll be halfway through the Chase, and while there is still a lot of racing left to go, it's better than having to dig out of a hole.
One driver who gained the most from the wreck was Jeff Gordon, who finished second behindMatt Kenseth. He moved up four positions to sixth in points and has now finished third or better on six of his past seven tracks raced on as he heads to Charlotte this week. If he would have had the same type of finish at Chicago, he'd be close to leading in points right now. He finished 35th in that race, but four runner-ups and two third-places in his last seven starts is pretty amazing stuff and why is he is our feature driver to watch this week.
READ MORE HERE....Top-5 Finish Prediction
VIDEO: Roberts Talks Charlotte on The Linemakers