We are at that point in the season where the fun really begins! We are down to 16 cars running for the championship and the field is wide open.

With 4 first timers in the chase, things are a bit unpredictable. Kyle Larson is red hot right now, Chase Elliot has been super consistent, Austin Dillon could end up being a sleeper, and Chris Buescher will take advantage of anyone else's misfortune.

The other 12 experienced drivers have a total of 14 championships between them and nothing can take the place of experience. It's typically time for Jimmie Johnson to turn it on and pull away, the time when someone like Kevin Harvick puts the blinders on and takes care of business, but there is no doubt that the best teams all year belong to Joe Gibbs Racing. While the Penske teams were crazy good early in the year, they have struggled as of late, and Stewart-Hass has been up and down for the better part of the season.

So how does it all work out?

Where most people are picking there round of 12 racers and not going too far out, I'm going to break it down round by round as I see it....

Round 1 - Chicagoland/New Hampshire/Dover

The 4 drivers eliminated:

#34 - Chris Buescher                                 #14 - Tony Stewart

#3 - Austin Dillon                                        # 1 - Jamie McMurray

Round 2 - Charlotte/Kansas/Talladega

The 4 dirvers eliminated:

#19 - Carl Edwards                                  #24 - Chase Elliot

#22 - Joey Lagano                                    #48 - Jimmie Johnson

Round 3 - Martinsville/Texas/Phoenix

The 4 drivers eliminated:

#11 - Denny Hamlin                                #42 - Kyle Larson

#4 - Kevin Harvick                                  #41 - Kurt Busch

That leaves the #18 of Kyle Busch, the #2 of Brad Keslowski, the #20 of Matt Kenseth, and the # 78 of Martin Truex Jr.

Yea, I know three Toyotas in the final 4. You can't argue the success of Toyota this year...

So who wins it all? In my opinion the 2016 Nascar Sprint Cup Champion will be.......

The # 78 of Martin Truex Jr.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500
Getty Images

He is peaking at the right time, his pit crew is crazy fast, and his history at chase tracks is very consistent.

Who wins at Chicagoland this week?

The #2 of Brad Keslowski.

Chris Graythen
Chris Graythen


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