Gentlemen start your engines, the NASCAR marathon might be a marathon, but the final ten races are closer to a sprint for the Nextel Cup.
The regular season had ended every similar tot he way it began. There were three Chevrolets at the top of the standings, and two Hendrick Motorsports drivers hogged all the points in the top two.
This weekend at Loudon, it's a clean slate for the 12 contenders, but Jimmie and Jeff sure have the momentum.
"My whole career in Nextel Cup would have been fighting for a championship, and it's impossible to describe how tough it is emotionally, going through these races, and coming down tot he end of it, and I think the last 6 seasons have prepared me and made me stronger and better," says last year's champion Jimmie Johnson.
"I think there's going to be a whole different mental attitude, being pumped up, being fired up and ready to go, bringing our A game every single weekend," adds Jeff Gordon.
Another big name in the thick of the chase is the man they call "spider-man," Tony Stewart. His second half run places him third at the end of the regular season.
"It's such a good feeling to know that we have that opportunity, just to have that opportunity each year for something every team is striving for," said the controversial contender.
With so much on the line, the race has become a sprint, and the drivers take their marks on Sunday.