With a fourth-place finish Sunday, Mark Martin, second in the Cup standings, gained 111 points on Johnson and trails the three-time champion by 73 points with two races left.
To Martin, there's a lot more going on behind the top two positions.
“It's not over yet,” Martin said. “The top six — I'm still kind of baffled why everybody is so preoccupied with first and second. The top six spots are being raced for like a dogfight. I've got two past champions that knocked me out of championships breathing down my neck, so the race is still on for all of us.”
Martin finished second to Jeff Gordon (third in points) in 1998 and second to Tony Stewart (fifth) in 2002. Another past champion, Dickies 500 race winner Kurt Busch, is fourth in the standings.
by Reid Spencer/Sporting News