As we begin the NASCAR season's last 10 races, aka the Chase for the Nextel Cup, some interesting storylines are emerging.
First, there's a very good chance that the '05 champion may not win a race this year, or wins only once. That's because three of the 10 drivers are winless (Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, and Ryan Newman) and two drivers have won only once this year (Matt Kenseth and Jeremy Mayfield). In fact, Wallace has not won a race since early 2004.

Interestingly, Matt Kenseth, the 2003 champion, is only the second Cup champion with only one win since 1973. He could become the first ever to duplicate the feat.

Second, there's the Ford/Roush story. Ford lost no time in celebrating its domination of the Chase contenders with its "Ford Five" promotion. That's harmless enough, but Roush Racing's potential for implementing 'team orders,' as it did this year at California Speedway, is more worrisome to NASCAR and the other teams. If that wasn't enough, the Roush teams, who freely share information with each other,  have a combined 15 test days remaining out of their NASCAR allocation. That should give The Ford Five a huge advantage.

The Chase begins this weekend in Loudon, New Hampshire.



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