Five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson holds the record for consecutive wins in the Chase (four). In 2007, on his way to his second title, he won at Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas and Phoenix. Before Martinsville, Johnson was second in points, 68 behind leader Jeff Gordon. Following Texas, Johnson moved into first place and stayed there, finishing 77 points ahead of Gordon.
Gordon didn't exactly fold like a cheap tent in a storm: Starting with Martinsville in order he finished third, seventh twice, 10th and fourth. So, moving up in Chase points is always possible, provided the leader falters. Biffle climbed six places, to fifth, with his third-place finish at New Hampshire.
Illustrating how strong Kenseth has been in his first season driving the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, four of his seven wins are at tracks where he'd previously never won: New Hampshire, Darlington, Chicago and Kentucky.
The good news for those of us who would like to see some continuing suspense in the Chase is, Kyle Busch has finished second in the first two Chases races. If Kenseth stumbles, Busch will be ready to pounce like a hungry grizzly bear finding food.
Chasers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., 62 points off Kenseth's pace in 11th place, know they are basically out of title contention. Still, they remain hopeful of winning a race and climbing in the standings.
"There are eight races - that's a lot of racing and a lot of potential for good luck and bad luck to be shared by everybody," Earnhardt said on a Tuesday conference call. "I'm certain Matt and his team are going to try real hard to be smart and continue on the success that they've had. But nobody's immune to someone else's mistake or something reaching out and altering the way the race is going for them.
"Even Matt, as strong as they've been, something could happen to those guys and it may not be something of their own doing. That's why everybody in the series just continues to work hard because you don't know what's going to happen. Fortune or misfortune could be around the corner."
Kevin Harvick is lurking in sixth place, 39 points behind Kenseth. Harvick is not out of it yet, but he knows he has to do better quickly. Harvick insists his Chase racing strategy is identical to pre-Chase races.
"We just do things the same way, and obviously that hasn't exactly won us a championship, but I don't know of anybody else who does it any differently," he said. "You just have to drive your car as fast as it'll go, and the guys on the team are going to try to change the tires and make the right decisions just as they would every other week.
"A lot of people think that we change our strategy, but our strategy is to try to win every week. Obviously you can't do that every week; you have to try to pull the best finish that you can from that particular weekend."
Sunday would be the ideal time for Harvick to break through at Dover: He is 0-for-25 in Dover starts. His best finishes are a second and a third.
Pocono council open
Pocono Raceway is accepting applications for its 2014 Fan Council, a 20-member board that assists the racetrack staff in improving the fan experience at races. The council will complete surveys, meet quarterly (either in person or through conference calls) and assist with promotional events. Members are selected to a 1-year term.
Interested fans (18 and older) may download an application at www.poconoraceway.com/fancouncil. The deadline for applying is Oct. 18.
Steve Byrnes, co-host of "NASCAR Race Hub" on Fox Sports 1, has taken a medical leave of absence through the remainder of the NASCAR season. Adam Alexander, one of the show's original hosts, is filling in for Byrnes alongside Danielle Trotta. "Race Hub" airs at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.