Jimmie Johnson entered Sunday's race at Phoenix favored by many to win his sixth Cup championship in seven years. Amazing how he slipped so suddenly to such an afterthought.
Clint Bowyer's storybook ending likely will have to wait. Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski have their own script in mind: a two-car dogfight that won't be settled until Homestead.
After all the rotten luck in 2012, the missteps and the mechanical breakdowns, Jeff Gordon -- the senior statesman of NASCAR -- is back in the game.
Austin Dillon may have had his Nationwide Series points lead taken away by a NASCAR penalty, but no one is taking away the biggest victory of his young career.
Denny Hamlin conquered a personal demon in taming Phoenix International Raceway, a track that had haunted him since his failed championship run in 2010.
Matt Kenseth didn't win a race in 2008. On Sunday at Daytona, the 2003 Sprint Cup champ won the biggest race of his career. And the tears flowed.