Several drivers believe their Chase is already over

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Although there are seven races remaining in the Chase for the Champ­ionship, several drivers already have written off their chances.

Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth are at the bottom of the 12-man playoff standings heading into Sunday’s race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. All three admit they’re already too far behind to catch up.

“We’re not going to continue this championship against those guys up front if they keep running the way they’re running,” Gordon said. “The only way we’re going to get a chance at them is if they have a problem like we had.”

Gordon started the Chase with a 35th-place finish at the Chicagoland Speedway. He’s posted finishes of third and second since, but he’s actually dipped further behind. He left Chicago down by 47 points and now he is 48 points behind leader Brad Keselowski.

Biffle and Kenseth are even worse, trailing by 51 and 72 points, respectively.

“Well, it’s pretty much a stretch for us right now,” Biffle said. “The thing is there are so many guys ahead of us, it’s not like there are two or three that we need to catch up to, it’s a whole mess of them so it’s a pretty tall order to beat all of those guys by six positions seven races in a row. That’s going to be hard.”

AHEAD OF SCHEDULE: Kurt Busch and Furniture Row Racing will push the start of their new relationship up to the Oct. 13 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Busch originally planned to move into the No. 78 Chevrolet next season, but he and team manager Joe Garone decided to get a jump on 2013 by working together for the final six races of this season.

Busch will drive one more race with James Finch’s No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet before leaving.

Finch said he’s determined to finish the season with a new driver. AJ Allmendinger, Brian Vickers and Regan Smith have been mentioned as likely replacements.


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