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Early favorites: Does the Sprint Cup title run through JGR and Team Penske?

Updated Sep 15, 2015 at 10:46a ET

I have to be honest, I was a little disappointed in Saturday night's race at Richmond. Whenever you have a driver and team hit on what that No. 20 car of Matt Kenseth did, then you are going to see a dominating performance like we did. Honestly, the only thing that could have beaten them was if they beat themselves.

It simply wasn't your typical action-filled Richmond race. I simply don't know why. Our FOX race back there in the spring had a lot of action, but for some reason this one Saturday night simply didn't have it. It was just like there was something missing from this one. Like I always tell folks in cases like this, I'm also a huge football fan and I always believe we'll get that winning touchdown or field goal in the final moments to snag the victory, but it doesn't always happen like that.

It just becomes more and more obvious to me that the road to the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship travels right through the middle of Joe Gibbs Racing. I think we probably better add Team Penske into that mix as well. If you look at our last two short track races at Bristol and Richmond, that's 900 laps of racing and no one, I mean not a single organization, has led a lap at those two tracks unless it was a Gibbs or Penske car.

If you throw Darlington into the mix, that makes a total of 1,267 laps, Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing have lead an amazing 1,200 of those laps. So it's a bit lopsided in our sport right now, tilted toward those two organizations. To me the bright spot thought is that we are talking about two different organizations, two different manufacturers and six different drivers.

Probably the biggest disappoint Saturday night was how the No. 4 team and Kevin Harvick struggled. After watching them in all the practices on Friday, I really thought they would be the ones that would put a halt to this Gibbs and Penske landslide. Unfortunately, Saturday night proved out to be probably one of their worst runs of 2015.

I want to make special mention of how well Aric Almirola, crew chief Trent Owens and the entire No. 43 team ran. They needed that walk-off home run just to get to the Chase and they made a valiant effort. They had their best run and finish of the year with a great fourth-place showing, unfortunately it just came up a little bit short.

Now we are off to Chicago. Ten races in 10 weeks and then we'll crown our 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Sunday, Nov. 22nd at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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