After the first two races in the 2011 Chase, many were ready to write off five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson. Following his second-place run last weekend at Dover, Johnson is right back in the thick of the championship battle.
With the Chase so tight only three races in, Johnson said there is no guarantee they will continue their march to the front of the standings.
"This is racing," Johnson said. "Anything can and will happen in racing."
"Yeah, we've closed it up to 13 points and are up to fifth, but it can go the other way," he added. "There's no guarantees that we're going to keep going forward."
The plan is, however, to do all he can to get there.
Being the five-time champ, Johnson would prefer to have a target on his back and the competition chasing him for the title, saying the team that can set the pace early and distance themselves from the rest of the field has an advantage.
Yet Johnson is realistic, knowing there is still a lot of racing to go and anything can happen.
"This is racing," he said. "With 10 races, 43 guys on track, 500-mile events, there's a lot that can go right and wrong and it's not over until Homestead."