Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards NASCAR Chase Battle Is Everything A Playoff Should Be

There are just 712 more miles in the 2011 NASCAR season – and no one has any idea who will win the Sprint Cup Series championship.

Sure, we know the champ will almost certainly be one of two people – Chase leader Carl Edwards or Texas Motor Speedway winner Tony Stewart, who trails by just three points.

But we don't know which one it'll be. And that's pretty damn awesome.

Though the races themselves in the Chase have been uneventful for the most part, the championship battle has been stellar.

And what was shaping up to be a two-man battle heading into Texas really is a one-on-one matchup now.

Whoever wins, it'll be a great story.

In one corner, you've got Edwards – the ultra-polished, affable driver who is destined to win a Cup title but hasn't won a championship yet. In the other corner, it's Stewart – the occasionally grumpy veteran who could elevate himself to one of the sport's all-time greats with title No. 3.

Personally, I absolutely love it. The fact these drivers were able to finish 1-2 at Texas and back up all the hype leading up to the race is incredible.

Their battle just keeps getting better, and Stewart was exactly right when he told Edwards, "This is how it should be."

Damn straight.

Either driver would be a good champion, but for slightly different reasons: Edwards would really get a chance to introduce himself to the non-NASCAR world if he were to win, while Stewart would be an extremely popular winner among race fans.

What's next? On to Phoenix, where the surface has been reconfigured and everyone is saying it could be a "wild card" kind of race.

Personally, I don't think it will be. Despite the unknowns, the best teams will figure out the new layout – which means Stewart and Edwards will likely both run in the top five there as well.

Then, they'll leave it to Homestead to decide the Chase.

Homestead is one of Edwards' best tracks, and there's no doubt he'll be confident about his title chances there – even if he's not leading the points. But no one expected Stewart to be so dominant at Texas, so what's to say he couldn't do the same thing in the finale?

Stewart's out-of-nowhere championship run has been both surprising and enjoyable to watch; Edwards' relentless consistency and in-race comebacks have been reminiscent of previous Cup champs.

And though Stewart is making many believers by continuing to back up his talk, but there's no reason to doubt Edwards, either.

So I really have no idea what's going to happen. Neither does anyone else.

It's going to be incredibly enjoyable over the next two weeks to just sit back and watch two fantastic drivers battle this out.

I can't wait to see what happens.

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