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When the phrase “Down to the wire” was first used, do you think the orator had the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship in mind?

Of course not: it was a term used in horse racing.

But that is not going to stop us from having fun with it for auto racing, is it?

Once again, of course not.

The NASCAR Cup Series is down to its last three races of a season that many thought might not come off, as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc with the early season schedule. But here we are, just three weeks away from crowing a champion, thanks to the diligence of everyone involved with the sport.

After Joey Logano (the 2018 champion) won last weekend in Kansas, he is locked into the Final Four in Phoenix on November 8. Any of the other seven playoff drivers (Kevin Harvick, Denny  Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., and Alex Bowman) who wins either of the next two races, at Texas Motor Speedway and Martinsville, will automatically join Logano in the Final Four.

But who will join him in the Final Four, and who will eventually hoist the overall championship?

According to the odds on BetMGM Michigan, Harvick, who won his only other championship in 2014, is the current favorite to win his second title at odds of +160. He is followed in the odds by Hamlin (who currently sits third in the standings) at +260, then Logano at +400.

For the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 this weekend in Texas, Harvick is the current race favorite with BetMGM Michigan at +260, while Bowman has the longest odds of any of the top eight drivers at +3500.

Harvick is basically a lock to go to the final race as one of the Final Four, thanks to his strong campaign. And once he gets to Phoenix, he will be the clear favorite, with nine wins there since 2006.

If he can get there, Arizona-born Bowman would be a crazy story, if he won a title racing in his home state. But he is going to need a lot of help and some luck to get there.

One driver that everyone will be rooting for is Elliott, who is currently on the wrong side of the bubble in fifth, but with a chance to haul in Keselowski with two good races. Elliott is the youngest driver left (24) by six years, and has three race wins under his belt this season, including the 2020 All-Star Race

Odds to win NASCAR Cup Series Championship

(Odds via BetMGM as of 10/21/20)

Kevin Harvick (+160)

Denny Hamlin (+260)

Joey Logano (+400)

Brad Keselowski (+600)

Chase Elliott (+900)

Martin Truex Jr. (+1200)

Alex Bowman (+3000)

Kurt Busch (+5000)

Prediction:

Obviously, Harvick has to be the favorite with his track record at Phoenix. But if Logano can stay hot, or another driver can win his way into the Final Four, it could make for an interesting last day of the season. Do not count Logano out at +400.

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