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NASCAR heads out West this week for the fourth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship and the Pepsi 500 Sunday afternoon at Auto Club Speedway, formally known as California Speedway.

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As the chase heats up it has become evident that the best teams have risen to the challenge, while those at the bottom of the chase standings have not been able to gain ground on those at the top of the standings. This week should be no different and we look for those at the top of the standings to be dominant again this week.

Jimmie Johnson 7/2
Normally we like to stay away from big favorites since they tend to offer little value - especially before qualifying and practice - but this week Jimmie Johnson looks to have this field covered. Johnson, the winner of this race the last two seasons, was dominate at Michigan, which should set him up perfectly for this race since these two tracks are identical in every way. In 13 races here, Johnson has finished worse than 11th just twice and has an average finish of 6.2, which leads all drivers. This team made a critical mistake last week, which might have cost them the win. But look for them to rebound with another strong run at a track he has dominated.

Live Longshots

Matt Kenseth 12/1
Who would have thought Matt Kenseth would have struggled they way he has all year after he dominated the race back in February? After putting together some strong races the last few weeks, California could be the track to wake this team up and get a much-needed win. In the last seven races here, Kenseth has finished seventh or better, has won three times, and has good average finish of 9.0 15 starts. We think this could finally be the week for him to come out of his season long slumber.

Greg Biffle 10/1
Just like all of his teammates, this year has been a season long struggle for Greg Biffle. And like all of his teammates, California is a track that he has excelled at since moving to this series. We have a feeling that Biffle will bring the same car that finished well last week and even if he doesn't, we still think he has a good chance of getting his first win of the year on Sunday.

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Posted: 10/8/09 12:25AM ET

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