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Kevin Harvick, who won the Truck Series race Friday night in Texas, is third in Cup points, only 21 behind Edwards.

Johnson is sixth in points, 43 back, and knows he needs a lot of help the last three races for any chance to extend his championship streak. Still, he has a chance, as do Brad Keselowski and Kenseth.

“I don’t think Tony is the only guy that can be a threat to us,” Edwards said. “I think those other guys are gonna be just as tough, so what I was trying to describe was not focusing in on one guy, but looking at the big picture and with three races left, there are a lot of guys you have to worry about.”

After Texas, the resurfaced and reconfigured Phoenix track is next week before the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Ryan Newman expects an exciting finish with four different teams in the top four spots in the Cup standings.

Thanks to his car owner, Stewart, there is that added zest to racing at Texas because of those comments after winning at Martinsville.

“It’s not unlike him. Usually he’s all excited about getting a new clock or something like that but he was really gung-ho about giving a good speech afterward,” Newman said. “I was proud of him for that. He made a point and then he’s shown that in this Chase winning three out of seven, he’s a force to be reckoned with so these next three are going to be interesting for all of us.”