Things are about to get really interesting in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Not that they aren't already. When the rubber particles settled after last week's race at Martinsville there was a razor-thin margin between points leader and four-time defending champ Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin, while Kevin Harvick also joined the party.
Once this Sunday's race is done at the track formerly known as "The World's Fastest Speedway," however, who knows how the leaderboard might read?
If things are going to get turned upside down, this is the place for it to happen.
Whether it was the luck of the draw or sheer genius by NASCAR CEO Brian France and his Gearbots, situating the race at Talladega Superspeedway at this point in the Chase is perfect timing.
You know how they have "Separation Saturday" in college football?
This could be Separation Sunday.
"I'm really trying to not be emotionally attached to things until we get out of Talladega," says Johnson, who leads Hamlin by just six points. "So much can happen at Talladega. Last year, Mark (Martin) was right there with me on the points, I'm running sixth on the track, he's running seventh coming to the checkered flag, his car gets hit, he goes upside down. I'm just one spot ahead of him.
"I finish the race, get a bunch of points."
That turn of events sealed the deal for Johnson's quest to become the first driver to ever win four consecutive Cup championships. Although Martin was still mathematically in the hunt, he could never gain enough ground the rest of the way to catch up.
"The race is on after Talladega," Martin said. "Nobody knows what's going to happen."
I covered my first Cup race at Talladega in 1988 and since then I've pretty much seen it all at the 2.66-mile tri-oval.
Now and again there'll be a clean, uneventful race, but those afternoons are certainly exceptions to the rule. This is the track that put the phrase "The Big One" in the racing lexicon. When there's a wreck at Talladega, it's spectacular and often expansive.
"You can be doing a great job and make all the right moves and then something out of your control can happen," Johnson said.
Kevin Harvick, this year's "regular season" champion, is probably hoping for something dramatic to happen at Talladega -- as long as he's not part of the drama.
Harvick traditionally runs well at 'Dega, and since he's 52 points out of the lead a good run is imperative.
"I think before last week nobody really gave us a chance to be anywhere near the front," Harvick said. "But here we are."
Barring something unforeseen, the Chase is now a three-driver race. Kyle Busch is fourth -- 172 points behind -- while Jeff Gordon is in fifth place with 203 points.
Their only chance to get back in the hunt with three races to go would be to have some good fortune while Johnson, Hamlin and Harvick have some misfortune on Sunday.
Then again, the unforeseen is, well, not all that unforeseen at Talladega.
"We'll just roll the dice and see what happens," Johnson said.