Brad Keselowski believes he still has every chance of denying Jimmie Johnson the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup title, despite Johnson's wins in the last two races moving him into a seven-point lead with two rounds to go.
Keselowski managed to get his Chase points advantage up to 14 after the carnage of October's Talladega race, but has since seen Johnson catch up and sweep ahead with victories at Martinsville and Texas.
"We'll probably need to win one of the next two races, but I would have said that either way," said Keselowski.
"I'd say it's probably a head's up match going into Phoenix and probably the same going into Homestead. We just need to win the head's up matches.
"We didn't [at Texas]. That's not good, but it's not bad either. I think there is still plenty of potential to do that."
Keselowski believes Johnson's recent run is more due to luck falling his way than the Hendrick team unleashing dominant speed.
"I'm confident that we can execute at a high level," said the Penske driver. "The way it's worked over the last three weeks, we haven't caught good breaks or bad breaks, and he's caught several really good ones.
"I'm confident that that will come back around, and when it does, we'll change these seconds and fifths or whatever they are over the last few weeks into wins.
"I feel like that's bound to happen over the next two weeks, and we have the team to pull it off.
"I also feel like the way the points are right now, we still control our own destiny, which is if we win the race, we get the points lead. So that's about all you can ask for."
Johnson agreed that he could not afford to have any complacency about the points situation. The difference in score between first and second places in the Cup system is four points, with bonuses available for leading laps and leading the most laps.
"Seven points is nothing to feel comfortable about or to relax on," said Johnson.
"We're still going to go into Phoenix and act as if we're behind, and try and sit on the pole and win the race again."