James: That makes it Hendrick's Kasey Kahne vs. RPM's Marcos Ambrose, and that's a tough one, even given how completely underwhelming Kahne has been this season compared with his Chase-qualified teammates. Ambrose has won twice at Watkins Glen, and his team still tested there recently, underscoring the fact that RPM officials know that -- at 49 points outside the playoff boundary with five regular-season races left -- a victory is his only viable hope. Kahne, despite his malaise, is just a point behind winless Greg Biffle for the final transfer spot, and points-racing the rest of the regular season seems a more realistic route to the Chase than having to risk all, like Ambrose, for one win.
McGee: I'll say Hendrick because Kahne still has two potential paths to get in and I think the pressure of this weekend works against Ambrose. This is really a Glen-or-bust deal for RPM, but Kahne should be a legit contender at most of the remaining pre-Chase tracks, especially next weekend at Michigan. Even without a win, sitting 14th in the standings means that points alone could work in his favor. Ambrose is only three spots back, but he's on the wrong side of 16th with race winners behind him.
Oreovicz: As much as I think Ambrose will be mighty at Watkins Glen, the percentages say Kasey Kahne has a better shot of making the Swift Sixteen, through points or a win. Having both Petty cars in certainly would be popular with the fans; Ambrose is capable of winning on an oval, too.
Smith: That's one hell of a question. I do expect Ambrose to win at The Glen. He's a world-class road racer. But again, it's his lone shot. (He is really good at Bristol, too, but I don't see it happening for him there). So I'll say Hendrick. Kasey Kahne can win Bristol, Atlanta or Richmond. He has more chances than Ambrose does. I'm not sure I believe my own answer here, though. I really do think Ambrose is going to lay it down on them this weekend. #Waffle
Hinton: No-brainer here: Gibbs. We've been watching Roush Fenway on the slippery slope for years. But who would have imagined JGR -- especially Matt Kenseth's 20 team -- would have fallen so far behind on the new ride height rules, etc., after such a powerful showing last year?
James: JGR. Roush Fenway doesn't have excuses, but it has reasons for its shortcomings. It lost one of the series' best, most consistent drivers in Kenseth two years ago. Carl Edwards is soon to follow. Veteran Greg Biffle is on the backstretch of his fine career at age 44. And the adjustment to the Gen-6 car has not been as seamless as expected for an organization that so prides itself on engineering acumen. Gibbs, however, would seem to have everything in place -- including perennial title aspirants Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch -- for a successful campaign after its blitz through the series in 2013. Where did the speed go, and why?
McGee: Roush Fenway, hands down. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin winning more early than they have late, that's not new. And Matt Kenseth is having a more traditional Matt Kenseth type of season. But the fact that Roush Fenway, Ford's flagship team, looks so totally lost in the woods when other Ford teams have improved so much over 2013 is just baffling.