The cream is indeed rising to the top. During the past few races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, it has not been hard to find where Brad Keselowski or Jimmie Johnson are in the running order. Odds are that one, if not both of them have been near the front of the field. And it couldn’t be more fitting.

With just two races remaining in the Chase for the Championship, the two drivers are locked in a tooth-and-nail fight for the finish. And if there is any question as to each driver’s competitive fire, one needs to only look at recent weeks results in NASCAR’s top division.

At Martinsville, both drivers led with Keselowski finishing sixth and Johnson taking the win. At Texas, Johnson may have claimed the win, but not before a back-and-forth throwdown with Keselowski. Both drivers led late in the race, even trading paint in the closing stages before Johnson took the win and an eight-point advantage over Keselowski heading into the final two races of the Chase.

These two drivers are unquestionably NASCAR’s best at this point of the season. In year’s past, drivers could at times coast to a championship during the final few races, needing solid finishes and an absence of mechanical problems to sew up a championship. Think about it. How many times through the years have drivers only needed to finish something like 15th or better or just start the season finale to clinch a championship? Those days are long gone.

Drivers not only have to be consistently good during a season to win a championship but are also required to save their very best for the end of the season.

Now, with one group of fans in Johnson’s corner and Keselowski likely having gained additional ones rooting for him to keep the No. 48 team out of victory lane, there is quite an exciting finish to the season shaping up.

Will Keselowski win the first Sprint Cup title for both himself and team owner Roger Penske? Or will Hendrick Motorsports add another to its trophy case and pull Johnson within one championship of tying Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt?

Either way, it’ll one fantastic show between two drivers desperate to avoid losing.