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NASCAR America: Little pressure at Phoenix for Kyle Busch, must-win for Jimmie Johnson

Kyle Busch has already punched his ticket for Homestead, and he's loving the underdog label he's received.

Kyle Busch comes into Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phonix Raceway with hardly a care in the world.

Okay, that may be overstating things a bit, but the fact remains Busch -- along with Texas winner Kevin Harvick and points leader Martin Truex Jr. -- are all locked into the championship-deciding Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19.

And, in theory, they can relax somewhat while the other five drivers still in contention to reach the Championship 4 round -- Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott -- will face one of the most pressure-packed and one of the most important races of their NASCAR Cup careers.

Our Marty Snider spoke with Busch about his frame of mind heading to Phoenix. Is he looking ahead to Miami? Is he glad he doesn’t have to feel the kind of pressure the five still-eligible drivers are feeling?

Click on the video above to hear Busch’s thoughts.

And then there’s Jimmie Johnson. When was the last time you heard of Johnson being in a must-win situation just to reach the championship race? He can’t use points to make Miami, he has to take the checkered flag at the one-mile oval in the Valley of the Sun.

One thing to keep in mind: If Johnson does win Sunday, he suddenly goes from championship hopeful heading to Phoenix to potential record-breaking champion if he can earn his eighth Cup crown at Miami.

And we all know how dangerous Johnson can be in the most pressure-packed situations. He thrives on situations like Phoenix and continuing it on at Miami.

JJ’s not counting himself out, none of his opponents are and you certainly shouldn’t

Check out the video below to find out why.