"Without a doubt, you want to enter the Chase with momentum," Johnson said. "I think every team falls back on past history. We have won championships without momentum going into the first race. So we're going to fall on our experience and also the experience of knowing the Chase is so different than anything else. You're only racing 12 guys, not 43. So things change a lot."
Johnson grabbed the second seed by virtue of his four wins this season -- both Daytona races, Martinsville and Pocono. He is the only driver who has qualified for the Chase each season since the inception of NASCAR's playoff format in 2004. Johnson also holds the record for most Chase wins with 22.
3. Kyle Busch (2,012)
Busch's 2013 season has been a turnaround from last year when he failed to make it into the Chase by just three points. His victory earlier this month at Atlanta clinched him a spot in the playoffs for the sixth time. Prior to Atlanta, he had won at California, Texas and Watkins Glen.
"This year, there's certainly a greater satisfaction of being included in the Chase and knowing that you're locked in and knowing that you have a chance to race for the rest of the year to contend for a championship," Busch said.
Busch has finished no better than fifth in the Chase. In 2008, he earned the first seed with eight wins for the season. But Busch faltered in the first two races of the Chase that year, which quickly took him out of championship contention.
4. Kevin Harvick (2,006)
Harvick is in his last season with Richard Childress Racing before he moves over to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. But Harvick hasn't made this a lame-duck season with the No. 29 team.
There had been a lot of talk about this being a do-nothing year for Harvick, but he silenced his critics by winning in April at Richmond and then picking up another victory the following month at Charlotte. He is hopeful of ending his tenure with RCR on a high note.
"We are as good as we've ever been, and hopefully we can continue to get better over the next few weeks," Harvick said.
This is the fourth straight year that Harvick has made the Chase. He finished the 2010 and '11 seasons third in points. He ended last year in eighth.
5. Carl Edwards (2,006)
After missing the Chase last year, Edwards enters it with a lot of momentum following his victory at Richmond. His first win this season came in March at Phoenix.
Edwards has been in the top-10 in points since the third race of the season (Las Vegas). He ended the regular season atop the standings. The past few months had been a bit of a roller coaster for Edwards until his season got back on track last month at Bristol.
"I'd say a month or two ago, I wasn't so sure about our chances in the Chase," Edwards said. "(Crew chief) Jimmy (Fennig) and I had a meeting to talk about it, because it was not looking good. We turned things around. (Team owner) Jack (Roush) has done a great job with the cars. The pit crew is spectacular. Excited about going to run these 10 races."
Edwards ended the 2011 season in a points tie with Stewart, but Stewart won his third series championship by virtue of his five victories for the season compared to only one win for Edwards.
6. Joey Logano (2,003)
Despite the controversy surrounding him following the Richmond race, Logano is in the Chase for the first time. This is Logano's fifth year in Sprint Cup but his first season as driver of the No. 22 car for Penske. He drove for Joe Gibbs Racing from 2009-12.