As he clung to his championship chances, Ryan Hunter-Reay was able to see past his selfish motives to the bigger picture.
He knew if he didnt close the gap on points leader Will Power, there would be no title race in the IndyCar season finale.
That, Hunter-Reay understood, would be terrible for a series thats trying hard to stay relevant on the U.S. sports scene.
He knew his only chance to make it a fight was to win Sunday at Baltimore to close his 36-point deficit to Power.
Power could have wrapped up his first IndyCar championship Sunday.
Instead, Hunter-Reays fourth win of the season made it a 17-point race headed into the Sept. 15 season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
We still have a shot, Hunter-Reay said.
Its no different in NASCAR, where the race for the final spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup comes to a head at Richmond on Saturday night.
In an interest to keep it interesting, NASCAR last year turned the last two slots in the field into wild-card berths.
The tweak has worked to perfection as the race to Richmond can be just as exciting as the actual Chase.
NASCAR locked down its late-season drama Sunday in Atlanta. When Jeff Gordon failed to chase down Denny Hamlin in the closing laps of Sunday nights race, it meant eight drivers will go into Richmond battling for two Chase positions.
Some big names will be left on the sidelines Saturday night.
Four-time NASCAR champion Gordon and Carl Edwards, who lost last years championship on a tiebreaker, are both in danger of missing the Chase.
Same goes for perennial title favorite Kyle Busch.
Gordon believes Saturday night in Richmond will be wild.
That race is always intense, he said. But when you look at how many guys have to win the points and everything else, I mean, its going to be a pretty crazy night.
He lamented not bumping Hamlin out of the way on the final restart, a move that could have given him a win that would have greatly improved his Chase chances.
And Gordon promised not to make that mistake in Richmond, its not going to happen twice, he vowed.
Its anything goes from here on out as the stakes are at their highest for both the competitors and their series.