In one corner you have the most successful organization in modern NASCAR history, winner of 10 championships on the sport’s premier division, a team whose parts and pieces have been responsible for the last six titles at the Sprint Cup level. In the other corner you have a driver whose manufacturer is pulling out at the end of the season, but has seven career victories and possesses potential and fearlessness to spare. How appropriate, then, that famed boxing emcee Michael Buffer will be part of pre-race ceremonies Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Because let’s get ready to rumble.

The Chase for NASCAR’s ultimate championship doesn’t begin for another three weeks, but it started unofficially Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway, when two primary combatants emerged from their corners with gloves up. That doesn’t even include race winner and current points leader Greg Biffle, who threw down a gauntlet of his own in guaranteeing that he would be a factor in the season finale at Homestead. No, this bout focuses instead what would appear a couple of fighters from mismatched weight classes, Hendrick Motorsports and Brad Keselowski, who together at the moment comprise the best rivalry in the sport.