We are just about half way through the NASCAR race season – with 19 races down and only 7 to go before the Chase grid is set.
If the season ended right now, who would be in and who would be out? We have broke it down so you can see the drivers that would be in the Chase this season if the last race was New Hampshire and who needs some help if they don’t want to miss it.
The top 10 drivers “make the chase”, with the other two drivers clinching “Wild Card” (WC) spots by who has most wins.
Kasey Kahne’s win at Loudon was huge, it put him in the first wild card spot ahead of Kyle Busch. Kasey has one other win this season that came at Charlotte.
Kyle Busch is currently in the 2nd (and last) Wild Card spot, Kyle only has 1 win this season which came at the spring race at Richmond International Raceway.
|DRIVER||POINTS||BEHIND||STARTS||POLES||WINS||TOP 5||TOP 10|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||691||-16||19||0||1||8||14|
|Martin Truex Jr||617||-90||19||1||0||4||9|
If the Chase started this week, those would be the 12 drivers.
Carl Edwards who is 11th in the points this year and finished 2nd in points in 2011 behind Tony Stewart has struggled ; he has not won a race since Las Vegas in 2011. He has only finished in the top 5 two times. Right now, Carl Edwards would miss the Chase, he would need to move into the top 10 or win a race and finish higher then the other 1 win teams; Ryan Newman Joey Logano and current #2 Wild Card spot holder Kyle Busch. To spice things up for Edwards, crew chief Bob Osborne stepped down due to health reasons on Tuesday. He has been replaced by Chad Norris, former CC for Trevor Bayne in the Nationwide Series as well as Ricky Stenhouse in his limited Sprint Cup starts.
Jeff Gordon is another driver that currently would miss the Chase. Gordon has not won a race since the September 2011 Atlanta race. Gordon won a total of 3 races in 2011, but has failed to finish in the top 5 more then twice this season. Gordon is the only Hendrick Team car that would miss the Chase. If Gordon happened to get hot and pass Kyle Busch he could then clinch a WC Spot.
Brad Keselowski is the driver with 3 wins this year that could technically still fall out of the top 10 into a Wild Card Spot , if say Carl Edwards earned more points then him in the next 7 races. If this happened, Kyle Busch would fall out of the second wild card spot (and not make the Chase) and Kasey Kahne would take his place. If Brad falls out of the top 10 before the Chase starts he would receive no bonus points, right now he is set to receive 9 bonus points sitting in 9th position. (3 for each win)
There are lots of scenarios that could happen if a driver gets hot here in the last 7 races. It will certainly be exciting to see who makes it and who does not.