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NASCAR Cup: assignment — making the Chase

Chase Elliott (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Chase Elliott (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

 

Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway is it — the final race of the 26-race regular season. As a result, it’s a last-ditch effort for some drivers to get into the 16-driver, 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship post-season.

 

For most of the soon-to-be Chasers, berths in the Chase are already locked in by virtue of regular-season wins. Thirteen drivers have at least one win to their credit, so far, this season, and 12 of those drivers are locked into the Chase. The only race winner who’s not quite locked in is Pocono Raceway winner Chris Buescher, as he stands a chance of falling outside the top-30 in the points standings at RIR, eliminating his shot at the championship.

 

Drivers already with secure Chase berths include Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson and Tony Stewart.

 

Here’s an overview, provided by NASCAR, detailing what needs to happen for other drivers to claim one of the remaining Chase spots:

 

Chris Buescher (1 Win, 358 Points, +11 Points Ahead of 31st) - Would Clinch a Top 30 spot on his own with 34 Points (7th and no laps led, 8th and led at least one lap, 9th and led most laps), which would clinch him a spot in the Chase.

 

Chase Elliott (0 Wins, 659 Points, +312 Points Ahead of 31st) - Would clinch on points with 24 Points (17th and no laps led, 18th and led at least one lap, 19th and led most laps), if there is a new winner.  If there is a repeat winner (or a new winner and Chris Buescher falls out of the Top 30) and 2 Points (39th and no laps led, 40th and led at least one lap).  If there is a repeat winner and Chris Buescher falls out of the Top 30, he clinches on points, regardless of finish.  With a win, he would clinch a Chase spot on wins.

 

Austin Dillon (0 Wins, 651 Points, +304 Points Ahead of 31st) - Would clinch on Points with 33 Points (8th and no laps led, 9th and led at least one lap, 10th and led most laps) and a new winner.  If there is a repeat winner (or win by Chase Elliott or a new winner and Chris Buescher falls out of the Top 30) and Dillon would clinch with 11 Points (30th and no laps led, 31st and led at least one lap, 32nd and led most laps).  If there is a repeat winner and Chris Buescher falls out of the Top 30, he would clinch on points regardless of finish.  With a win, they would clinch a Chase spot on wins.

 

Jamie McMurray (0 Wins, 642 Points, +295 Points Ahead of 31st) – Would clinch on points with a repeat winner (or win by Chase Elliott or Austin Dillon or a new winner and Chris Buescher falls out of the Top 30) and 20 points (21st and no laps led, 22nd and led at least one lap, 23rd and led most laps).  If there is a repeat winner and Chris Buescher falls out of the Top 30, McMurray would clinch on points, regardless of finish.  With a win, he would clinch a Chase spot on wins.  Could clinch on points with a new winner and help (cannot lose more than 21 points to Newman as Newman would hold the tie-breaker).

 

Ryan Newman (0 Wins, 620 Points, +273 Points Ahead of 31st) – With a win, he would clinch a Chase spot on wins.  Could clinch on Points with help (would need to outpoint two of the following if there is a new winner, or one of the following if there is a repeat winner (or win by one of these drivers), McMurray by 22 or more points, Dillon by 32 or more points, Elliott by 40 or more points).  If there is a repeat winner (or win by Elliott, Dillon, McMurray) and Chris Buescher falls out of the Top 30, he would need 20 points (21st and no laps led, 22nd and led at least one lap, 23rd and led most laps) to clinch on points.

 

Kasey Kahne (0 Wins, 598 Points, +251 Points Ahead of 31st) – With a win, Kahne would clinch a Chase spot on wins.  Could clinch on points with a repeat winner (or win by Elliott, Dillon or McMurray) and Chris Buescher falling outside of the Top 30 and help (would need to outpoint Newman by 22 or 23 points, depending on tie-breaker).

 

Drivers not aforementioned only have shots at Chase berths by winning at Richmond, provided they’re also in the top-30 of the points standings at the checkered flag Saturday night.

 

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on September 9, 2016. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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