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2 To Go Until Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup

2 To Go Until Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup

Drivers have just two races left to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – Darlington and Richmond.

As of now, 11 drivers are qualified for NASCAR’s playoffs with wins as long as they start the next two races and remain in the top 30 in points: Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards.

The five remaining drivers on the Chase Grid have to either visit Victory Lane or stay high enough in the points standings where they don’t get bumped by a new winner outside the top 16.

These drivers are Jamie McMurray (76 points above the cutoff line), Ryan Newman (+63), Paul Menard (+54), Jeff Gordon (+52) and Clint Bowyer (+35).

The winless drivers who have won at Darlington in the past and have yet to earn Chase berths this season are Gordon and Greg Biffle.

The winless drivers who have won at Richmond in the past and have yet to earn Chase berths this season are Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.

For the first time, a winless CAN clinch a spot in the Chase. If a repeat driver wins at Darlington, a winless driver would need to have a 45 point lead on the fifth-highest of the winless drivers (or 44 points, depending on tie-breakers).  If there is a new winner, a winless driver would need to lead the fourth-highest winless driver by 45 points (or 44, depending on tie-breakers).

Loop Mania: A Sampling Of The Recent Statistical Leaders

Dating back to Kentucky Speedway in July, Joe Gibbs Racing has won five of the last seven races. The other two were won by Team Penske’s Joey Logano. While the JGR drivers (Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin), Logano and Kevin Harvick have been getting the majority of the hype lately, a closer look at the stats shows that Logano’s Team Penske shopmate Brad Keselowski might be ready to break out.

Laps Led

  1. Kyle Busch | 502
  2. Joey Logano | 337
  3. Brad Keselowski | 213
  4. Kevin Harvick | 181
  5. Matt Kenseth |150

 

Driver Rating

  1. Kyle Busch | 122.3
  2. Joey Logano | 121.0
  3. Brad Keselowski | 110.8
  4. Kevin Harvick | 110.6
  5. Carl Edwards | 107.5

 

Average Finish

  1. Joey Logano | 5.3
  2. Brad Keselowski | 6.0
  3. Kyle Busch | 6.4
  4. Carl Edwards | 7.9
  5. Kevin Harvick | 9.0

While he only ranks 14th in points gained all season (666), Carl Edwards looks to be gaining momentum as well.

Hamlin Heating Up At Right Time?

With top-five finishes in his last two starts, Denny Hamlin could be on the verge of a strong run.

The No. 11 Toyota driver proved his ability to navigate through the new Chase format by making the Championship 4 Round last season. Also, he has a track in every round at which he is historically strong. Hamlin has two wins at Loudon (Challenger Round), owns a win at Talladega (Challenger Round) along with the sixth-best driver rating among active drivers at Superspeedways (92.7), boasts five victories at Martinsville (Eliminator 8 Round) and claims two checkered flags at Homestead (Championship 4 Round).

 

08/26/2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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