Sonoma winner Kyle Busch must average about a 14th-place finish in the next 10 races to have a chance to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Busch seeks a Chase spot despite missing the first 11 Cup races because of a broken right leg and left foot suffered in the season-opening Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway. Busch’s average finish in the five Cup races since his return is 20.0.
NASCAR granted Busch a waiver on the requirement that a Chase driver must start every race. With that and Sunday’s win, Busch will be eligible for the Chase if he’s in the top 30 in points after the September Richmond race.
Cole Whitt is 30th in the standings with 261 points – an average of 16.3 points per race. At that rate, Whitt will score 424 points after 26 races – the cutoff to set the Chase field.
Busch has 125 points. To tie Whitt – Busch would own the tiebreaker based on his win – Busch needs 299 points in the 10 races before the Chase field is set. That’s 29.9 points per race. A 14th-place finish is worth 30 points in a race – that does not include any bonus points for leading a lap or leading the most laps. Thus, Busch needs to average about a 14th-place finish – based on current projections – to have a chance to race for the championship.