Chase Tracker: Setting up what could take place at Richmond

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Twenty-five races have been run and one NASCAR Sprint Cup event remains until the Chase for the Sprint Cup field is set.

Sixteen drivers will advance to the Chase. Any driver with a victory, ranking in the top 30 in points and having started every race (unless granted a NASCAR waiver) will make the Chase.

Kyle Busch became the 11th driver to clinch a spot in the Chase after his seventh-place finish Sunday in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Five spots are held by drivers winless this season – Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer.

McMurray will clinch a Chase spot by starting next weekend’s race at Richmond International Raceway.

If there is a not a first-time winner at Richmond, then Newman and Gordon clinch Chase spots (along with McMurray) because there’s no way that Aric Almirola – the highest-ranked driver not in a Chase-eligible spot can pass them. The final two spots would go to Menard and Bowyer provided they remain in the top 16 in the Chase grid. Menard leads Almirola by 39 points and Kasey Kahne by 41 points. Bowyer leads Almirola by 29 points and Kahne by 31 points.

If there is a first-time winner at Richmond, then it’s a race for the final transfer spot among the winless drivers. Newman leads Bowyer by 32 points. Gordon leads Bowyer by 18 points. Menard leads Bowyer by 10 points.

Newman would clinch a Chase spot by finishing 31st or better. Gordon clinches by finishing 17th or better. Menard clinches by finishing ninth or better.

Here’s who is Chase eligible at this point in the season (*clinched Chase spot):

1 – Jimmie Johnson (4 wins) … 817 points*

2 – Kyle Busch (4 wins) … 471 points*

3 – Joey Logano (3 wins) … 906 points*

4 – Matt Kenseth (3 wins) … 776 points*

5 – Kevin Harvick (2 wins) … 948 points*

6 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2 wins) … 855 points*

7 – Kurt Busch (2 wins) … 752 points*

8 – Carl Edwards (2 wins) … 713 points*

9 – Brad Keselowski (1 win) … 837 points*

10 – Martin Truex Jr. (1 win) … 806 points*

11 – Denny Hamlin (1 win) … 754 points*

12 – Jamie McMurray (0 wins) … 726 points

13 – Ryan Newman (o wins) … 714 points

14 – Jeff Gordon (0 wins) … 700 points

15 – Paul Menard (0 wins) … 692 points

16 – Clint Bowyer (0 wins) … 682 points

DRIVERS OUTSIDE A CHASE SPOT

17 – Aric Almirola (0 wins) … 29 points behind 16th

18 – Kasey Kahne (0 wins) … 31 points behind 16th

19 – Greg Biffle (0 wins) … 84 points behind 16th

20 – Kyle Larson (0 wins) … 96 points behind 16th

21 – Austin Dillon (0 wins) … 96 points behind 16th

22 – AJ Allmendinger (0 wins) … 146 points behind 16th

23 – Casey Mears (0 wins) … 151 points behind 16th

24 – Danica Patrick (0 wins) … 155 points behind 16th

25 – Tony Stewart (0 wins) … 186 points behind 16th

26 – David Ragan (0 wins) … 187 points behind 16th

27 – Sam Hornish Jr. (0 wins) … 190 points behind 16th

28 – Trevor Bayne (0 wins) … 230 points behind 16th

29 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (0 wins) … 242 points behind 16th

30 – Justin Allgaier (0 wins) … 262 points behind 16th.

 

After NASCAR’S regular season ends, 16 drivers will advance to the Chase. Drivers will be eliminated after each round until a champion is crowned. Sign up at nbcsports.com/gridchallenge for a chance to win $16 million.