Chase Grid: Championship race could be held minus season’s top winners

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Consider this: If Joey Logano fails to win next weekend’s race at Phoenix International Raceway, it will mean that the top three winners this season will not be racing for a championship Nov. 22 in Miami. Those three drivers have combined to win 16 of 34 races.

Matt Kenseth (five victories) and Jimmie Johnson (five victories, including Sunday’s race at Texas) already have been eliminated from title contention. Logano (six victories) faces that specter. His only chance to advance is winning after a tire issue ruined his chances 10 laps into Sunday’s race.

Jeff Gordon is the only driver guaranteed a spot in the championship round after his Martinsville win last weekend. The other three spots will be determined Sunday in Phoenix on NBC. Martin Truex Jr. holds the final transfer spot, owning a seven-point advantage on Carl Edwards.

Here’s the Chase standings (*guaranteed spot in championship round)

1 – Jeff Gordon … 4082 points*

2 – Kyle Busch … 4080 points

3 – Kevin Harvick … 4079 points

4 – Martin Truex Jr. … 4076 points

5 – Carl Edwards … 4069 points

6 – Brad Keselowski … 4057 points

7 – Kurt Busch .. 4048 points

8 – Joey Logano … 4013 points

Chase drivers eliminated from title contention

9 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. … 2259 points

10 – Denny Hamlin … 2257 points

11 – Ryan Newman … 2253 points

12 – Jimmie Johnson … 2240 points

13 – Jamie McMurray … 2235 points

14 – Paul Menard … 2208 points

15 – Matt Kenseth … 2197 points

16 – Clint Bowyer … 2153 points