One race, three spots.
That’s what it comes down to this weekend at Richmond International Raceway for drivers who have not yet locked themselves into the playoffs. Chris Buescher hopes to hang onto his spot by defending his 30th place position in points. Jamie McMurray is the man on the bubble, holding a 22-point advantage over Ryan Newman.
Those who have already clinched are: Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, and Tony Stewart.
Here are the clinch scenarios for the Federated Auto Parts 400:
Chris Buescher, 13th on Chase grid (1 Win, 358 Points, +11 Points Ahead of 31st) – Would clinch a top 30 spot on his own with 34 Points (seventh and no laps led, eighth with at least one lap led, ninth with most laps led).
Chase Elliott, 14th on Chase grid (0 Wins, 659 Points) – Would clinch on points with 24 points (17th and no laps led, 18th with at least one lap led, 19th with most laps led) if there is a new winner. With a win, he would clinch a Chase spot on wins.
Austin Dillon, 15th on Chase grid (0 Wins, 651 Points) – Would clinch on points with 33 points (eighth and no laps led, ninth with at least one lap led, 10th with most laps led) and a new winner. With a win, they would clinch a Chase spot on wins.
Jamie McMurray, 16th on Chase grid (0 Wins, 642 Points) – Would clinch on points with a repeat winner (or win by Elliott or Dillon or a new winner and Buescher falls out of the top 30) or 21st and no laps led, 22nd with at least one lap led, 23rd with most laps led. With a win, he would clinch a Chase spot on wins.
Drivers like Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne, who are 17th and 18th in the Chase standings, could earn spots on points but would also need help. Their easiest way into the Chase is the same for any driver who is not locked in but sit in the top 30 in points, which is to win Saturday night.