Pressure builds on drivers vying for playoff spot

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RICHMOND, Va. — Win and you’re in.

It is that simple for those not yet qualified for the Cup playoffs heading into tonight’s regular-season finale at Richmond Raceway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Among those who need to win to earn a playoff spot include Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Logano won at Richmond in April but his victory didn’t count toward playoff eligibility because his car failed inspection after the race. 

The final three playoff spots will be set tonight. Chase Elliott (737 points), Matt Kenseth (735) and Jamie McMurray (734) hold those spots. If there is a first-time winner, one of those drivers will be eliminated.

“We are in a do-or-die situation,’’ Logano said. “Anytime you can win a race in that situation, there is no better feeling than that. Also returning here after our win in the spring and obviously the drama that followed, it would be very nice to be able to get back in victory lane and prove a point. I don’t see any reason why we can’t.’’

The playoffs begin Sept. 17 at Chicagoland Speedway on NBCSN.

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