Those four drivers are outside the top 12 in the standings after Saturday night’s race at Richmond Raceway heading into the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course race next Sunday.
Ryan Blaney is clinging to the final provisional spot at 12th in the standings, four points ahead of Bowyer. Hamlin is 29 points behind Blaney in 16th and virtually needs a win to advance.
Three drivers have clinched berths: Richmond winner Kyle Busch, Las Vegas winner Brad Keselowski and points leader Martin Truex Jr. (who will advance on points). Third-ranked Kevin Harvick, who is 56 points ahead of the cut line, is virtually safe.