Scenarios for Drivers to Make the Chase

The 2011 Chase field Photo- Getty Images

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 4, 2012) – Below are the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup clinch scenarios for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway, the final race before the Chase field is set. Nine drivers have clinch top-10 spots in the Chase: Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick. Tony Stewart, currently 10th, has clinched at least a Wild Card spot.

Tony Stewart, on the strength of three wins, has already clinched at least a Wild Card Chase spot. Regardless of where any other driver finishes, he will clinch a top-10 position with a finish of 14th or better, 15th and at least one lap led or 16th and the most laps led. Only three drivers can supplant Stewart in the top 10: Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon.
Kasey Kahne is the only driver outside the top 10 with two wins. He has yet to clinch a Chase spot.
Kahne currently sits in the No. 1 Wild Card spot. A win would clinch a Chase berth. If Stewart stays in the top 10, Kahne clinches a Chase spot. If Stewart falls out of the top 10, Kahne will clinch a spot if a one-win driver outside the top 10 does not win. If Kyle Busch supplants Stewart in the top 10, and Jeff Gordon wins, Kahne clinches a spot by finishing 13th or better, 14th with at least one lap led or 15th with the most laps led.
There are six drivers outside the top 10 with one win: Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Marcos Ambrose, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano.
If one of those one-win drivers wins at Richmond AND Stewart remains in the top 10 (or Kasey Kahne supplants Stewart in the top 10), that one-win driver would have two wins, and clinch a Chase spot.
The following scenarios are if a one-win driver DOES NOT win at Richmond…
Kyle Busch: If Stewart remains in the top 10 or if Kahne supplants Stewart in the top 10, Busch will clinch a Chase spot by losing 12 or fewer points to Jeff Gordon AND by losing 40 or fewer points to Marcos Ambrose. A win would guarantee Busch a Chase berth.
Jeff Gordon: If Stewart remains in the top 10 or if Kahne supplants Stewart in the top 10, Gordon will clinch by finishing 13 points ahead of Buschat Richmond AND by losing 28 or fewer points to Ambrose AND by losing 37 or fewer points to Ryan Newman. If Busch supplants Stewart in the top 10, Gordon would clinch a Chase berth with a win AND finishing 18 points ahead of Kahne at Richmond.
Marcos Ambrose: If Stewart remains in the top 10 or if Kahne supplants Stewart in the top 10, Ambrose will clinch by finishing 41 points ahead of Busch AND 29 points ahead of Gordon.
Ryan Newman: Newman can only clinch a Chase berth with a win. If either Busch or Gordon supplant Stewart in the top 10, Newman will be eliminated.
Joey Logano: Logano can only clinch a Chase berth with a win. If either Busch or Gordon supplant Stewart in the top 10, Logano will be eliminated.
Two winless drivers outside the top 10 can clinch: Carl Edwards and Paul Menard.
Carl Edwards: Edwards needs to win (47-point win) AND Busch has to finish 24th or worse (with no laps led) at Richmond AND Gordon has to finish 12th or worse at Richmond. If Busch or Gordon supplant Tony Stewart in the top 10, Edwards will be eliminated.
Paul Menard: Menard needs to win (47-point win) AND Kyle Busch has to finish 34th or worse (with no laps led) AND Gordon has to finish 22nd or worst (with no laps led) at Richmond. If Busch or Gordon supplant Tony Stewart in the top 10, Menard will be eliminated.
All other drivers have been mathematically eliminated from Chase contention.
Via the NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications
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