How the Chase contenders can clinch at Richmond

Nick Bromberg
September 4, 2013

Just 11 races left until the end of the NASCAR season. Can you believe it?

Wait, we're getting ahead of ourselves. Those 11 races mean that we're one race away from the Chase for the Sprint Cup and we've got a host of Chase clinch scenarios and we've outlined them here. You may want to bookmark this post for Saturday night. Or if you don't, no sweat. We'll be referring a lot to it during the live chat.

IN: Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. While Kasey Kahne is in a Wild Card spot, he's clinched at least that because he's got two wins.


Dale Earnhardt Jr.: This one is pretty easy for Junior. Barring catastrophic failure, he's in. All he needs to do is finish 32nd with no laps led, 33rd with a lap led or 34th with the most laps led.


Joey Logano: If JoLo finishes 11th, he's in. So that means 12th with a lap led or 13th with the most laps led.

Greg Biffle: For Biffle, it's 9th, 10th with a lap led and 11th with the most laps led.

Kurt Busch: It's a tad trickier for Busch, but he still can clinch without the help of anyone else. A win gets Busch in no matter what, as does a 2nd with a lap led and a 3rd with the most laps led.

Jeff Gordon: Gordon gets in via a Wild Card with a win and can move into the top 10 if he gets some help. That means finishing seven points ahead of Busch, 15 ahead of Biffle and 17 ahead of Logano.

Martin Truex Jr.: Truex can clinch a myriad of ways; win the race and guarantee a Wild Card berth, move into the top 10, or stay ahead of Ryan Newman. That final scenario isn't as simple as that (Logano and Biffle could move out of the top 10 while Kahne and Gordon get in, and if Truex is behind them in points he's out), but it's the most likely. Truex currently has a five point cushion on Newman.

Ryan Newman: Newman gets in with a win as well, and by moving ahead of Truex in the standings while the aforementioned Logano and Biffle falling out of the top 10 scenario doesn't happen. This is also not counting on Brad Keselowski getting a win and finishing nine points ahead of Newman and 14 ahead of Truex.


Brad Keselowski: Theoretically, Keselowski could get into the top 10 as he's 28 points out. But the odds of that happening are pretty slim. If he doesn't get into the top 10, he needs to get that win so that he can grab a Wild Card spot. And if he does win the race, he needs to be ahead of all but one of the drivers outside of the top 10 with a win. Got it?

Jamie McMurray: McMurray is still "mathematically alive" as well. While technically true, we use the quotes because he's 39 points out of the top 10. And there are five drivers between him and the top 10. Anyway, if McMurray wins, he needs to also be ahead of all but one of the drivers with wins in the top 10. He's currently 19 points back of Newman and 24 back of Truex.

Paul Menard: Hail Mary time! Menard needs to outscore Truex by 47 points and Newman by 42. So basically if Menard wins and leads the most laps, Truex finishes last and Newman finishes 38th, he's in. That scenario changes slightly if Kahne gets in the top 10 and even more if Kahne and one of Truex and Newman get into the top 10. But still, he would need to get either that 47 or 42 number.