Chase explained: Who's in, on bubble

Related: Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup clinching scenarios

Six drivers have clinched top-10 spots in the Chase: Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Kasey Kahne, on the strength of two wins, has clinched at least a Wild Card spot.

Four drivers control their top-10 clinching destiny, regardless of the finishes of any other driver.
 
Dale Earnhardt Jr., currently seventh in points, will clinch a top-10 spot with a finish of 32nd or better, 33rd with at least one lap led or 34th with the most laps led.
�Richmond record: Three wins, nine top-fives, 12 top-10s, one pole in 28 starts.

Joey Logano, currently eighth in points, will clinch a top-10 spot with a finish of 11th or better, 12th and at least one lap led or 13th and the most laps led.
�Richmond record: Two top-fives, two top-10s in nine starts.

Greg Biffle, currently ninth in points, will clinch a top-10 spot with a finish of ninth or better, 10th and at least one lap led or 11th and the most laps led.
�Richmond record: Two top-fives, six top-10s, one pole in 22 starts.
 
Kurt Busch, currently 10th in points, will clinch a top-10 spot by winning, finishing second with at least one lap led or finishing third with the most laps led.
�Richmond record: One win, four-top fives, eight top-10s in 25 starts.

Other drivers (with their Richmond stats) still eligible to make the Chase are:
Jeff Gordon: Two wins, 16 top-fives, 25 top-10s, five poles in 41 starts.
Brad Keselowski
: Two top-10s in eight starts.
Jamie McMurray: Three top-10s in 21 starts.
Paul Menard: No wins, top-fives, top-10s or poles in 13 starts.
Ryan Newman: One win, five top-fives, 13 top-10s, one pole in 23 starts.
Martin Truex Jr.: One top-five, two top-10s in 15 starts.
Get their complete Chase-clinching scenarios

In 2013, the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will decide the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for the 10th-consecutive season.

The Chase was implemented in 2004 to involve more drivers in the championship hunt, and intensify fan interest and drama in a playoffs-style atmosphere during the season's stretch run.

FORMAT
After race No. 26, the top 10 drivers in points earn a berth in the 10-race Chase. Spots 11 and 12 -- the Wild Card spots ? go to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, provided they are in the top 20. Once the Chase field is set, each driver has his points total reset to 2,000. For those in the top 10, three bonus points are added to that total for each victory during the first 26 races.

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SCHEDULE
The 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway and concludes Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Race 1: Sept. 15, Chicagoland Speedway (1.5 miles)
Race 2: Sept. 22, New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058 miles)
Race 3: Sept. 29, Dover International Speedway (1 mile)
Race 4: Oct. 6, Kansas Speedway (1.5 miles)
Race 5: Oct. 12, Charlotte Motor Speedway (1.5 miles)
Race 6: Oct. 20, Talladega Superspeedway (2.66 miles)
Race 7: Oct. 27, Martinsville Speedway (.526 mile)
Race 8: Nov. 3, Texas Motor Speedway (1.5 miles)
Race 9: Nov. 10, Phoenix International Raceway (1 mile)
Race 10: Nov. 17, Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5 miles)

HISTORY
A rundown of the Chase's first nine years:

- In 2004, the Chase ended with Kurt Busch edging Jimmie Johnson by a scant eight points to win the series title.
- In 2005, Tony Stewart edged out Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards by just 35 points.
- In 2006, Johnson beat Matt Kenseth by 56 points.
- In 2007, Johnson beat Jeff Gordon by 77 points.
- In 2008, Johnson topped Edwards by 69 points, becoming only the second driver in NASCAR history and the first in 30 years to win three consecutive series titles. Cale Yarborough was the first driver to win three consecutive series titles (1975-78).
- In 2009 and 2010, Johnson again made NASCAR history by becoming the first driver to win five consecutive series titles (2006-10).
- In 2010, Johnson also became the first driver in Chase history to overcome a deficit going into the season finale to win the championship, beating out Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick.
- In 2011, Stewart claimed his third series crown by winning five of the 10 Chase races, including the season finale. His year-ending victory forced a points tie with Carl Edwards atop the standings; Stewart won the tiebreaker with five wins to Edwards' one.
- In 2012, Brad Keselowski won claimed the title by 39 and 40 points over Clint Bowyer and Johnson, respectively. Keselowski was the first first-time champion in the series since 2005 when Johnson won his first title in only the second year of the Chase.